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A letter to Rob

Written by Rob's mum, charity founder, Lorna.

"You’re my first thought when I wake and the last when I sleep, and I can’t see that ever changing."

Lorna & Rob, mother and son, Christmas 2011

My dearest Rob,

How can I sum up in a few words how much I have missed you these last ten years?

The answer is I can’t.

If I’d written a thousand words a day since you died, I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface of my feelings.

3,650 days.

You’d think I’d be used to your loss by now.

That will never happen.

Time is irrelevant because my grief feels like years; yesterday; tomorrow; today; this very minute, all rolled into one.

It’s not just a constant ache in my heart reminding me, it’s so much more than that.

It’s soul deep sadness.

You’re my first thought when I wake and the last when I sleep, and I can’t see that ever changing.

Are those thoughts a much-needed affirmation that you’ve gone because I can’t willingly accept that cruel fact?

That’s because I feel cheated Rob.

I was denied the chance to see you complete your degree that you were working hard at to achieve; denied experiencing that parental glow of pride in attending your subsequent ceremony; denied watching you making your way as a man in your chosen career as a Quantity Surveyor.

How it pains me now to look at your course work folders stacked neatly in your bedroom cupboard, a stark reminder of the abrupt cessation of studying snatched away by cancer during your second year at university.

Most of all I’ve been denied the opportunity of seeing you grow into a potential family man, like your two brothers have, and that hurts so much because it was your biggest goal in life.

Do you remember asking me during the week before you died, ‘Are you going to be ok Mum? You’ve had me to look after every day this past year’

I summoned up a smile from somewhere and replied ‘Don’t you worry about me Rob, I’ll be fine’

Do you know what?

I lied.

A mum cannot switch off her emotions about her children and I was never going to be alright, but I wasn’t going to burden you by having you worry about me because you needed to LIVE those last few days.

You have no idea of the pride we all felt as you took charge of your life at the end, after events had placed you on an emotional and medical- enforced rollercoaster ride with no control of your own during 2011.

You made decisions that most people would have shied away from, signing a DNR (Do not resuscitate) form; planning your own funeral; writing letters to your family and best mates to read once the inevitable happened.

Meeting up with people that mattered to you for the very last time.

Courage personified.

I’ll try to sum up Rob, if that’s possible.

Although the rest of our family have their own special space in my heart, there is a Rob-shaped hole within it that can never be filled.

I miss your handsome face.

I miss your jokes, even though some of them were cringe-worthy Christmas cracker genre and others bordered on ‘Ooh Rob, don’t repeat that one in public!’

I miss the way you’d constantly ask questions when watching a movie if you didn’t understand the plot, until eventually your brothers would tell you to ‘just shut up and watch it!’

I miss you coming home from work on a Friday evening and commandeering the washing machine to get your laundry done, tidying your bedroom so you’d be free to go out with your mates and play football over the weekend because you loved being organised.

I miss your passion for life.

I miss every part of you that made you unique.




We may no longer have a physical connection, but I promise you that the tears I shed will flow my love to you forever.

This I will not lie to you about.


x x x x x x x x x x

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