Now 11 years on we have just had her 11th birthday a few weeks ago. It gets easier, hard as that may be to believe when you are only at the beginning of this journey. It never goes away. Every day I still think about her at some point. She is part of me, my family. I was lucky and have had 3 more children since losing her. They help me in my grief but at the same time make the hole that she left bigger because through my living children I get to see every day what I missed out on with her.
I have many regrets about how things were done after her death. I don't have good pictures, don't have ashes… just a plaque at a cemetery. Thinking back I would have liked it all different but, at the time, I was incapable of making these decisions.
Losing Kayleigh has, in the long run, been part of why my relationship with her dad broke up. It's made me so much more appreciative of every cuddle, kiss or smile off my others. It's made me so much more angry with parents that do wrong to their kids or don't appreciate them.
It's made me want more and more kids, desperately trying to fill the emptiness that she left, yet knowing that that hole can not be filled.
After 11 years, I can see it's made me who I am today. A different person to who I was. Still choking up when talking about her, still crying when visiting the cemetery but also knowing I got through the very dark days and manage to enjoy life again.