Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Without My Mum

Leigh Van Der Horst

A daughter's guide to grief, loss and reclaiming life


Perhaps the only thing that can impact and shape a woman's life with the same power as her mother's love and guidance is her mother's death. In 'Without My Mum', Leigh Van Der Horst shares her own honest, heartfelt story of losing her beloved mother to cancer in 2008. She invites us on a journey that is at times heartbreaking and others heartwarming, yet is ultimately comforting and inspiring. With genuine warmth and candor, Leigh tells of her transformative passage through devastating grief to rediscover and redefine her own identity.

The motherless mother's heart needs to know that she can and will move through grief to reclaim a fulfilling, grateful and loving life. 'Without My Mum' addresses this need by providing a definitive source of emotional and practical resources specifically for women dealing with the loss of their mother, including reflections on the current evidence-based grief literature by Dr Sarah Wayland, Grief and Trauma researcher.

Offering resounding reassurance that no motherless woman is ever alone, 'Without My Mum' provides a connective bond amongst readers, featuring stories of loss from women around the world as well as words of wisdom, revealing a village of support and delivering a comforting resource and much needed hope.


About the Author

Leigh Van Der Horst

Leigh Van Der Horst is a mother of four boys who lives at Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Leigh discovered a passion for writing when her beloved mother passed away from cancer.
Leigh believes that with a positive attitude, life can be a wonderful adventure and hopes to encourage others to live their best lives and believe in themselves.


Reader Reviews

“A wonderful book that captured my heart in the first few paragraphs. ‘Without My Mum’ is a moving account of a beautiful, close relationship between a mother and her treasured daughter as they are forced to say goodbye. Leigh’s candid, humorous and heartfelt narrative, together with a collection of stories and wisdom from others who have walked a similar path, are authentic, uniting and ultimately inspiring. It’s a laugh-out-loud, sob-a-little-uncontrollably kind of book that will resonate with any parent or carer. I adored it!’ 
- Jools Oliver

“I cant sing the praises of this gorgeous mum enough. The courage and inspiration to write such a beautiful book.. I am so thankful to be a part of it. For those who have lost their mum and are forging ahead as a mum on your own, this is truly a must have book.” – Natalie Bassingthwaighte

“Love is an understatement… It is being woven into my soul with each page I read. Thank you for your authenticity… Thank you for creating a space that honours grief and gives it the power to transform into gratitude. Thank you!!!” – Patrycja

“Every time I read your words, I find myself completely immersed.  I relate to your story.  I cry, I smile, I feel it take me back to the time my Mum was as ill as yours was.   It hurts sometimes…but its wonderful. Wonderful because it is so apparent that we are all the same. When we grieve we all hurt the same, we all feel lonely, we all miss our Mums and the love we shared.
You have done a marvelous thing Leigh.  Just imagine all your books…on coffee tables, by bedsides, in handbags, all being picked up and read over and over, all making someone feel a little better in their loneliness or grief”. – Julie

“I can’t put your book down. You have had me smiling and in tears. Thank you so much for sharing. My mum passed away 9 years ago and this is helping the healing process. I really appreciate it.  Thank you”. – Michelle

“I read more of your book today. I cried, and cried, and cried for your Mum and for you. After taking some deep breaths I snuck into my babes’ room to watch them sleep, then walked outside to feel the grass on my feet and the sun on my face. For the first time, in a long time, I stopped spinning in circles and found myself living in the moment. And I was grateful. Truly -with every fibre of my being- grateful. Thank you”. Rebecca

“I finally finished the book and words can’t describe how much comfort it brings me knowing that others think, feel and have thought the same as me. I’ve had so many people tell me I shouldn’t be feeling like this after 7 years and I have (and still do at times) felt so alone. THANK YOU for sharing your journey Leigh”. Fiona


In the Media

New Idea magazine
New Idea magazine

March 28, 2015 NEWS.COM.AU
What it’s like to be a motherless mother
Click here to view article.


The Age

April 18, 2015
How to overcome the utter grief of losing your mother.
Click here to view article.




without my Mum by Leigh Van Der Horst
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ISBN: 978-1-922565-00-6
Format: Paperback C 229mm x 152mm
Extent: 262 pages
RRP: $24.95 paperback / $USD7.99 ebook
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Bereavement--Healing
Distribution: -- out of print --