I haven’t written about grief. I thought about it a lot. Felt it immensely. And in the past 12 months incredibly so. Today marks 4 years since my beautiful Mum died. But for me it is doubly hard as it’s also 7 years today since I got married. Double whammy. In effect, my mother died on my wedding anniversary. And, since he and I are no longer, and my mum is no longer here, today is probably to the hardest day of the year from me…so many raw wounds reopened, so many memories come flooding back. I remember much of the fateful day 4 years ago when the doctors said there was ‘no more’ they could do and saying goodbye. Although we didn’t really day goodbye, we were one of those families that was putting on our brave faces right until the very end. I even remember when they began to turn everything off for my mum, she said “guys, it could take a few days, don’t be surprised”…she was comforting us in her dying hours…what an incredible person she was. It had been a long battle for her, and towards the end very trying on all of us. Yet my mum never complained. Can you imagine the agony and anxiety she felt day after day? Those long lonely nights, the beeping machines, the nurses in the ICU and the rounds and rounds of tests and needles and just everything. I spent something like 79 days straight visiting her in the hospital – doing what little I could to ease her suffering. Bringing in home made green smoothies, foot massage, watching TV together, chatting to doctors, and talking about life and planing the future together. I was very lucky to have had the time to spend with her and although I’m sad she didn’t get to meet my kids, I don’t think I would’ve had the time or ability to be with her that much in the hospital had the children been around. I am grateful as well that my ex-husband and I had a business together that I was able to take the time away from work to be with her. Despite the immense sadness, I am blessed in many ways. Apparently the cure for depression is gratitude, so today I want to be be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life over the last 4 years. I’ve been able to experience the most profound joy and happiness with the births of my two glorious children, who really, are the epitome of my mum. Happy, cheeky, smiley, love life, love people, make the room smile whenever they walk into it and every time I look at their blue eyes, I see her. My daughter Olivia has a profound likeness of my mum, something I am reminded by many great friends regularly and I do think part of the soul of my mum is in her. I constantly think I wish mum was here, but then I look at Olivia and say ‘here she is’ and the gift of being able to have a mother daughter relationship as well is so wonderfully special, I think Olivia came into my life just at the right time. So grief, you may upset me at times but you do not control me. I go on everyday with the thought in mind that ‘this too will make me stronger’ and if I could even be as strong for 5 minutes as my mum was in all those lonely years with her illness, then I will forever be grateful for that gift.