Five Things I've learnt since my mum died from vaginal cancer, by Tracey Herring.

By Tracey Herring   whose mum died from vaginal cancer in 2017

By Tracey Herring whose mum died from vaginal cancer in 2017

Hi, I’m Tracey. On July 10th 2017 at 3.40 I lost my best friend, my mum Peggy, to vaginal cancer. I was 46 at the time and my mum was 71. My dad and I were with her when she died.

Tracey Herring

1. My life has changed and there’s a massive empty void
I have realised that I don’t embrace change very well. I cry at random moments triggered by a song or a smell. Sometimes it’s triggered by nothing at all, a sadness just engulfs me. I guess there is no time limit on how long it should take somebody to readjust. I’ve learnt not to be too hard on myself.

2. Not everybody will know what to say to you
But then again not everybody has lost their mum or a close loved one. Mum’s death has made me more empathetic. I was once in their shoes and might have struggled to find the right words too. There aren’t any BUT some are better than none. If all else fails remember a simple hug speaks a 1000 words.

3. Grief is an ongoing process, everyday is different but it is never far away
I liken it to the sea. Sometimes it is calm and the waves lap at my feet. Occasionally it is fierce and the waves come crashing down around me unexpectedly. 

4. Grief has taught me that I should appreciate the moments
I try not to dwell on what could have been and say yes to things that scare me.

5. To coin a phrase - life does go on
Although it’s a very different one without my mum around. I can’t envisage a day when I won’t think about or miss her but different doesn’t mean it can’t be good again - it’s just a different kind of good. And that’s all Mum would wish for us all.

Tracey Herring

About Tracey Herring
Tracey is 48 and lives in Sheffield. She’s a qualified graphic designer who decided straight lines weren't her thing and ended up working as an office manager at a design company mainly working with straight lines!
She’s a skincare junkie and makeup obsessive who would like to write books for children. She can usually be found wandering around north Sheffield singing to her chocolate brown Labrador, Mollie.
You can visit Tracey’s website,
The Naughty Forty Diaries, and follow her on Instagram.