Today is my Mum’s birthday. She would have been 63 this year which is hard to comprehend!

This year is also the 15-year anniversary of her passing, which is quite poignant for me as I was 15 when she died.

15 years with her, 15 years without.

It is quite hard to acknowledge that most of my major life moments – graduating University, buying a house, getting married, having children, would all happen without her here. However, I know that those first 15 years were the most important of my life.

My Mum wasn’t perfect – nobody is! But she was perfect for me. She taught me kindness, compassion, how to be a good friend and to think of others. She told me I was special and she loved me more than anything.

For a long time, I was angry about her leaving me. I couldn’t seem to shake the feeling. I didn’t feel like I would ever ‘get over it’ – how can you even begin to get over something so big?

For many years, I carried around a story with me that I identified with. I was the girl that lost her Mum. The girl who couldn’t achieve much because this awful thing had happened to me. It became an excuse in some ways to not try anymore. It was an all-encompassing story that shaped who I was.

Clear Sky was born when I met Mark, my partner and the other founding member of Clear Sky. Mark sits on the board of Trustees for Clear Sky. He helped me to believe in myself – that I could make a difference to other children and young people who felt the same way that I did. He encouraged me to see the person beyond the story, the one who could achieve anything she set her mind to. The person that my Mum helped me to become.

The person that I am today was created in those first 15 years. The foundations for the rest of my life were shaped and influenced by my mother’s love. Psychologists say that each child needs at least one person in their life who is crazy about them. I am so fortunate to have more than just one, but I know for sure that if I had no one else, my Mum was crazy enough about me to make up for the rest.

I no longer identify with the old story, of sadness and anger. I am no longer waiting for the day that I ‘get over it’. I will never get over it! I know that now, and I accept that it is part of who I am.

When I started my training as a Play Therapist I began to understand what I had been through in the years following my Mum’s death. Through exploration in personal therapy, I could separate myself from the negative story I had identified with for so long, and rediscover who I was underneath all of the pain.

I am thankful for everything that I learned from my Mum, in her life and in her death. I am thankful for what I am now able to do for others as a result of her just being who she was. And if she were here I would tell her that over 300 children have received Play Therapy through Clear Sky, and I know that she would be super proud of that.

Happy birthday Mum xox

Reading Time: 2 minutes