I’d have died for my daughter but she died before me.

Last year her life was severed six weeks before her 18th birthday, no warning,  no goodbyes, no last hug before she got on the bus for the concert.

She never got to go to her debs. She never got her first real taste of freedom moving away from home either going to college or traveling the world. She never got to fulfill her dream to use her recent life guard qualification on Bondi Beach.

A few years ago after her nearly deaf grandfather left our house Ciara told me she wouldn’t put the big words on the telly for me like we did for him. And in the same breath, she told me she wouldn’t change my nappy when I got old either.  She threw her head back and laughed as she said the last sentence knowing she’d get a reaction.

‘What,’ I said ‘where the hell did you get that idea?’

She said ‘I just did.’ And didn’t say anything else and continued to watch telly but I could see the smirk on her face.

Now everything is gone. My life is cut short. In twenty years or so I will have done my time on earth. I’ll have a chance to do what I want, but I will never get the chance to hug my daughter again. There is no second chance.