Terminally ill woman hosts her own wake before her death

Terminally-ill woman hosts her own wake before her death

Samanda Ford hosted her own wake so that she could party with her friends and family while she was alive. Image: Isabella Nikolic/SWNS.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Samanda Ford, who is dying of terminal cancer, hosted her own wake so that she could party with her friends while she was still alive.

Ms Ford, 58, was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2017 and even died and came back to life on the operating table.

According to her doctors she was supposed to die last month but she thanks her positivity and alternative medications for keeping her alive.

She said she hosted the wake because she did not want to “miss out” on partying with her friends.

Watch: Samanda Ford talking about her wake with Eamonn Holmes. 

Ms Ford told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “Everybody goes on about how bad it is when you have cancer but I have been very lucky. I have been positive and I have kept myself up beat.

“I think the positivity is helping me to stay here because from what the doctors said I ought to have been gone right now.

“I did decide because there are so many people you meet throughout your life and then you drift apart, people do tend to come to funerals and then wish they had seen people beforehand. I just thought ‘I want to party with them’ and so I thought I would hold my own wake and not miss out on partying with everybody.

“A lot of people thought that was a bit strange at first but it was just so lovely. It was absolutely great and I would say to everyone to do it. There were people I had not seen in years.”

Ms Ford said that all of her 60 guests had a great time at the wake and one couple even told her they were going to plan their own.

The most emotional part of the evening was when Samanda read through a notebook with messages from friends who had been at the wake.

She said: "I welled up at that, people were very kind."


'I have got a wicked sense of humour' 

Samanda believes that as long as she has the energy to carry on doing fun things she'll never stop making memories.

Samanda had the wake at her local pub in Beccles, Suffolk, and put up a post on Facebook inviting anybody who was interested.

Her decision to hold the wake on January 25, Burns Night, was a little inside joke.

She said: “We did it on Burns Night. I did have a twist because I will be cremated when I do go I thought it would put a funny twist to it if I had it on Burns Night.

“Sorry, I have got a really wicked sense of humour.”

The wake was held between 4pm-7pm because Samanda was mindful that not everybody would be able to get a whole day off from work.


'Another day to make memories' 

Samanda Ford who was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer inside hospital. Image: Isabella Nikolic/SWNS.

All three of Samanda's funeral songs were played on the night - Spirit in the Sky, Dont Stop Me Now and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

Samanda said her favourite moment of the wake was when her and her friends stood around the piano and sang along.

She said: “We actually forgot about the fact that it was a wake at all.”

Ms Ford joked that she might even host a ‘when will she ever go’ wake on Burns Night next year.

“[The doctors] have got to do a review on me to see where I am at and they are hoping to say to me that I have got another three to five years.

“Even if I stay as I am now, I am able to get out and do things so hopefully I will be able to do my ‘when will she ever go’ wake. We have got to keep it going.

“I feel very positive about it and I just hope that other people can see the little things that can keep you going. I wake up every morning and hear the bird sing and I think about how I have got another day to make memories.”