Saying Goodbye . . .

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Saying Goodbye . . .
By Leslie Sturgeon



Photo Courtesy of SweetShot Photography

On May 6th, my life forever changed. My Mom, Dianne Davis, passed away somewhat unexpectedly.

Many of you got to know my Mom over the years when she was much more active in Women Inspiring Women. Cancer took a toll on her the last few years and she wasn’t able to come to many events but she was instrumental in helping me launch the organization. She believed in me when others didn’t understand what I was trying to create and achieve. Like with all my other businesses since 1989, she pitched in wherever she was needed . . . all to help me save money on hiring people and to see me succeed. From collating event materials, to assembling gift bags, to giving me opinions on what outfits would be best for me to wear – she spent countless hours behind the scenes, sometimes in the middle of the night.

At events she would run the lending library and boutique or handle the registration desk. She sort of became the unofficial “mascot” for WIW and so many of you knew that she did not like pink, but praised her for “taking one for the team” by wearing something pink. You made her feel that her support of me translated into support of all of you and you touched her heart in ways I can’t even begin to express. You even got her to hoola hoop at our pool party! That is a vision I will not soon forget.

In the depths of my grieving, I once again found myself uplifted by all the support and love of my WIW family. Back in 2011 when Dad also died unexpectedly 12 hours before the NH Conference for Women, you embraced me in a way I have never experienced before. Being with 350 of the most caring women on the planet provided immeasurable comfort. And since Mom’s passing, I have received hundreds of calls, messages, gifts, cards and beautiful gestures. Not to mention so many of you who drove from NH, ME and MA to come to her celebration of life. I truly feel that I am the luckiest person – to not only have been loved by great parents but to be surrounded by all of you.

They say that you never really become an adult until both parents are gone.  I have been “test driving” this whole adulthood thing for a few weeks now, and it isn’t much fun but with my WIW gal pals, I know that I can navigate unchartered waters surrounded by the biggest support system. Thank you, my friends, for loving me through yet another personal struggle. I love and appreciate you.

To read Dianne’s obituary, click HERE.
To view a video tribute, click HERE.


Leslie Sturgeon is the founder of Women Inspiring Women and a lifelong entrepreneur. She embraces her imperfections while learning about herself and others, supporting the fabulous women in the WIW community, journeying through life with optimism, and laughing so hard she snorts or pees (sometimes both simultaneously).


  1. Lauren Shea says:

    Hi Leslie,

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Sending healing thoughts and love your way!

    Lauren Shea

  2. We lost our nephew unexpectedly on the same day. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. Let me know if you need ANYTHING!

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Carolanne, I am sending you a big hug. You clearly had a wonderful nephew (I could tell from reading the posts about him). And you let me know if you need anything – I am here for you 🙂

  3. nicole barreira says:




    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      OMG, Nik. That got me choked up. You know all too well the bond a daughter has with her mother and vice versa. I have so appreciated your love and support through all of these life challenges. And Great NH Restaurant’s contribution to the Lakes Region Visiting Nurse Service in honor of my Mom touched me deeply. Thank you! xoxoxxo

  4. Leslie, I always loved having your Mom at events, her smile & encouragement were lovely no matter the question or concern. She’s a founding member who will live on in all our hearts, although I think it’s funny that pink was her least favorite color. I encourage you to include photos of her as you make all your future collages, videos, etc … so we know she’s still with us in spirit!

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thank you, Tina. I appreciate your kind words and suggestion. You definitely go back a long time with my Mom in WIW! xoxoxo

  5. What a sweet tribute, Lesley. And you bless so many people with the WIW community. I’m not sure I ‘ll ever become fully adult even though my parents have been gone for 10 years now. Nor do I aspire to be. sending love and comforting memories. Sharon

  6. Donna Dutremble says:

    Yes indeed you were so LUCKY to have the help and companionship of your dedicated Mom!
    It is so very sad when we loose our Mom unexpectedly and suddenly you feel so lost and unfocused.
    WIW members were so privileged to have such a friendly and helpful person greet and inspire them at each of your meetings/events. Keep her memory alive by using your talents and the inspiration that she sparked in you. Remember she may not be “here” physically but she is looking down with love and so much pride, and will always be “with ” you. 🙏

  7. Patricia Mack says:

    Very sorry to hear about your mother’s passing, my heartfelt sympathy. From your writing it seems like your relationship with your Mom was very much like mine. My Mom was my best friend and constant supporter. She has been gone several years, not a day goes by that I do not think of her and sometimes talk to her. I am so sorry for the pain and the loss you are going through but know you will find comfort in all the wonderful times you had together and all the things you shared.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thank you so much! It does sound like we both have a lot in common with our Moms! Through the heartache, there is just pure gratitude for their love and guidance! Thank you for your kind words.

