Adam: one year on

One year ago, my beloved Adam passed away and I wrote about it on this blog. I don't write on this blog anymore, but I wanted to today, to reflect on the past year, grief, and what it all has taught me... if you want to know more about Ads, read the previous post here.

I am sat staring at the photo above, wondering how I ended up here. You don't expect to be in mourning at the age of 21, for someone your age who you lost so tragically. How has the past year flown, yet dragged? How has he not been here for 365 days? So many questions swirling round my mind, and every time I really concentrate on the fact that he isn't here, it still feels so alien, even a year later. Like it cannot be fathomed, like it's so far out of any reality I expected to unfold. It hurts, but I am still numb at the same time.

At the 6 month mark, I wrote about it. To him. I never shared it anywhere, but as part of this post, I want to reflect on what I said then.

It’s coming up to 6 months without you on this earth and every single day I am reminded of your lack of presence here. Every time I see a photo of us together, my heart aches, of course, but not just for the obvious reasons. Yes, I am sad because you’re gone, I miss you, and you should still be here. But also, I am sad, because I look at the photos and remember what it was like before. Before the cancer. I look at the photos and see a different person. One without the weight of terminal illness bearing on his shoulders. But when I look close enough, I notice that glimmer in your eyes that you always had. In every single photo. The glimmer of hope and positivity that shined so abundantly from you. You were infectious. Warm hearted. Kind beyond description. I could sing your praises all night long and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. You were always radiant, pre and post your diagnosis, but it was a different kind of expectation that you wore so bravely on your sleeve. Pre diagnosis, you were so excited for the future, for friendships, for university, for life beyond university. For your career, for marriage, for kids. Post diagnosis, you were excited to beat the disease that was reckoning with your body. You were so confident in that, and your courageous fight only highlighted this. Your dreams changed - or at least they were postponed, you were determined to continue on with your life and get back to “normal” eventually, reminding me everyday of all the things you wanted to do when you could again. A road trip to the states, see the Eagles play, own property to name just a few. I wish so so so deeply that you could have done all the things you wanted to do. Because the thing is, you deserved to. I couldn’t name someone who deserved a more rich, fulfilling, happy life than you. I know people always say that when others pass away, that they were “the best” and life only takes the good ones, and usually it sounds slightly empty, redundant, repetitive, because how many people can truly be, “the best”. But then I had the pleasure of knowing you, and losing you, and it was with that that I realised that they were in fact right. The good ones are taken far too soon. But I’d have to fight them over the title for “the best”, because I know with every part of my being and I will know this for forever more, that that title belongs to you.

Reading that back, I have tears filling up my eyes. Every word is so true, it was at the time and it is even more so now. Adam, I miss you. I miss your presence in my life. Maybe that's selfish? But I miss what you added to my life. And without that, without you, my life is more empty. You added so much support, laughter, comfort... you added all of that throughout the whole time I knew you, pre and post diagnosis. I miss that glimmer in your eyes, that look you had, the one that spoke a thousand words without having to say anything at all, usually accompanied by your cheeky smile and quick remarks. You did deserve the world. And you were, truly, the fucking best.

In the past year I have tried to do several things to celebrate Adam's life, and before closing off this post, I wanted to share them.

I got a bee tattoo for him because bees were our thing.

I read through so many messages, just to feel close to him.

I bought an Eagles jumper.

His lovely mum sent me some of his Eagles gear.

I wrote about him in my book.

Raised lots of glasses of my favourite gin to him, that he once bought me a bottle of as a surprise because he knew how much I loved it.

Saw all the signs.

I got 11:11 tattooed.

I went to see Catfish at Leeds and screamed our song and all the others for him. I knew he was there with me, watching from the sky, laughing at my terrible singing voice and keeping me safe.

Today I am launching my fundraiser in Adam's name, to raise money for the hospice where he spent his final days. My mum and I will be walking 21 miles on his 21st birthday. You can find out more and donate here -

This year has taught me to hang on to those precious to us. To enjoy every moment, however hard some may seem. To be grateful. And when people go and moments pass, to look back and celebrate where we can. To keep memories alive. I will continue to keep your memory alive Adam. You did not die in vain. You have taught me so much, in life and in death.

Forever and always before I ball my eyes out beautiful boy,
Tamzin xxx


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