Skip to content
December 30, 2017 / Billy Boyle


It has been three years since Kate died. Her Mother, Jean, has written an article for the Guardian “‘There will be an afterwards’: how a mother prepared her sons for her death” and a book called “Afterwards“.


Leave a Comment
  1. William Pike / Dec 30 2017 10:00 am

    Dear Billy Thank you so very much for sending me this email I don’t normally take the Guardian but I have just been out to buy a copy so that I can read the article by Kate’s mum And I so look forward to reading her book “Afterwards” Do you still take the boys to the Crib Service at Trinity on Christmas Eve? Sadly I couldn’t go this year Kate would have been/is so very proud of you – looking after the boys and being so successful with Owlstone

    My wife died 4 years ago – we had been married for 62 years – and I so want there to be an “after-life” where we shall meet up again when I die but as a scientist I want proof………… But here’s hoping……. My very best wishes to you all for a very happy New Year…and continued success with Owlstone Tony

  2. Tony Pike / Dec 30 2017 10:05 am

    I do so want there to be an “after-life” where we shall all meet up again with our loved ones but as a scientist sadly I need proof ……………..
    However I live in hope……………..

  3. alexbicknell / Dec 30 2017 10:18 am

    Found this courtesy of the Guardian. Wow. What amazing, frank, insightful stuff.

    I received my own incurable diagnosis in 2012, though no one knows how long it will take to play out. My kids, like Kate and Billy’s, are far too young to deserve to go through this.

    I hope I can retain the dignity and clearheaded pragmatism expressed here.

    Thank you so much for writing it.

    • Jean Gross / Jan 14 2018 6:55 pm

      Lets hope it takes a long long time to play out. Thabk you for leaving a comment. We reallly apppreciate it aand will be thinking about you Jean Gross

  4. Katherine Beevers / Dec 30 2017 11:58 am

    So lovely to read this Jean and hear how Isaac and Oscar are doing. Thank you for the update. I had a heavy heart thinking about Kate on Christmas Day. She is still painfully missed.

    • Jean Gross / Jan 14 2018 6:57 pm

      Hello Kat It’s very good to hear from you . And always to know that Kate is still missed. Hope all is well with you and the children Jean x

  5. Serah / Dec 30 2017 2:40 pm

    Thank you for sharing that Billy. I saw the email pop in my inbox after three years and I got a rush of Kate’s memory. So glad Oscar and Isaac are doing well. I hope you are too.

  6. Sue / Dec 31 2017 4:17 pm

    Reading the links you sent and in particular Jean’s ‘Afterwards’ have helped me enormously. My own son has terminal cancer and has been told he has ‘months’ to live – whatever that means. He lives abroad so we are not as involved as Jean was to him, his wife and children of 9 and 6. However we are going to visit the family next week and reading these pages has enabled me to think more clearly as to how to deal with the whole ghastly situation in a more positive way. Thank you Jean and to Billy for forwarding the link.

    • Jean Gross / Jan 14 2018 7:00 pm

      Sue I hope your trip went well. My thoughts are with you – it is a hard hard thing to face losing your son. Thank you very much for leaving a comment All best wishes Jean Gross

  7. Margaret Chung / Dec 31 2017 5:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing and thinking of Kate

  8. Shelley Gilbert / Dec 31 2017 10:08 pm

    Dear Billy and Jean
    Youre just amazing examples of the importance of the afterwards and afterwords; Jean you write so eloquently and poetically-most of us as prematurely bereaved people cannot find the words or language, nor the bravery to continue the conversations.
    I’m about to embark on a project you may be interested in; please contact me if you so wish at…My best wishes
    Dr Shelley Gilbert, President Grief Encounter.

  9. Gill / Jan 4 2018 9:00 am

    Very beautifully written by you Mrs Gross, I had often wondered how the boys were doing since Kate’s passing. I read her lovely book and was very touched by her life. Brilliant to know how the boys are developing and are surrounded by love.

  10. Tara / Feb 9 2018 1:29 am

    Thank you for your thoughtful contribution to the blog, Jean. When I received my terminal breast cancer diagnosis in 2015 at the age of 32, Kate’s book was a great comfort to me. I still read it every so often. It was lovely to read an update on the lives of those close to her.

    • Tara / Feb 9 2018 1:32 am

      And your Guardian article ‘Farewell to my daughter, Kate’ is one of the most moving things I’ve ever read.

    • William Pike / Feb 9 2018 4:34 am

      Kate was obviously a highly intelligent and caring lady. In Billy she had found the perfect husband and she would have been so proud of Billy and her parents for the way they are bringing up Isaac and Oscar. A wonderful family whose hearts have been broken but who are showing all of us their indomitable spirit. May God bless them all.

  11. Felicia Brown / Nov 26 2018 8:34 pm

    Jean, your article about your daughter inspired me to write something for my own book, Sunflower Wisdom, which I would love to share with you. It is available on Amazon, but I can also send you a digital or printed copy if you can tell me how and where. Thank you!

  12. Dwysan Rowena / Mar 31 2019 8:15 am

    I wrote my blog today referencing this book. It resonated with me so much. I lost my daughter six years ago. Everyone says I should put my blogs into a book but where to start?

    Thinking of you all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: