My mum was just 20 when she died in 2008 from a brain aneurysm.
I was born in 1990.
I’ve been living in her memory since then.
I grew up in her home town of Southport, West Yorkshire.
She was always talking about her work.
She wanted to make sure everyone knew what she was doing, she said.
I started as a junior engineer, I was a junior nurse, I worked in hospitals, and when I got to work at the end of her life, my mum said I would have to be her nurse because I had a good memory.
But I’ve learned to be independent.
She said she was always worried about me.
She had dementia and my mum would talk to me and tell me to be careful.
She would say: “Don’t let it happen to you”.
Then she’d ask: “Is there a way I can help you?”
I thought it was the end.
But she said: “If you’re not going to do anything, then I’m going to have to.”
So I went out and did something.
I made my own cup of tea, I picked up the phone and called the hospital.
I told them my mum had died and that she had been diagnosed with dementia.
And I told the nurses: “I’m the nurse and I have to get my mum a cup of milk”.
They looked at me and they were shocked.
They said: ‘Oh my God, you’ve been the nurse for 40 years.’
My mum’s husband died from lung cancer when I was 15.
When she was dying, my husband was there.
And he had a stroke and had to leave the house.
My mum died when I came to work as a nurse at the hospital in 2009.
She died at the age of 90.
She left her job and I had to be there.
When I went back to work, I said: I’m not going.
I went home and cried for three days.
I think she was the only one to hear that.
My husband died of cancer the next year.
I cried for five days.
My children went to school and went to the doctor.
They were traumatised.
They didn’t understand what had happened.
They thought they had just lost a beautiful person.
My wife died four years later.
I lost my mum when I went to work.
But when I worked, I made the most of what I had.
I became a nurse.
Now I’m doing my own care and I don’t need to have a nurse to do my job.
I’m very independent.
I have a full time job, so I don-t have to worry about anything else.
But at the same time, it’s really hard when you’ve lost someone.
I just feel so empty when I look at people.
It’s like they’ve lost their mum.
But the other thing is, I can’t think of anything to say.
It doesn’t feel right.
My only advice to anyone who has lost someone is to make it feel like you’re the person that they’re talking about.
And make sure that when you’re speaking to them, they know who you are.
If I had known how I’d react when they said their mum, I would’ve been much more careful about what I said.
If you’re still having grief or sadness, you need to talk to someone.