My love for Sheila

by Alison Wileman

I was 14 when I started going out with my ex-husband. We still remain the best of friends and have a 15 year old daughter.

My relationship with his mum Sheila remained so strong, she was my mother-in-law then my ex-mum-in-law, but she became my second mum. We were so close she meant the world to me. All my children loved her so much, even my two youngest called her Nanny. She was loved more than I think she realised.

She was 66 and died suddenly without warning while she had a nap. We spoke 3 or 4 times a day, she took my children to school, she was my rock, and I'm finding it so hard without her. She died on the 4th of June, 2008, the day before our daughter's 15 birthday. She adored Natasha, and she always said I was the daughter she never had.

I've written about 11 poems about Sheila, about my grief and how I'm feeling. I'm glad she never suffered but to this day I just can't accept it. I know it's early days; but now I know that death can happen to someone you love, you never think it will.

I'm seeing a mental health worker at the moment as I have at times felt suicidal. I already suffer with depression and thyroid problems. I now worry all the time about losing my children, my parents or anyone I love. I wish I knew she was safe somewhere. In time I'm going to see a medium, I need to know there is a better place out there.

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