Earlier this year, Sara Chivers learned that the brain cancer she has long suffered is now terminal, so the mom of two wrote a moving goodbye letter to the boys she’s going to leave behind.
“I won’t be around to see you grow up,” Chivers, 34, writes to 3-year-old Hugh and 18-month-old Alfie in the letter originally published on The New Daily in Australia. “It’s a hard thing to say and even harder to face.”
Chivers, of Melbourne, Australia, beat brain cancer back in 2008, but the illness returned in March with Chivers suffering three tumors, Daily reports. She was undergoing treatment on one of the tumors when she and her husband, Leigh, learned that Alfie has brain cancer, though doctors don’t believe there is a genetic connection between their two diagnoses.
“We were in a state of disbelief,” Chivers tells PEOPLE of the moments she and Leigh learned about their son’s condition. “It wasn’t even on the scale of our worst fears; it was an inconceivable situation.”
In her letter, Chivers encourages her children to be brave, “love hard” and “be kind to your dad.”
“You will have to hear from others the little things that made me me: my perfume of choice is Michael Kors, my favorite meal is spaghetti bolognese, winter is my preferred season. I wish I was a better cook. I’m a keeper of mementos – tiny hospital name tags, the poem Leigh wrote for my 21st birthday, first baby clothes,” she writes.