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Cancer and other stuff

Dear Friends…

Peacefully and surrounded by those that love her, Francesca died today. As with everything Fran did in her life, it was planned and coordinated and entirely on her own terms.

The sadness we feel should only be for those of us left behind, that we are without her smile, her spark and her strength. She’d hate us feeling sorrow for her. Readers of this blog will know that Fran wasn’t a tragic victim. Cancer didn’t ‘beat’ Fran. She didn’t lose her ‘sad battle’. She set her shoulders and lived a life despite it. She packed her years full of adventure and love and made every day count.

What being ill gave Fran was a sense of immediacy. She stripped away everything that wasn’t true or important from her day to day and concentrated on what was authentic to her. “One plea to everyone” she said, “live an honest life. Denial only gets you so far. I made choices so that I could find Andy and luckily I did find him, but only because I was honest about how I felt.”

Fran sent an email to some of her best friends earlier this month. “Live on, be fabulous and gorgeous and never ever let anyone tell you you can’t do anything you want to do, ever. It is all there for you and I will be watching from afar, willing you on”.

Please leave any memories or messages for Andy and Fran’s family below, or email Bethm@lansons.com for a postal address and to register for memorial details. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the incredible Marie Curie hospice in Hampstead, who made her last days exactly what she wanted. You can also donate online here: www.justgiving.com/francescamarvell

Love to all,
Beth

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72 thoughts on “Dear Friends…

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  1. Carol on said:

    Fran left us all with a recipe ” for living”. What a wonderful legacy.

  2. I had the pleasure of briefly working with Fran many years ago and still to today, my memory of her was that of a fun, smiling, vivacious young lady who couldn’t help but make people feel good about life. I was deeply saddened to hear the news of her passing but like everyone who met her I feel incredibly privileged to have known her, albeit for a small amount of time.

    My thoughts are with you all.

  3. chris on said:

    So sorry we never got to say goodbye. You will always be in our thoughts. Lots of love xx

  4. Lucy Pope on said:

    So sorry, what sad news. But glad she’s with the stars now.
    Lots of love, Lucy

  5. Sylvia Herbert on said:

    So sorry to hear this sad news. Sincere condolences to Andy and all Fran’s family. I’ve only followed Fran on Twitter, read her blog and exchanged messages with her but she was an inspirational person.

  6. Sarah on said:

    Andy
    Paying any sort of tribute to your wife is almost impossible. The way she faced life and all the difficulties it threw at her, we’re faced with utter grace and courage. The word we know she all hated to be used about her, just rings out again and again.
    A truly remarkable, funny, clever, opinionated and magnetic woman, the world lost a special person this week, but none more so than you.
    Thinking of you and Fran’s family and hoping when you find the right time, you can enjoy a cuppa from that lovely Corrie mug I gave her (she did tell me that you had had an unfortunate accident with it a few months back but I’m assuming such a treasure was repaired?!) and reflect on such a wonderful girl.
    Fabulous memories of a fabulous character.
    Sarah, Tim and Daisy xxx

  7. Nicole on said:

    I only have memories of Francesca through school many,many years ago now! I can honestly say I still remember her being vibrant,good fun and she always had a smile on her face. It becomes obvious when reading her blog that despite everything,she was extremely happy and proud of her family and friends! To love and loose such a special person so close to you is heartbreaking. May her strength within you help to keep you strong!

  8. Viv Wilson on said:

    I am another stranger reading Fran’s blog, but wow, what an awesome lady. She grabbed her life with both hands and I’m sure she will live an enormous gap in her friends and family’s lives. I wish you peace and send you love. Viv xxx

  9. Knowing the right words to use was always one of Fran’s strengths. That’s what made her a great PR expert, and why so many have found her blog such a compelling and powerful read. What’s happened in the last 4 years may have ultimately taken that life away, but it also made her one hell of an amazing woman. She developed strength, courage, humour and dignity, that knew no bounds.

    I’m so grateful I got to spend time with her and her family in the hospice this last week – special times i’ll cherish forever. But most of all I’m glad to be part of fran’s ‘unofficial’ family ‘Team Woodstock’ or ‘#TeamMarvell’. Some of the girls I knew before, and some I’ve met along the way, but we’ve all become so close, we support each other unconditionally and they mean the world to me.

