I had breakfast with my mum this morning.

My eyes met hers and I finally saw what everyone else sees; our eyes really are the same.

A simple moment.

Simple. Except for the fact that she died 13 years ago.

13 years today.

I sat in bed, a wooden tray on my lap, and on it was a cup of coffee, a smoothie, a candle and a photo of her.

A breakfast memorial.

I felt numb. I always do. But I know that someday soon, when I least expect it, the tears will flow and I’ll grieve.

The grief, there is no end.

It just moves and flows and winds its way through.

A river called Loss.

Sometimes, the grief arrives with crashing waves and ragged rocks.

It hurts and it’s rough.

But I swim through it

because I know it’s almost always followed by calmer skies and clarity and acceptance.

I miss her,

so much.

And yet I can’t even remember the smallest things like the sound of her voice or the feel of her hands in mine.

I am a woman now and yet I feel like I don’t know what being a woman means or what I’m supposed to be doing.

She was supposed to stick around.

To teach me things,

to soothe and guide and nurture.

Turns out I had to figure those things out on my own.

I’m doing ok.

My family are ok.

We’re all doing ok.

We scrabbled and salvaged the wreckage and held on tight.

Sometimes we threw it at each other with stinging tears and burning hearts because we didn’t know what else to do.

But we got there in the end.

We steadied ourselves and navigated our own paths,

bolstered by memories and love and sheer strength.

My dear friend emailed me this morning, to check in, to hold me. She said, “Time goes by so quickly, we are all just passing through. It’s good to be mindful of what is happening in our lives”.

She’s right.

It’s important to be mindful, to be AWARE, to truly see yourself and speak your truth.

I used to sleep-walk through life.

I didn’t have dreams because I was scared.

Scared of what being authentic actually meant. Scared of listening to my inner voice that said, “You can be whoever you want to be”.

I listened anyway, because fuck it, fear is just a feeling. I started doing and saying and being and speaking and asking and reaching and writing and loving and challenging.

You CAN be whoever you want to be.

My mum didn’t teach me any of that.

I learnt it by myself.