Write Positive Letters

Positive Letters is a beautiful and purposeful blog. Hilary’s blog posts are positive letters written to bring her mother happiness in her last months, and to keep other family members updated. Every letter is her way of telling her mum “I love you.” What an inspiration to the rest of us to write positive letters too.

This was my positive letter to Hilary.

Hello Hilary,

I wanted to tell you that you are doing a beautiful thing for your mother. I wish I had the chance to go back and do for my dad what you are doing now.

My dad died two years ago from liver cancer. When the person we love is no longer with us, it’s the little things we remember.  The ordinary words, the laughter, the smiles. Those memories are all I have now, and I’m happy that you are creating beautiful memories with your mum.

For me the sadness comes in unpredictable waves. I may be walking down the street or sitting on a bus, when suddenly I think of my dad and tears roll down my cheeks. This started a few months before he died, and continues even now.

At the same time I am happy because he died a good death. We all drew strength from that final journey.  Today my family talks of him often with fondness and laughter, not sadness.

Please know that you are doing a beautiful, wonderful thing by being a faithful, loving companion on your mother’s final journey. I’m rooting for you and your mum.

If you also have a family member who is dying, this book can help you face the final mystery, or read the book review here. And while there is still time, do write positive letters to the people you love.

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40 replies on “Write Positive Letters”

We are new to your site, Daphne, but we are regulars to Hilary’s blog. It is wonderful what she is doing on her blog. Thank you for the support that you are giving to her. She is in need of that. I too have lost a parent. I did not have the time like this to say good-by. My father drowned will fishing in Yellow Stone Park. He was missing for two weeks before they found his body down river in a different state. (they were looking for someone else at the time they spotted his body.) That was many years ago, I was 12 at the time. I would have liked the time to say good-by but that was not to be. It has been over 30 years but as writing this I have tears coming done my face, so it is always with us is it not. My dear husband lost his mother and a brother when he was around 11. Many of us are out here, we give support to those that are going through it now. because we have been there before them. We will come back often now that we know about your blog. Thank you again for the beautiful words that you have given to our blogging friend, Hilary. Have a good day.

Hello Dan and Deanna,

Welcome, and thank you for such a wonderful first comment!

I agree wholeheartedly that what Hilary is doing on her blog is just wonderful, and touched me to the core precisely because I lost a parent recently and can feel what she is going through. It’s nice to know that you too understand, and that there is a community ‘out here’ who have been through this loss and can help others going through the same, because we know that we received help when we were going through this and so all of us want to pay it forward.

Sorry to hear about your father’s drowning. It’s sad when there is no time to say goodbye. Even though I had that luxury, there are still so many things I wish I could tell him, and what reassures me is that when I think these thoughts, somewhere somehow he knows. And it’s the same for me, tears still fall down my face when I think about him, though sometimes his memory brings smiles and laughter instead. So it’s all good. The relationships still exist, on our parts at least.

I like your site very much! I hope we’ll be in touch.

Hi everyone .. it’s all so wonderful .. I didn’t know Daphne at all and I’ve been so happy with her contact and appreciation .. just a one off comment by me .. on who my Ideal Reader is .. her post of 21st April ..

I will reply to you all and will do a post within my own blog .. when I’ve caught my tail and we’ve resolved Mum’s situation down at the hospital – she’s been there 4 weeks and she’s not ill!! It’s not ideal but she is ‘healthy’ .. so I’m sure we’ll get her out.

Perhaps at that stage – next few days .. you’ll all help me with some thoughts .. that’d be great ..

All the best
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hi Hilary,

I am grateful for a community of extremely caring and supportive readers, and I’m glad that you had a good experience here. We’ll be seeing more of each other online I’m sure. All the best with your mum in the meantime!


I haven’t visited in a while and now that I am here, I am reminded and touched by the kindness of your soul…how you reach out to people in need…your selflessness, always giving and giving!

I just want to say thank you to you! You have made such a difference in my heart…and thank you for the hard work you do on this site!

