Death, as inevitable as it is, sucks.
Whether it's sudden or expected, losing anyone close to you - a human, pet or otherwise - is something you can never fully be ready for.
In my case, it was my mum. At only 22 years of age, losing my mum was something I never even entertained the thought of and something I certainly wasn't ready for.
While, in hindsight, she was a bit sick in her last few months, there's a difference between being sick and being gravely ill, or so I thought at the time.
Mum had cancer, completely undiagnosed, as she hadn't gone to the doctor, assuming that her pain or whatever she was going through was just a part of getting old.
It wasn't until she couldn't get up to go to an event we'd planned months for that she felt something was truly wrong.
By then it was too late, she was gone, potentially even minutes later, we don't know.
That was over three months ago, and if you asked me to name a specific detail about any day since then, I'd be struggling to do so - a lot is a blur.
Honestly, writing this piece is something pretty crucial to me.
At times, the grief has been too much. I've felt like doing absolutely nothing, but for the main part, looking back on Mum's life has been rewarding.
However, nothing can prepare you for the way your body feels in the hours, days and weeks after losing someone like that.
The aches, the pains and the tears take over but as can be the case with anything, eventually goodness comes out of it.
The family dinners, the photos, the memories and the way your own little community wraps you up and looks after you reminds you that humans are inherently good.
While this isn't the place for thanks, my girlfriend, my mates and family have been absolutely unbelievable and honestly, I don't know where I'd be without them.
They've given me things to look forward to when I've felt like there never would be, something I've found to be super important.
Sport has obviously played a major role in that and working as a sports journalist helps.
However, the clubs that my family and I have personal involvements in through cricket - Legana, Riverside and Mowbray - have shown the benefits of the sporting environment.
One thing we joked about with Mum was my sister, Dad and I playing a men's game together for Legana.
The club dropped everything for us and accommodated that, creating a memory that will last forever, as well as creating a "Kristina Partridge photo of the month" competition - combining two of her loves, sport and photography.
Now our two Cricket North clubs (I play at Riverside and my sister, Mowbray), have named a shield in Mum's honour, with the inaugural match played yesterday.
That game was combined with a pink stumps day, with the Blues second grade and women's sides donning pink hats in memory of not only Mum, but some other club personnel who we've lost to cancer in the last few years.
Despite this potentially reading like I've written it in the early hours of the morning, which I might have done, I feel like getting these thoughts onto paper is important.
While it's obviously important to me and my recovery (it feels strange to use that word but that's what it is), I feel it's also important for anyone else going through grief.
Hopefully it's affirming to know that anything you're going through now is acceptable and there's no normal way to battle this.
You can do it all at your own pace, but speaking to someone about your feelings and finding ways to connect with whoever you're missing is a great outlet, so thank goodness for my job.
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