ANGIE Edwards’ three older children have each written letters to their mum, the 31-year-old Ballarat woman who died on Thursday night after a brief battle with cancer.
With the help of their dad Brett and their grandmother Kerry McNeight, Brodie, 6, Jameson, 5, and Chelsea, just 2, wrote about their love for their mother, how much they will miss her, but how they will never forget her.
These letters are helping them cope with the loss of their mother, who died just months after being diagnosed with a rare and inoperable cervical cancer.
Mrs McNeight – Mrs Edwards’ mother – said her grandchildren, who also include 20-week-old Tristan, understood their mother had died and was now in heaven.
“We have had the big talk with the children and they are coping amazingly well,” Mrs McNeight said.
“The children understand and have decided to write letters to Angie. We’ve told them that mum will be like the tooth fairy and pick these letters up and keep them with her.
“They also understand the concept of heaven and that it’s a beautiful place and she is up there with pop (Angie’s father). I think the children knew about what was going on as much as the adults did.”
Mrs Edwards (nee Clifford) died about 5.45pm on Thursday with husband Brett by her side. Next Tuesday would have been their eighth wedding anniversary.
“I thought yesterday (Thursday) would have been the worst day of my life, but it was actually the day before, when Angie was still fighting it,” Mrs McNeight said.
“I had been in the room with her and left her for just 10 minutes and she died. I’m positive she waited until I left the room. In life, she did everything her way and in death she did the same. She had Brett by her side and that’s the way she would have wanted it.”
A positive outlook is what is helping not only Mrs McNeight but the rest of her family cope at such a traumatic time.
“We really lost Angie weeks ago. She wasn’t going to get better and now she’s at peace.”
Mrs McNeight said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for her daughter’s family after news about Mrs Edwards’ condition was publicised late last month.
“I am so grateful for everything.”
Late last year, Mrs Edwards was diagnosed with cancer soon after giving birth to her fourth child, Tristan. The ferocity of the cancer astounded Melbourne specialists, who told the young mother there was no cure.
Within weeks of the initial diagnosis, Mrs Edwards was bedridden.
Her husband was given leave from his job at MaxiTRANS to look after the children, while her mother has also taken leave from her job at Ballarat Health
Mrs Edwards’ biggest concern for the future was how her husband would deal with the financial strain her illness has caused. She was worried her husband and children would lose the family home.
Friends and family have rallied behind the family and organised a fundraising auction for Friday, February 28, at Jackson’s and Co, 201 Mair Street, Ballarat. Dress code is wear something glittery or sparkly.
Cost is $30. For more information, call Kelly Wakeling on 0409 871 251 or Rachael Mahoney on 0412 223 608.
A fundraising barbecue will also be held today between 11am and 3pm at Brumby’s Bakery in the Northway shopping centre, corner of Doveton and Norman
An NAB bank account has been sent up for the Edwards family. Anyone who wants to make a donation can go into an NAB branch and quote BSB: 083 532 account number 397507917.
Funeral details will be announced at a later date.