Happy Everything always! :~)

Hi Henie!

I noticed you had been quiet lately and hope that you had a great time away from the online world for a while. It’s great to have you back! Thanks for dropping by to say hi, with your usual wonderful words of encouragement! Happy Everything to you too! (Love that phrase!)

Hi daphne, what a heart-warming letter u made for someone you barely know. I can tell that you have a kind heart. You can do extraordinary things to someone or to people (us reading your blog) you don’t know so how much more to your family and friends? You are truly a blessing! Keep up the good work!

Hi picturesque,

Your comment warmed my heart, and I blush that you make me out to be better than I am. Now I have to go and live up to your kind words and try to be the kind of person you think I am! Sometimes we forget to show our best side to the people closest to us and you’ve just reminded me. Thank you for this. And thank you for leaving such an encouraging comment for a relative stranger too. It means a lot to me, and shows the kindness of your own heart.

Hi JD,

Thanks for your warm words. I was wondering whether I should post the entire letter then thought to myself, heck I’d already typed out the entire thing so why not? 😉

Hi Daphne. This was kind of you to feature her on your blog. It is tender what she is doing for her mother and nurturing for both of them and their family. Keeps the connection strong and present. Celebrating life. Thank you for sharing this.

Hi Davina,

You’re right that Hilary’s blog, while inspired by dying, is about celebrating life. You provide marvellous perspectives in both your posts and your comments, and I really look forward to reading what you have to say!

Dear Daphne, I’ve always known you to be an extremely kind-hearted and caring individual and this letter you wrote to Hilary further strengthened that belief I have of you. I have not been to Hilary’s blog and will do so immediately after writing this. My parents are still with me and I have been working on improving my relationship with them in the past month, with great success. I’ll definitely keep doing that, especially after having been reminded on the limited span of life from reading your letter to Hilary.

Hey Celes,

Thanks for the kind words. I’m blushing! I’m just a regular person, and I daresay all who visit Hilary’s site will be as touched as I was, just that I’ve been through it and so can identify more.

Good to know your relationship with your parents is getting better. Your life seems to be going well both personally and in terms of your coaching career, and it’s good to see leading by example and showing other people how to live their best life!

Thank you so much for introducing us to Hilary and her blog! Her writings are very heartfelt and moving. I havent lost a parent and I cant imagine what that might be like.

Hi Carla,

Hilary’s blog is full of heart. It’s not that bad losing a parent if there was lots of love and time together while they were alive. Then we just miss them when they’re gone, without any guilt or regret. Living well is the best way to approach death with as much peace as possible.

How sweet of you, Daphne, to think of sending a letter to Hilary. No…I have not visited her site before and will do so after I write this comment.

I have not lost a parent technically yet. But I did lose one in a sense. It was my mother-in-law. Funnily, I never quite knew that my blog was a dedication to her; until I stepped back one day last year and realized that everything I say came from a spark ignited by her.

Our relationship was not an easy one. It’s hard to explain all that happened. But closure, details bordering on the paranormal, only came after her death.

You know, it is strange that I never shared about her on my blog. I guess I never got round to it. Perhaps, I’d write about her one day. Thanks for the inspiration!

Hi Evelyn,

It’s amazing that you realised only after blogging for sometime that your blog was influenced by your mother in law. I wonder how much of our actions are ultimately influenced by other people even when we don’t realise this.

And in the same way, whether others’ actions are influenced by us somehow. Do write about this experience sometime. I’d be interested to hear!

Hope you like Hilary’s site.

Hi Jocelyn!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment on Hilary’s blog. It’s very sweet and thoughtful of you, and I’m sure it means a lot. “Making bridges” is a lovely term, and one that I will remember both in blogging and in loving. Thanks for this energising comment!

This is really a heartfelt post. You’ve written it with feelings which comes from bottom of your heart.My dad also has passed away when I was 10 due to a brain cancer. I feel respect towards this great lady, Hilary. I’m on my way to her blog.
Thanks for sharing.


