Tiny little shining post

Hi All,

I know I just battered your brains with a 3000 word reason for me to go back to school and learn how to use English appropriately BUT here is something beautiful that I stumbled across this morning at 3.25am. I get the sneaking suspicion that magic happens at 3am. More people are born and more die at 3am than bears thinking about because it could seriously mess with your mind…just know that they do! Here is something truly magical. It’s from the kind of mum that we mums lust after being. Someone vital who burns for her children. They always burn out too quickly but this one wanted to reach out posthumously and send a little message to her daughter. I love this letter beyond belief folks and just wanted to share this precious find with you all. It comes from this web page http://brouhahadreamer.tumblr.com/post/55349059350/my-posthumous-advice-for-my-daughter (so please don’t sue me!) and I appropriated it and brought it here. If I DO get sued, I consider it worth it to share this with you all 🙂


My posthumous advice for my daughter


WRITTEN BY Caitlin Moran

Published at 12:11PM, July 13 2013


The Times


‘Nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit’



My daughter is about to turn 13 and I’ve been smoking a lot recently, and so – in the wee small hours, when my lungs feel like there’s a small mouse inside them, scratching to get out – I’ve thought about writing her one of those “Now I’m Dead, Here’s My Letter Of Advice For You To Consult As You Continue Your Now Motherless Life” letters. Here’s the first draft. Might tweak it a bit later. When I’ve had another fag.


“Dear Lizzie. Hello, it’s Mummy. I’m dead. Sorry about that. I hope the funeral was good – did Daddy play Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen when my coffin went into the cremator? I hope everyone sang along and did air guitar, as I stipulated. And wore the stick-on Freddie Mercury moustaches, as I ordered in the ‘My Funeral Plan’ document that’s been pinned on the fridge since 2008, when I had that extremely self-pitying cold.


“Look – here are a couple of things I’ve learnt on the way that you might find useful in the coming years. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. Also, I’ve left you loads of life-insurance money – so go hog wild on eBay on those second-hand vintage dresses you like. You have always looked beautiful in them. You have always looked beautiful.


“The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux, and this will save you the anxiety of other, ultimately less satisfying things like ‘being cool’, ‘being more successful than everyone else’ and ‘being very thin’.


“Second, always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.


“Three – always pick up worms off the pavement and put them on the grass. They’re having a bad day, and they’re good for… the earth or something (ask Daddy more about this; am a bit sketchy).


“Four: choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you’re in your best outfit when you’re with them, even though you’re just in a T-shirt. Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.


“Stay at peace with your body. While it’s healthy, never think of it as a problem or a failure. Pat your legs occasionally and thank them for being able to run. Put your hands on your belly and enjoy how soft and warm you are – marvel over the world turning over within, the brilliant meat clockwork, as I did when you were inside me and I dreamt of you every night.


“Whenever you can’t think of something to say in a conversation, ask people questions instead. Even if you’re next to a man who collects pre-Seventies screws and bolts, you will probably never have another opportunity to find out so much about pre-Seventies screws and bolts, and you never know when it will be useful.


“This segues into the next tip: life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES. However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, ‘NO! NO!’ Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, ‘When I rise in three days, the disciples aren’t going to believe this when I tell them about it.’


“Babyiest, see as many sunrises and sunsets as you can. Run across roads to smell fat roses. Always believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit, because every tiny bit needed someone who changed it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and co-ordinates for how to get there. Host extravagantly, love constantly, dance in comfortable shoes, talk to Daddy and Nancy about me every day and never, ever start smoking. It’s like buying a fun baby dragon that will grow and eventually burn down your f***ing house.

“Love, Mummy.”



27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. susan
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 03:52:40

    Thank you for this. It was/is totally, wonderfully, completely marvelous. It makes me both want to be her ‘baby’ and wish that I had a daughter I could pass this amazing advice to.


    • narf77
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 04:01:07

      I know Susan, I just HAD to share this because it was so breathtakingly and achingly beautiful. We all love people in our lives that we really can’t tell like we would like to for whatever reason. This letter cuts through the trivialities of pride, fear, anger etc like a hot knife through butter. I think I am going to sit down today and write all of my children a letter like this. They can rocket my ashes into the stratosphere for all I care but all I really need to know is that they knew that they were truly loved like this English lady loved her daughter


  2. teawithhazel
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 07:05:07

    beautiful fran..it’s particularly poignant for me because my eldest is back living with me for a while..and i’m loving that she’s allowing me to mother her..


