I was dreading my first birthday without my daughter, and I knew that if I didn’t mark it differently it would be unbearable.
The days leading up to it are grim. My body begins aching all over, so much so that I worry I am going back to how I was at the start. Then I remember that the body has its own cellular memory. It forgets nothing.
My body knows full well that my birthday is approaching. On the day itself, I am relieved to wake up feeling better.
I leave the house before the postman comes, knowing there be no card from you, and then drive to Bath. Linda and I have lunch sitting outside on the pavement. It is such a different world to where I live, and I am grateful for the contrast.
We watch people going by, then huge black clouds begin gathering overhead. A massive storm is approaching. Minutes later, sheets of rain begin deluging down and we run shrieking like children into the nearby tea house.
What a splendid building it is. It is years since I was last here. Relieved to be inside, we have tea like regular tourists, enjoying musicians playing the cello, the piano and the violin.
During an interval, Linda goes over to chat with them. Minutes later, and with huge grins on their faces, they strike up the tune of Happy Birthday. Much to my surprise, my first birthday without my daughter had been wonderful. Thank you, Linda.

Patsy Freeman

Patsy’s Bio Born in Dublin, Ireland, Patsy now lives in England. Initially, trained as a State Registered Nurse, she then went on to train in preventive health work. This involved visiting families in their own homes, offering health guidance where appropriate. In her early forties, Patsy’s professional life changed direction when she gained a degree in psychology. She followed this with a certificate in counselling (including NLP and hypnotherapy). She was offered a counsellor post in a busy GP practice. After several years, she decided it was time to open her own private practice. Following the death of her father in 2004, Patsy took a year out to travel. Having always held a deep respect for the ways and beliefs of indigenous people, she enjoyed visits with the Maoris in New Zealand. One of the highlights of visiting Ecuador, South America, was being introduced to the Shuar tribe. The chief then invited Patsy to spend two weeks living with them in the Amazon jungle. The Shuar taught her a lot, including the healing remedies of many of the plants, e.g. the bush with red berries used by women as a contraception. She saw sap taken from the bark of a particular tree, used to prevent and treat cancer. Back in the UK Patsy opened her own private practice. In 2012, Patsy learned that her younger daughter, Jasmine, had breast cancer. She died 15 months later. Unprepared for the grief that followed, Patsy instinctively reached for a note book and began writing letters to her daughter. Four months after her death, Patsy began receiving signs from Jasmine - two of her paintings fell off the wall, sometimes she smelled her or heard her voice, a table lamp began flickering. She also received telepathic messages, and at one point heard Jasmine say - ‘You must write a book, Mum, about your experiences. It will help a lot of people’ And so a book was birthed. Patsy gives talks and enjoys being interviewed on the subject of grief. She also offers writing workshops for the bereaved. Her book ‘In Search of You – letters to a daughter’ is available from her website www.patsyfreeman.com, and also Amazon. Contact Patsy by email at info@patsyfreeman.com

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