A Lovely Life


A Lovely Life

Rachel passed away on 21 December 2012.

There is a quote that Rachel loved:

“Our lives are like precious stones mined from the ground.  Whether we let life’s experiences crush us, or polish us, depends on what we are made of.”

Rachel shone brighter than any diamond.

Through her love and friendship she gifted us her passion, humour, caring, creativity, strength and loyalty.

Rachel was Sienna’s and my best friend.  We will miss her every day and will always be grateful for all she gave us.


Celebrating a Lovely Life

We will be holding a celebration of Rachel’s life soon and I will advise details.

For those of you who are thinking of sending flowers, our wish is that instead you make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation at http://www.breastcancerfundraising.org.au/personalPage.aspx?SID=196272&LangPref=en-CA


Growing up Mummy

Rachel’s greatest wish is that Sienna grows up knowing about her mum.

Over the last couple of years Rachel has created and written a beautiful book “Growing up Mummy” for Sienna. It tells the story of Rachel’s life through her own words, art and creativity.  It will bring to life Sienna’s precious memories and help her to answer questions she could only ask of Rachel.

I promised Rachel that I would add another chapter to her book and I would like all of her friends to help me.

As Sienna grows older, I want her to know how many people loved her mum and to know the family, friendships, experiences and events that made her such a beautiful person.

In a quiet moment, today, tomorrow or very soon can you please take time to make a precious memory for Sienna?  It can be a small paragraph, a long letter, a long forgotten photo – anything that is a window for Sienna to see Rachel through.

I have created a special email address that you can send it to or to request mailing details: AmemoryforSienna@bigpond.com.


Besty Troops

Rachel could not have been more privileged than to be loved by her Besty Troops.  There was magic in the way Rachel created friendships with everyone but none more so than the Besties.  These were friendships from all the different phases of her life that grew with her and shared her life.  With all of my heart, I thank them for all they gave Rachel.

Gary xx

13 thoughts on “A Lovely Life”

  1. Dear Gary and Sienna, I didn’t know Rachel but knew about her, through Lisa and through joining the Pink Lady Art Committee a few years ago. I read her blog, and through her words, easily recognised a soul full of life, love and joy. I am so so sorry that she is gone. I looked up to the stars last night, on Lisa’s request, and thought about her and about you both.

    With love

    Jane Dando

  2. To dear Gary & Sienna,

    My deepest sympathy goes out to you both at this very sad time.

    Rachel was such a beautiful person, inside & out, & will always be remembered fondly by those who knew & loved her. She was a very special friend of my Sister Cathy’s & I have loved reading her blogs, laughing & crying with her along the way. Her life was “still a lovely” one because of her very special Brave Man & her Fairy & I know that she will live on in your hearts forever.

    The only comfort we can take from her passing, is that she can rest peacefully now without any of the terrible pain she endured for so long. I wish you both much love & strength, & a future of happy times together, with your precious Rachel watching over & taking care of you always. She will definitely be the most beautiful & brightest star in the sky.

    Sarah Taylor

  3. There are so many clear and sparkly stars in the sky where I live away from the city lights – perhaps she is one of them. Thankyou for sharing. Love to you both. Remember the good bits along with the sad bits. Xxxx

  4. Gary and Sienna, I’m so sorry for your loss of Rachel, she truly was one in a million.

    I am so grateful that I had her there to share in my cancer journey many years ago. She gave me strength when I needed it most, even though she was doing it much tougher than I ever was. She inspired me then and has continued to inspire me through her beautiful writing.

    Sienna now has the brightest star in the sky watching over her.

    Sleep peacefully Rach.

    All my love, Danielle Ford

  5. I was privileged enough to know Rachel for a short time. I have never met a more open and courageous women than she. She touched my heart every time I saw her – arms always open for a hug. My family was touched by cancer this year and even through Rachel’s own battles she would always stop and ask how my brother was doing – she never even met him, but her thoughts were always with him. To her ‘brave man’, you are an inspiration to mankind and I am honored that you are one of our very good friends. You could not have given Rachel anymore love and support throughout her illness. To Rachel’s little ‘fairy princess’ Sienna, your mummy’s spirit will always be inside you, she loved you more than words could say. I will miss you my dear friend. May you now rest in peace xxxxx

  6. I will miss my Sunday’s with Rach. I will always remember our precious 3 years of nurturing (massage), laughing and telling funny stories. She was so much fun. Dee xx

  7. The first time I met Rachel was when Mia and Sienna were in reception. I will always remember the tender caring, genuine interest and love she showed Mia and other children. There was and will always be only one Rachel West. Rachel had so much strength in which I believe was there due to the support you, Gary and Sienna gave her. Everything Rachel did came with perfection. Even creating a beautiful family. My thoughts and heart are with you Gary and Sienna.

    With Love Always,


    Dear Gary,

    I didn’t know Rachel personally but have followed her incredible journey through the blog (I am friends with Narelle on FB).
    I am deeply saddened by what I have just read…tears are rolling down my face as I type.
    You have been an amazing husband and dad through one of life’s toughest journeys – you are just beautiful.
    Because of Rachel I never take my time with our precious children for granted, because of Rachel I appreciate my life, home and our family.
    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss and hope that Sienna will treasure and remain close to all that Rachel taught her and left for her.
    Life isn’t fair ….but you have a divine little girl to be strong for now.
    Lean on family and the besties, they will get you through…. You need never forget the strength and determination that Rachel taught us all.
    So sad for you both.
    Sending you strength and a massive hug,

  9. Dear Gary and sienna and jan and bob our love and thoughts are with you at this challenging time. Whilst we never actually knew Rachel we know her beautiful parents and also have felt privileged to share her courageous journey through her blog. Her blog is a testimony to her wit and humor and to her courage and tremendous love for Gary and sienna and her family and besty troops. Rachel will undoubtedly be one of the most brilliant stars and always shine her love and strength on to her greatest loves Gary sienna and to her wonderful folks bob and jan. we are also thinking of all of her besty troops at this time.May rachels love and memories keep you all strong. Rest peacefully Rachel! Michael and Caroline Lawrey

  10. Gary and Sienna-

    I discovered your Rachel through Rachel Devine, and wanted you to know that all the way on the other side of the world (Maine in the United States of America), I am shedding some tears for your loss and sending hugs your way. Rachel’s amazing personality and lie shone through her writing and photos, and it was completely evident that she lived for the two of you. I am so incredibly sorry to hear that she succumbed to cancer, most particularly for Sienna who only got 8 years with her mum. She was amazing!!


  11. To be honest, I don’t know how I came across Rachel’s blog. I am from Iowa in the US. I’ve read her story for quite some time. It really touched me. It made me smile and made me cry and made me fall in love with your family. I admire the strength you share and I am so happy you have such lovely memories to keep that love growing. I was very touched when I heard the sad news and feel as though I lost a friend. Know that prayers are coming your way from a town in Iowa. I also will be peeking up at those twinkling stars and smile as I think of her message to her family.

  12. I also can’t remember how I initially found this blog, but I kept coming back. I’m in British Columbia, Canada.

    Despite, or perhaps because of the subject matter, this blog was a source of inspiration to me – Rachel with her strength of spirit, and the photos and descriptions of a life fully lived and a life full of love. I always came away from reading this blog with such a profound sense of joy, and appreciation that it is truly a lovely life. I’m am saddened that this life has ended, but so grateful to have stumbled upon it.

    Gary and Sienna, I wish you comfort, in each other, and with your respective and shared bestie troops. What an amazing adventure to have shared, and created life with Rachel. My thoughts are with you in this challenging time.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top