  8. Marilyn Bogue says:

    Leslie, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was a beautiful woman and I loved that she was there to tirelessly help you every step of the way with WIW. The bond and support between you was evident. Seeing a mom support her daughter like that always brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.
    Continue on and do her proud. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.
    With love and best wishes, Marilyn

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Marilyn!! I miss you. So great to hear from you. Thank you for taking time to write me a beautiful note. WIW was a whole new experience for her – so different than her life working for Dad or my brother. But the ladies made her feel so special. She worked her tail off for all of us and usually payment was a hug and a cup of coffee. Sometimes pizza! I hope all is well with you. xooxoxo

  9. That was beautiful, Leslie. My thoughts are with you.

  10. I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Sometimes you might absorb her energy and that is the one of the many uplifting and powerful (embracing) kinds of energy that you can honor. I know that you will find a way to celebrate your mother everyday. Best wishes on this journey.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thanks so much for your sweet note. I feel immense gratitude to have lived to be 49 and still have my Mom around. Always in my heart, now and forever. Thanks again 🙂

  11. Annette Ullrich says:

    Hello Leslie,
    Your Mom was such a bright light at the events that I attended, and touched me in a special way.
    Yes, we as daughters find ourselves alone suddenly but we will always have the beauty and love that our Mothers shared with us and formed us into the strong women that we have become. Hugs, Annette

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Annette!! So great to hear from you. It is definitely a surreal feeling when you lose your Mom. But they are always in our hearts and our thoughts. And what a blessing we were their daughters. xoxoxo

  12. Carolee Longley says:

    So so sorry to read this, about the passing of your Mom! I have met her before at events, she struck me as a kind upbeat lady with a great sense of humor. Thinking of you with love…

  13. Joan Fitzgerald says:

    There is nothing in heaven and earth like the relationship between mother and daughter. I grieve with you Leslie. Rest in Eternal Peace Mom.🕊

  14. Hi Leslie,
    This is my short prayer for all who are touched by others and grateful for time spent with them while they are with us. . . I pray that we all sense their presence as they continue to live with us when we share our memories of them
    I count with Spiritual Mathematics: Joy shared is multiplied! Grief shared is divided!

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thank you, Filomena. It meant so much to me that you took time to come to Mom’s celebration of life. I am very, very grateful to have wonderful friends in my life. Thank you 🙂

  15. Rhonda McMahon says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mother. I know how special that relationship is by my friendship with my Mom. Your memories will keep her alive in your heart. I am thinking of you.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thank you, Rhonda. There is nothing better than a mother-daughter bond. Hope to see you soon, my friend.

  16. Sharon King says:

    Hi Leslie,
    My condolences to you and your family. I never met your Mom but knowing the woman you are it easy to see that apple didn’t fall far from the tree! Cherish and hold on to the memories…that is her legacy.

  17. Debbie Rano says:

    HI Leslie,
    I want to offer my condolences to you and your family, and you are in my prayers. I have never met your Mom, but reading your wonderful tribute to her, it was a great relationship that you can Cherish forever.

  18. Cheryle joyce says:

    Leslie, Reading your tribute to your mom has made me even more grateful that I still have mine at 86. I know when she’s gone, I will be devasted by the loss of my best friend and our daily conversations. She lives in Fl, too, so the physical loss for you is so much greater. My heart goes out to you at this time. The family of women that you have cultivated here will certainly help you move forward but nobody can tell you how to or how long to grieve and your Inspiring Women friends will allow you as much time as you need. Hugs to you. Hang in there and don’t hesitate to ask for hugs and help when needed.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Cheryle, thank you so very much for your kind words. Isn’t it a blessing to be our ages and still have our Moms? Mom lost her parents in her early 20’s so I never took all these years for granted – just appreciated the time we had together. You are absolutely right about the WIW family – you all “get it” and provide so much love, support and understanding. Hugs and love, Me

  19. Heidi Page says:

    Heartfelt condolences to you, Leslie. You have joined a new “club”that none of us wanted to join – the “Motherless Daughters.” This term conveys the paradigm, but I dislike it. We are not motherless – we are daughters carrying the torch our Moms primed us to carry, the torch of women’s wisdom. We felt stronger when our Mom was carrying that torch for us and with us, leaving us free to grow and explore, to feel secure and make mistakes. Now, you will be able to conjure up what Mom would have said or done from all your experience with her. You have been sharing your wisdom with woman for a long time. I hope you feel solace in the in the fact your Mom was here to see you shine!

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Hey my beautiful friend – I think of you often and am so grateful to hear from you. I do occasionally think of my future and all that is in store – and what I will miss sharing with Mom. But then I remind myself that it was my mother’s love and support that led me to where I am today and made me become the person I am . . . and she helped to form a foundation that will take me further along my journey. So for that I have to be grateful and not sad. And I count my blessings each and every day for a community of women, like yourself, who understand. We are all in this together and thank you for the gift of your friendship.

  20. Sandy Kuhn says:

    Hi Leslie – I am so sorry for your loss. If you need anything, even just to talk, do not hesitate to call. What a wonderful tribute you have made to your mother.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Thank you dear Sandy. I’m feeling so blessed and grateful for everyone’s support and friendship. Thank you!!

  21. Bonnie St.Pierre says:


    Because of FB, I was aware of your mom’s passing, and expressed my sorrow at your loss.
    I have only now had a chance to read this, as a recent returning member to WIW, and I’d like to say that what you wrote here is lovely.

    Your mother will always be with you, the new “adult without parents” you (I’m in that club sadly, too), because she was and is so much a part of you, who you’ve become, and what you’ve built. You will see her influence everywhere, her support, her love.

    That is the blessing that remains when we can’t sit and talk with them face-to-face any more. Those of us fortunate to have had amazing parents mourn them deeply when they are taken from us, but isn’t it also wonderful that they live on through the memories they created while they were here.

    • Leslie Sturgeon says:

      Hi Bonnie – thank you so very much for your kind words. I agree with you completely that we are so fortunate. xoxoxo


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