There are some phrases that your head just refuses to accept as applying to you. "My Mum is dead" is one of them. But my head is going to have to get used to the idea, as Mum passed away, surrounded by her family, last Wednesday.
She'd been fighting ovarian cancer for the best part of two and a half years, but, in the end, the struggle and the repeated courses of chemotherapy took their toll. A few days after the picture above was taken at a charity ball by my brother Mark, she started a downhill slide that took her from us.
Regular readers of this blog, as well as my Twitter and Vox will know I ended up spending a lot of time with Mum over the last couple of years, and her death has left a huge void. My lovely wife has been hugely supportive over that time, and the one bright spot in this is that I will now get the chance to spend much more time with her.
The funeral's on Thursday, and we're currently working through the horrid task of clearing Mum's (epic) possessions. Posting here will continue to be erratic for the next week or so.
And do me a favour. If there's a family member you love, and haven't seen in a while, pick up the phone, drop them an e-mail (or IM them - Mum was always iChatting me at work. Geek girls - you lost one of your own last week) or arrange to see them. Our loved ones are all too soon gone.