You’re right that I wrote this post almost immediately after visiting Hilary’s blog, and while I was still feeling very moved by it. I guess those emotions came through in my post. Respect was certainly one of the stronger emotions I felt for her too. Thanks for picking up on this point and being so encouraging about it. Hope you enjoy Hilary’s blog!

Hi Daphne

I am touched by you sharing your personal story and your thoughts with Hilary’s Mother. Hilary is a sweet heart, she is a friend of mine. And I am sure you made her feel supported and she knows that she is not alone.

God bleess both Hilary and you, you two are good people.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Hi Gio,

When I saw your comments on Hilary’s site and when she mentioned she was working through the process with you, I felt so much better immediately because I knew she was in good hands.

Hi Daphne,

Thank you so much for this post and for being so kind. Losing a parent is hard and thank you for mentioning the impact that a caregiver has when taking care of a dying parent. You and I both have been there and we know its challenges. Reading your letter was of comfort to me because you are the only person I know (besides my husband) who has lost a parent at a young age. So I could relate a lot to what you wrote. It was nice to realize I am not alone.

Hi Nadia,

It’s also nice for me to know you’ve been there too. Knowing intellectually that we all must die is so different from facing death in the flesh of someone we love. Living with death, touching it, smelling it in someone so close to us… I think that changes us forever. There are so many emotions that overwhelm, both before and after the death event, that words simply cannot capture. Thanks for leaving your compassionate comment, and letting me know that I’m not alone either.


Sorry to hear you’ve lost both your parents. I read in a book (can’t remember which) that when the author lost her parents, she lost her two biggest cheerleaders in life, and life suddenly became a lot lonelier. Hopefully you have other cheerleaders now. In the end, that’s all we can really do for others – be their cheerleaders as they lead the life they alone can lead. That’s what I’m doing for Hilary, I guess, being a cheerleader. Thanks for your kind comment.

Hi Daphne .. I’m overwhelmed by you & your generosity .. I need time to adjust and react .. I’m just staggered and so grateful .. please forgive this short comment of thanks – but I’ve just got back from seeing my Ma – after 4 hours .. & tomorrow she will be so amazed to hear from you!! She loves my overseas friends ..

Thank you in advance to you all .. I am totally moved and quite blown away ..

Thank you, thank you, thank you .. I’ll be back with a proper response ..

All I can say is loads of love!! to everyone ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hi Hilary,

I’m glad I could contribute a positive letter to your Ma. She sounds like an amazingly positive person, much like my dad. Walking the final journey with good cheer must be one of the hardest things in the world, and your Ma is a brave woman.

Hope the post didn’t surprise you too much!

Hi Daphne

This is so pertinent. I have a friend who is currently struggling with cancer. I can only hope and pray that it is not fatal in the end. She is strong and has an amazing love of life. To see her leave now, will be devastating. But, I suppose one can only try and remember that there is always reason…



One of my favourite phrases when things aren’t going well is “Everything happens for a reason” even though it may take years for us to understand. Sorry to hear about your friend. Doctors can do amazing things with cancer these days, so there’s hope. Her love of life will certainly help keep the positive attitude that’s necessary for recovery, and for facing whatever comes. I hope all turns out well.

My parents are both nearing death at 84, my mother well beyond reach with Alzeimer’s. When she was a little more lucid, we all met at the family grave site, a very special church, dating back to 1700’s where my parents had been married, to bury her brother’s ashes. As they stood there holding hands, we were all painfully aware that our next gathering here would be to bury one of them. In her blissful state, my mother looked around and exclaimed this would be a lovely place to live and we all cried that we would be delighted to visit her. It was a living funeral, and has made this last year much easier to bear the inevitable degeneration they are suffering.


Thanks for sharing about your parents. It’s sad when Alzheimer’s takes away so much of a person. That scene at the church grave was beautiful though. I can almost picture that day in my head, from your description. It must have been heartrending at the time yet gives some comfort now. I hope that others can take heart from your comment, and be grateful for lucid moments as we all get older.

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