Some of us are faced with almost unspeakable tragedies in life. And despite these hardships, some of us go on to fight and love even harder than before.
Sara Chivers was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 25, but she didn’t let that stop her from living her life. In addition to beating cancer, she went on to marry and have two children, The New Daily reports.
However, her cancer ended up being terminal when it returned in March. Sara was just 34 years old. And tragedy, unfortunately, came knocking at this family’s door once more when their 18-month-old baby, Alfie, was diagnosed with a completely different type of rare and aggressive brain cancer unrelated to his mother’s.
Though most people would give in to despair at this point, Sara decided to leave Alfie and her 3-year-old son, Hugh, words of wisdom and love that would remain with them throughout their lives.
The letter she wrote to her sons, below, says it all.
[H/T: The New Daily]
“The most heartbreaking thing about my terminal diagnosis is that I won’t get to see my sons grow up and mother them like I always dreamed,” Sara told People. “My letter is a way to honor my impact in their lives and leave behind a legacy for them.”
You can read the heartbreaking and beautiful letter below:
Dear Hugh and Alfie,
I won’t be around to see you grow up. It’s a hard thing to say and even harder to face. You will have to hear from others the little things that made me me: my perfume of choice is Michael Kors, my favorite meal is spaghetti bolognese, winter is my preferred season. I wish I was a better cook. I’m a keeper of mementos – tiny hospital name tags, the poem Leigh wrote for my 21st birthday, first baby clothes.
I know your Dad, and our village of family and friends, will keep me alive for you as much as they can, but there are some things I want you to hear from me.
Don’t be afraid of expressing your emotions. I will never tire of hearing ‘I love you’ from Leigh, you boys, my family, friends.
Love hard. As they say, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
That’s how I feel about you both. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to describing the pain I feel at not being in your lives in the future, but I would never change or forego the time we have spent together and the immense joy you have brought me.
You are without a doubt my proudest accomplishments. Pay attention to study but know there is so much more to school life than textbooks. Play team sports. Try a musical instrument. Learn a language.
Always try your best; I could never ask any more of you. Never fear failure – you will learn more from mistakes than successes.
There’s never anything more certain than change so embrace it. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Travel as much as possible – it will shape who you are.
Be brave in your convictions and believe in yourself. Never tease or ridicule someone because they’re different to you. You will be a better person by surrounding yourself with people who will challenge your views and beliefs.
I can never emphasize enough the importance of good table manners. Remember to say please and thank you. Address your friends’ parents by Mrs, Ms or Mr unless told otherwise. Make your bed when you stay at other people’s houses, and always offer to clear their table and do the dishes.
You will have friends for a season, friends for a reason, friends for life. It won’t take too long to work out which ones fall into which category.
Family comes first. We will always be there for you to fall back on regardless of any mistakes or bad choices, and will help you through tough times and to celebrate life’s wins.
Be kind to your Dad. It won’t be easy for him raising you alone, but every decision he makes will be with your best interests at heart. He is an exceptional father and role model. Don’t let him doubt himself or the wonderful job he will do shaping you into the men I dream of you growing up to be.
There will come a time when he wants to find happiness again with a new partner. Accept and embrace his choice, and know she will be a positive female influence in your lives too.
I have absolute faith that he will make the right decision, for him and you both, and I hope she enriches your lives as much as you’ve all enriched mine.
Your Dad is the most admirable, courageous man I have ever known. He is my companion, my rock, my everything. He has shown true grit in the face of our adversities, and without him beside me I would have crumbled. I will be forever grateful for the time we spent together, the memories we created, the love we shared. It was always him. Always will be.
Sara never once stopped being the best mother she could be, despite the overwhelming adversity she has been faced with. And she has no intention of stopping as long as she’s alive.
With this letter, she’ll be able to continue being a great mother even after she’s gone.
This family has a long road ahead of them and have set up a GoFundMe page to contribute to the costs of providing a caretaker for Sara, house cleaning, and other expenses.
So far, more than $68,000 of their $100k goal has been donated. You can contribute to making life a little easier for this family here.