A year ago today the phone rang with the call that would rip my world from its axis. A lot has happened in that year. I've been to a hospital mortuary to formally identify my brother's body, spoken to a policeman about the needles found in his car, been to a travellers site and hugged the addicts who were his friends, watched his coffin disappear from view, gone on holiday two days after his funeral, seen my youngest daughter start school, held my 98 year old grandfather's hand as he slipped from life, helped organise his funeral, learned about steel framed houses, moved house, mourned the death of my 18 year old cat, had a routine mammogram as three generations of my family died of breast cancer (still waiting for the results).
I've also grown even closer to my other brother, made new friends, both in real life and online, been deeply touched by the kind words of both friends and strangers - the internet may be a dark place of bullies and trolls but there are also many thoughtful and decent people using it too. I've sat on the floor of my shower and sobbed, cried more tears than I thought was possible, read books that have changed my life, laughed, loved, danced and sung.
I will always have a gaping wound - time doesn't heal everything but it becomes easier to bear. It's a year on and I'm still here.