The Moment Everything Changed

It’s ‘time to talk day’ tomorrow. I was volunteering at a time to talk day event when Dad text me asking me where I was and came to pick me up. He told me in the car that Mum’s cancer had come back and that there wasn’t a cure. From that point on my Mum was no longer invincible and everything changed.

Mums aren’t supposed to die, or to get sick. Especially not healthy Mums. They’re supposed to always be there. They are one of the few people in life who don’t get fed up with you (or if they do they’re not meant to show it), who put up with all of your flaws.

In that moment everything changed.

Dad told me that Mum’s cancer had come back. That there was no cure. We were driving from the White Rose Centre to home. I didn’t cry, not really. I looked out of the window. We drove home. Mum and the boys were there. We didn’t talk about it.

I went back to uni that night. I started crying and didn’t stop. I think I maybe text one of the people I was living with in halls. I text a friend from home who drove over to be with me, with another friend. The two of them sat with me until the early hours of the morning. They tried to persuade me to go home, but I couldn’t. They helped me tell the other people I was living with. The next day I sat with a welfare tutor for hours (even though it was a Sunday). I cried, I talked, I sat in silence. I tried to make some sense of it all. We wrote a list of all of the people I needed to tell.

I miss her and sometimes I need her more than others. And given that I’m now 22 and rather more independent, I probably wouldn’t be living at home and wouldn’t be able to crawl into her bed, like I did at 16/17 when things were rough. But I would have been able to text her, and to be honest some days I might have gone home for the evening and got a Mum hug. I miss her. Some nights are long. Sometimes everything feels dark and twisty. And sometimes at 22 you still really need your Mum.

2 thoughts on “The Moment Everything Changed

  1. Hi Naomi. Really sorry to hear about your mum and sorry you had to go through that at such a young age. I went through a similar experience with my dad, he had had cancer before and survived it once before we were then told that it had come back again and this time it was terminal so there was nothing we could do. Like you, it was so shocking to me to suddenly feel unstable and faec the fact that my dad (and in fact no-one) was invincible as you always imagine your parents will be there for you, so facing this lead to me question my own health and enter a deep depression worse than anything I’d had before.

    I’m so pleased to see that you are able to talk about it and that you reached out to people even at the worst period as that’s honestly one of the greatest things when you work up the courage to talk to someone and open up and they reciprocate sometimes just by being supportive, consoling you and telling you that what you’re going through is normal. It’s perfectly normal to miss your mum, I miss my dad every day and always will, one of my friends told me that you never get over the grief as such but that it does get easier to deal with and I think that’s true. Don’t beat yourself up for struggling, some nights for me are long and I would give anything to have my dad back but you are strong and there are always people out there to support you.

    Best Wishes,


    1. Hi Peter

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long and lovely comment.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope you, too, have support in place.

      All the best,

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