Celebrating Lisa Simpson

Celebrate A Life Stories

Celebrating Lisa Simpson

Lisa and I met in 2001. We sat beside each other at a baby group at the health unit with our babes on our laps. During introductions, we realized that my eldest and her son, Adam, were born on the same day at Victoria General. A friendship was born.

Motherhood was our first bond and we connected with many other new moms during that period- attending La Leche Meetings, chaotic lunches out with babies, or coffee at each other’s homes. We saw each other regularly and then we both returned to work- connecting by email, birthdays, and playdates.

Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer when Adam was still wee. Thankfully, her treatment was successful and prompted her to begin advocacy and awareness work for younger women with breast cancer. I was in awe of Lisa.

Lisa was a connector- she knew EVERYONE. We discovered common friends and she introduced me to people that I continue to love to this day. I was very happy that we reconnected in 2010 and enjoyed trips, pizza, and wine in the backyard.

In October 2010, she told me, after I got back from a family vacation, that her cancer had recurred. She had metastatic breast cancer as a 45-year-old woman and mother. Quickly a strong group of friends gathered around Lisa. Some joined her medical appointments. Some cut her lawn. Some walked the dog. Some brought wine and treats.

In June 2011, Lisa hosted a party in a hotel suite downtown. It was the most memorable gathering I have ever attended. There was food, drink, and we gathered in a huge circle to share something we loved about Lisa. She was bald and swollen from chemotherapy, but she was beautiful and beaming. We all got our love on that evening- magical.

Gradually, Lisa’s health declined and our visits became more organized, with shifts to stay with her overnight, bring meals, drive to appointments, etc. Home care, hospitalizations and an admission to Victoria Hospice were part of the journey. The Hospice staff were absolutely amazed by the number of visitors that Lisa received. We eventually had to limit and coordinate visits to not overwhelm Hospice or Lisa- but she always wanted people to be with her- connecting to the end.

Lisa died February 29, 2012 in Victoria Hospice with her dad and a friend with her. She was so peaceful and supported- by friends, family, and Victoria Hospice. We joked that she died on the Leap Year so we only could mourn her once every 4 years- cheeky, just her style.

I love you Lisa. We love you Lisa. We miss you.

From Lisa’s friend, Allison Patterson