Social commentator Celia Lashlie has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, her family revealed in a statement today.

Her website carries a statement that, due to illness, she is no longer available to speak or respond to emails.

The author of He’ll be Okay: growing gorgeous boys into good men and former manager of Christchurch Women’s Prison was hospitalised after Christmas and a scan revealed pancreatic cancer. In a statement her family said her condition has deteriorated significantly in the last six weeks.

Good ones go too soon. ? My best wishes to her and her family for a peaceful and dignified time together.

I visited one of her talks a while ago, and in my opinion her life lessons should be mandatory reading for anyone facing the task of raising boys.

Here is her statement:

The seductive nature of the modern world allows us as human beings to believe we are in charge. In today?s world we think we are in charge. Technological advances and intellectual knowledge we continue to acclaim, leaves us with the sense that we are in control and that there is enough time to achieve what it is we want to achieve.

We become complacent about the need to take care of ourselves? always something more to do. Some of this is driven by our desire to save the world, others driven by the desire we have to reach the many goals we have set ourselves – many of them superficial.

The simple reality is that we are not in charge and that moment of realisation comes to us when we learn of the fragility of the human spirit. For some, that lesson comes unexpectedly and hard.

Late last year I slowly became unwell. The stress of the lifestyle I was living, the demands I made of myself, the demands other people made of me and expected to meet became too great and as 2014 closed I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to my liver. No treatment, no cure, only palliative care. I?d waited too long to look after myself and my body broke.

To say that it was and is a shock is a major understatement. and as I look at the amazing family and group of friends I?m surrounded with as I now travel a different journey warms my heart. At the same time, there are feelings of trepidation about what lies ahead.

I?m now focused on the moments of magic that are appearing in front of me: The laughter of my grandchildren; a smile of a friend attempting to walk this journey with me and the pure beauty and strength of my adult children as they battle their anger, grief and sadness at what is happening to their beloved mother.

It?s time to leave the work to others now.

My wish is that others will learn to stop before I did, to take into account the limitations of their physical bodies and to take the time to listen to the yearnings of their soul. It is in the taking care of ourselves we learn the ability to take care of others.

?When we walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen :

There will be something solid for you to stand on, or, you will be taught to fly.?

?Faith? by Patrick Overton – ?The Leaning Tree?

Celia is a legend. ?She will leave a large hole.

In her final days, she’s still asking us to stop, listen, and learn from her.


– Mark Mitchell, NZ Herald