April 21, 2017


Leigh Van Der Horst, a Melbourne mum of 4, lost her beloved mother to cancer in 2008. Then a 32 year old mother to 3 young boys, Leigh felt as though her world had fallen apart. She is opening up since Prince Harry recently shared his heartbreak at losing his mum, Princess Diana.

After picking up the pieces and completely re-building who she was, Leigh set about creating a best selling book called ‘Without My Mum’ for others who had experienced a similar loss in the hope that they would not feel alone in their grief.


Leigh now a qualified Nurse, runs a private Facebook group for Motherless Women, offering a safe space to grieve and be supported whilst supporting others.

Leigh hopes that by helping women worldwide, they can begin to believe in themselves and to live their best lives.

Leigh wrote a touching piece “Prince Harry is my hero….” after he recently spoke out about his own grief at losing his mum Princess Diana.

It was with watery eyes and such pride that I recently listened to Prince Harry speak of his experience with grief. I can relate to it so much, as I am sure many would. I know that feeling of hatred towards the world. Feeling so let down by the way life works… I know all too well responding to people when they asked how I was, simply that word “fine”. In fact I am positive it was one of the last words my mother used before her passing. As I have grown beyond her death I have realised that I no longer have to say that I am fine. Yes, to the cashier, I do, let’s be honest, he or she really doesn’t want to know what’s going on in my world, but with those that I love and trust, I am completely honest. Why not? If they can’t handle a relationship that involves a mixture of emotions then it’s not really helping me is it?

There is no shame in honesty. Look for the people in your life who can handle your honesty. Open yourself up to people who you can trust with your emotions and feelings. Let the wall down, even just a little. Once you are honest with yourself and others, you can really begin to heal and open your heart to a much happier life. I do speak purely from my own experience of grief. I never claim to speak for everyone and I am more than aware that we are all very different but I do know sadness and I do know exhaustion and I do know depression and I do know pressure and I do know anxiety and I do know self-loathing and I do know doubt and I do know frustration and I do know failure. But I also thankfully do know about life lessons and I do know about medication and I do know about unconditional love and I do know about friendship and I do know about trust and I do know about listening and I do know about acceptance and I do know about relating and finally, thankfully, I do know about believing in myself…

If you are feeling heavy waves of sadness and defeat and you just can’t seem to lift yourself out of the darkness, take the chance and share about it with a person you can trust. Seek out advice, however that may look to you. Visit your Doctor, Naturopath, Healer, Shaman, Yoga Teacher, best friend… Whoever you trust… One of the main reasons I created my private Facebook group for women who have lost their mothers was to offer a space to relate, therefore not feel alone in the sadness and pain… Take that first brave step and ask for help. There is NO shame in it. You do deserve to live a happy and hopeful life. One that see’s you wake in the morning feeling excited about what the day might bring, not frightened…

I say this because I have been in the dark spaces. But I have also come out. And I am so grateful to be in a much more peaceful state of existence. I know life is not perfect but it is nice to enjoy it. It’s worth a shot… Right? x

Prince Harry opens up

Prince Harry has revealed that he sought counselling after enduring two years of “total chaos” while still struggling in his late twenties to come to terms with the death of his mother.

The Prince says in an interview with The Telegraph that he “shut down all his emotions” for almost two decades after losing his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, despite his brother, Prince William, trying to persuade him to seek help.

Disclosing that he has spoken to a professional about his mental health, he describes how he only began to address his grief when he was 28 after feeling “on the verge of punching someone” and facing anxiety during royal engagements.

This post originally appeared on Leigh V Loves and has been shared with full permission.

Read more from Leigh on her blog.

OR on Facebook here.

Share your comments below.

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  • it is something that we all go through and there is definately no shame in seeking help or just an ear.


  • He spoke to help others – it seems to be working.


  • Maybe Prince Harry speaking out his problem will inspire others to seek help. Too many struggle to come to terms with the same or similar situation and don’t seek help. It may not be the Mum but a Mother-in-Law that a Mum is very close to.


  • The loss of a loved one can certainly mess up our feelings and emotions. So important to share indeed. Good to see Prince Harry setting an example and opening about this.


  • Grief is such a personal, individual emotion. A true roller-coaster that can hit you in waves and turn you upside down. It is wonderful to see powerful people like Prince Harry starting the conversations and lifting the veil of taboo topics. It sounds like his actions have inspired Leigh to talk about her own journey, and in turn help countless others. A simple question, “Are you OK”, can put light in the darkness to so many, without anyone even realising it.


  • I think this could be a very useful tool for many people who have lost their mum ( it might even apply to loosing a dad) – so many people go through this as some stage in their life, that trying to make sense of it all can be so overwhelming – knowing that there is someone else who has felt like you and has come out the other side of the grief is a great comfort


  • This is a bit of a non-story.


  • I’m sure Leigh has helped other people through her facebook group.


  • The new generation of royals are to be commended for their openness and honesty. Diana did such a wonderful job with the short time she had with her boys, they are a credit to her


  • Sharing grief is so important for everyone and it does help. Prince Harry seems to be such an inspiring young man.

    • I will investigate Leigh’s book – certainly worth the time to look at it and read it.


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