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The conversation that would sit in my subconscious for the next 9 years until it was needed…

My Mum has always been, and always will be, a very private person; it’s in her nature. She is also of a generation where you didn’t talk to others about how you were feeling; you just got on with it. You also didn’t consult with a GP, unless you had to.

I had a day’s annual leave and arranged a walk in the countryside with Mum. She had felt distant for a long while now, so I wanted to make the effort to spend some time with her and catch up.

Mum’s first grandchild (my niece) was due later in the year and I recall we were talking about babies. Mum went onto open up to me (which was extremely rare on a personal level) and say that she had been to she her GP and he had confirmed that he believed she had gone through the menopause. She said she just walked out and cried. Mum doesn’t cry. She was 44 and I was 23.