Today is the worst day of my year, the day I spend firmly rooted in the past, wishing with all my strength that I could change things.
For me, the 7th July will always be the 7th July 1998, the day before my Mum died. I was 16 and happy, I'd just finished my GCSE exams, had my leaver's prom and was looking forward to a long summer stretching ahead of me. The thought of losing someone I knew, let alone losing a parent simply wasn't on my radar. Of course I knew that there would come a time when my loved ones would die but I'd be older and more able to deal with it, right?Wrong.
I look back and can't help thinking about what I might have done differently had I known that she'd be gone the next day. In the weeks and months following her death I was suddenly consumed by questions I felt I needed answers to, about her childhood, my childhood, her hopes and dreams and even practicalities such as her medical history. Family and her friends have tried to fill in some of the gaps but it will never be the same as being able to sit down with her over a cuppa.
I need to realise that it's not 1998, I'm not that 16 year old girl anymore and I can't change the past, no matter how much I wish I could. Instead I have to face up to being 28 and living without my Mum, something incredible painful even 12 years later.