THE sun was creeping through a chink in the curtains when I went into her room. I was rushing for work and needed her hairdryer. When the paramedics arrived, my hair was still damp.

It is over five years since my mum died, and that day is still vivid. Going quietly into her room, trying not to wake her, taking a second glance as she lay in bed. And not quite believing that she had gone.

I went through it all an hour later with the police woman, sitting at the kitchen table, then again to a doctor on the ‘phone. It’s what happens when you find someone who’s died. There are questions they have to ask.

It was me who found her, and thank God for that, because if I hadn’t stayed over that night and gone in to get her old hairdryer that morning, it would have been my poor dad who went in to open the curtains.

For everyone else, it was just another Monday morning. Rush hour traffic was in full flow. The breakfast show presenter chirped on the radio. The two carers came, as usual, to get Mum washed and dressed, only to find an ambulance outside and the front door open. I will never forget their kindness; putting the kettle on and clucking around as I sat with my dad, who was quietly sobbing. I’d only ever seen him cry once, when my brother was knocked down as a kid.

We drank tea in the kitchen. More people arrived; my sister and brother, people in uniforms. We filed in to that invalid bedroom, with its hoist and medical bed, that used to be the dining-room, to say goodbye. “Bye, Mum. We love you.” What else do you say?

We went to the funeral directors later that morning. Dad wanted to get on with it all. “Cremation or burial, sir?” they said, a bit too quickly for my liking. Then we sat in a pub garden, bewildered, and raised a glass to her. None of it felt real. That afternoon I drove to the supermarket with Dad, we bought frozen pizzas for tea. Life went on. We watched Corrie, same usual on a Monday evening. Her wedding ring was on the coffee table, where it had been placed that morning.

It wasn’t until I went to bed that I really cried.

“How can she not be here?” I think some days. “How can she have missed so much from our lives?” How can another Mother’s Day come round without her?

But it’s not so much the anniversaries, the birthdays, Christmases and Mother’s Days, it’s the small stuff that leaves me with a pang of loss. I think of her when my ankle goes wonky like hers used to, when I use the casserole dish she bought me, when The Sound of Music is on telly because we used to watch it together and I always thought she looked like Julie Andrews. When I hear my nephew playing the piano it saddens me that she can’t hear it, and that she will never see how fabulous her grandchildren turned out to be.

I was talking to someone recently who said the loss of her mother, 25 years ago, still brings her to tears. “I’ll be thinking, ‘I must tell Mum about so-and-so’, or I’ll hear a song she liked and it hits me. She’s not here,” she said.

It doesn’t go away, but you live with it, like any bereavement. And you live with the resentment - of those who have mothers, seeing mums and daughters shopping together, the wretched Mother’s Day spa break/afternoon tea press releases pinging into my inbox. Actually, my mum didn’t like shopping much and would rather have had a beer than afternoon tea, but you get my drift.

How I wish she was here, and that I could give her flowers and a card this weekend.

Happy Mother’s Day - to all the mums gone and still loved.