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a week

In a week it is my mum's birthday. As some of you may know, her birthday comes the day before mine, and she was exactly thirty years older than me, so she would be 71 on Sunday.

And I am dreading it. I have been going through my paperwork, and hers, and I guess I am not coping with her death as well as I thought I was. There's important stuff of hers I just haven't dealt with, and I really, really need to.

But I can't and I don't want to. Closing those things down closes her down. It was easy when it was full flow, organising the funeral and services and the death certificate but since then...

Three boxes of hers have been sitting in my living room, filled with her vinyl record collection, her cds, her cookery books, photos and other bits and bobs. And they have been there for six months and I don't know what to do with them. I don't know how to incorporate them into my life and belongings.

Her birthday is in a week and I don't know if I can cope with that absence, with not being able to ring her or go and see her. I've missed the constant to-ing and fro-ing on the phone as I try to find out from her what she wants. I miss asking my brother what he got her so I don't get the same thing. I miss our mutual frustration at not knowing it is she wants. I've missed her pleasure when I get it right and her bluntness when I don't. I miss seeing her.

I will cope, because I have to and because I always do. There is just a part of me, a large part of me, that just doesn't want to, that wants to wail and cry because I just miss her so much. But I can't do that, so I won't.

I'll cope.

to b or not to b?