I was 25 when my mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour and just 4 short months later I had lost her.
The thing I found hardest at the time was losing her at an age where we'd really just started to become friends - not just mother & daughter. We had plans for outings that never happened and I've beaten myself up so much about not having arranged them before she was ill but I just assumed she would always be there.
The thing I find hardest now is knowing she won't be there if I ever get married and have children. I've found myself much less bothered about having a family of my own now - In fact my friends are far more bothered about me finding a boyfriend than I am! And it's sad that that's how I feel.
One thing I've found really helpful is staying in contact and meeting up with my mum's friends. It's good to chat with other people who aren't family that miss her too. These women have known me since I was little and it's been so therapeutic sharing memories with them. My Dad and 3 brothers are typical men who don't talk about feelings whereas I have to otherwise I'd go mad.
Also, finding people on social media who have been through the same thing has helped. I don't know these people in real life but the majority of the time when reading their experiences, I think "yes, that's just how I feel too!" When you don't have friends who've been through a similar experience (not that you'd wish it on your worst enemy) it's comforting to know you can communicate with and feel supported by someone who understands.
This is a photo of me and my mum, Liz, taken in April 2011, just a few months before she was diagnosed in August.
(Alice, 31, Gloucestershire)
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