    So thank you Fran. Thanks for them. But most of all, thank you for a decade of friendship, love and laughter. You’ve been my colleague, my neighbour, my partner in crime in the pub, my team mate on the netball court, you even found me my husband and read at our wedding. I will cherish every single moment we shared forever.

    So goodbye for now. I know you’ll be keeping a close eye on us all, and in return, we’ll look after each other and your family, and of course, Andy.

    And now, as promised, we will get on with sending you off in style. No tears, no black, just bright coloured shoes xx

  10. I met Fran at a BCC day on 27th March 2012 and she had a profound effect on me personally. In fact I handed my notice in the very next day, it was a culmination of factors but Fran helped me realise what was important to me. I followed her on twitter and her blog following that meeting and always had a smile at her comments and thoughts. I hope I can share some of her strength with my sister who found out last week she has breast cancer.
    Her family and friends know what an important person she was but I hope those people know that she touched a lot of people who did not know her personally.
    Love and thoughts go to all her family, friends and especially Andy.
    Every time I have a packet of pickled onion Space Raiders I will think of her
    Mel x

  11. Fondly thinking of Fran, who I only knew through reading her fabulous blog. It certainly sounds like she “did it right at the end” as she so wanted to. My thoughts are with her family, friends and of course her husband Andy, who from everything she wrote here on her blog, could not have made her happier. Sweet dreams gorgeous girl xxx

  12. I also never met Fran, but followed her on Twitter and read her blog. She seemed like an amazing woman who lived a triumphant life in spite of all. Her example gives me a kick up the arse and inspiration to go out and do the things I believe in without doubting myself. Thank you Fran for a life well lived and a death faced with honesty. Condolences on such a huge loss to friends and family.
    Becky

  13. We will miss Francesca so much at Unity. What an incredible person. Lucky to have known her.

  14. Gigs n wigs n blue suede shoes. Fran smiled and the world smiled with her. I knew her in Cardiff where we learnt some stuff about PR but mostly listened to bands,laughed, blagged our way into the men’s changing rooms at the millennium stadium amongst other sillies.
    he was stunning, motivated, dedicated, lively, honest and fun. I didn’t have the privilege of meeting Andy, but I’m so sorry for your loss. She is a bright star in the sky.love always.

    • Nigel , North Wales on said:

      So very sorry to hear the sad news, only got to know Fran after reading her story on a blog and it went from there.
      Awful time for all and words are of little use here.
      Thinking of all those close to her.
      Love from her native North Wales

  15. Peter Coats on said:

    Dear Fran, I was only lucky enough to know you online, but what a trail of digital stardust you have left us all. My sadness in your passing is lessened by the knowing that you’ve now returned to the Great Love, which is within us and around us, and from which we all come, and to which we all return in unity.

    Thank you for sharing your ruby sparkle, which will continue to illuminate my own journey home. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Andy, your family and friends x

  16. Lisa Glynn on said:

    Andy, I would like to pass on my condolences to you and of course Fran’s family. I only knew Fran through my sister Laura Wood, but what I saw was a lovely, kind and caring lady. You are in our thoughts and we are sending love to you. Lisa, Andy, Oriarna and Dan x

  17. I’ve reread this blog from start to finish since Fran died. Her writing, since early feb (?) when she knew her time was limited, is especially beautiful. I wish it were possible for all people facing an earlier than expected death could face it in he way Fran felt, come to terms with it the way Fran did.
    Can we make some of the entries available to ALL terminally ill people in some way? Especially those who, like Fran, are going so much earlier than they should?

  18. Sara Flynn on said:

    My sister died aged 35, 20 months ago of triple negative breast cancer. She met Francesca and was so glad she did as obviously they knew how each other felt. Emma had 21 months after diagnosis and we too saw such bravery and smiles to the end. Hope they are now chatting again. To two brave ladies 🌾

  19. Sheila Smith Prestatyn on said:

    Fran you have given inspiration to cancer sufferers , rest in peace love. Have great memories from your younger days in primary school you were a brilliant goal shooter for the netball team , and also where part of a welsh recitation group to win at the national eisteddfod in south wales along side my daughter in both . My thoughts are with your husband Andy and all your family xxxxx.

    Sheila Smith North Wales

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