    • narf77
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:42:16

      It is beautiful isn’t it? I didn’t want to think it was just me that thought so and I so wanted to share it with people that it would resonate with :). Hugs to you and your beautiful daughter and here’s to mums and daughters everywhere 🙂


  3. rabidlittlehippy
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 08:42:16

    I love this for its rawness. She cuts straight through the crap and tells it just how it is. I also love the focus on being nice. Much better than rich or successful or driven or anything else out there. Be nice. Truly I find that just sits beautifully with me. Thanks for passing it on.


    • narf77
      Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:46:54

      You are welcome. I wanted to share it because it managed to make me smile inside and out at 3.30am on a day when I know I have to do some mental gymnastics and that takes a whole lot of doing some days 🙂


  4. Jo
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 10:08:33

    I do love this, saw it recently, and like you, wanted to write to my children immediately, especially as we have just updated our wills. The good news is Caitlin Moran isn’t even dead, writes lots of brilliant, thoughtful, hilarious feminist stuff, including a book. Yay!


  5. brymnsons
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 10:34:59

    Yes made me cry and laugh and want to write to my sons 🙂


  6. Chica Andaluza
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 23:03:00

    Perfect, wonderful and beautiful….


  7. cityhippyfarmgirl
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 06:38:13

    makes me think what I would write to my children if I was to write them a letter…


  8. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 11:02:09

    A beautiful post Fran.
    I have read it through again.
    Funny and sad.


    • narf77
      Oct 04, 2013 @ 13:05:35

      Apparently she isn’t dead Jean…”YAY!”. I just requested her 2 books from the library as I figure anyone who would write a mere letter like that should be good for a laugh 😉


  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 17:57:55

    Gorgeous 🙂


  10. LyndaD
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 19:17:43



  11. Joanna
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 22:01:06

    No she’s far from dead, journalist, broadcaster, columnist at The Times newspaper, writer, satirist etc etc. I have read one of her books. Don’t know if you can see the BBC website but if you can here she is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17953095


    • narf77
      Oct 05, 2013 @ 03:03:54

      Yeah, I now have 2 of her books on hold at the local library. I figure if she can make me laugh and cry like that she must have something going for her 😉


  12. Angela @ Canned Time
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 02:00:48

    Very cool. Takes me out of myself for a while, thanks!!


    • narf77
      Oct 07, 2013 @ 03:53:46

      She has that “4 weddings and a funeral” pucka “Englishness” about her that keeps us loving the brits. They have a style all of their own and a brutal honesty about how pathos that makes them deadly. Apparently she is most assuredly alive and kicking and I just put 2 of her books on hold in our local library. I reckon she might be worth a read 😉


  13. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 12:22:48

    I am stunned- There just aren’t words good enough to respond to such a piece. Thank you for sharing this beautiful writing. I wish there was someone to tell this to all the daughters out there, young and old.


  14. thinkingcowgirl
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 20:22:57

    Hello! Good old Caitlin, thanks for posting this, now that I’m in a newspaper desert I never manage to catch these gems….lucky we’ve got you to rely on eh? 😉 I bought her ‘How to be a Woman’ book for my niece’s 18th – in my opinion a fitting tome to go forth into the world with!


    • narf77
      Oct 08, 2013 @ 03:44:58

      I think it’s one of her books that I just requested from the library. I would like to think that she is related to the eminently sardonic Dylan Moran. She probably isn’t but I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of those family get togethers if she was ;). We antipodeans miss out unless we are wankers who pay exorbitant amounts to tuck expensive imported newspapers under our arms to impress our workmates and as Steve and I don’t HAVE workmates and don’t even bother with expensive ANYTHING I guess we are behind The Times (terrible pun entirely intended 😉 ). I love that I found her at 50. Seems like a fitting birthday year gift for a 50 year old woman to me 🙂


  15. Littlesundog
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 03:31:25

    Thank you, Fran. I will be passing this on to a few special nieces, nephews and young people I know. Refreshing, witty and full of “life” stuff!


    • narf77
      Oct 08, 2013 @ 03:50:44

      I love the way the English write, so well educated, so “twee” and so cutting right to the point and your heartstrings. I guess education IS worth it ;). Glad you liked it. I needed to share it because it was so well written and it really spoke to me. I have put her 2 books on hold at the local library. I figure they will be worth buttering my soul with 🙂


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