We said goodbye to a lot of the greats this year – even in the last week alone – but there’s one person I just can’t believe we’re going into 2017 without.

Three months ago, our world got a little darker and heaven that much brighter when one of the best people I’ve ever known passed away.

My auntie Tricia was a teacher and spent her life enriching the lives of others. Pupils she taught in primary school came to her wake to pay their respects and a countless number of them posted tributes on facebook – many stating that they wouldn’t be where they are today without her. I don’t remember any teacher that made that much of an impact on me at such a young age; but that’s how wonderful she was.

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Every time I see pictures where she’s smiling and looking so healthy, I just think to myself ‘how is this real?’ and I often I find myself thinking about her every night before I fall asleep. I came home for Christmas and mammy showed me her memorial card – even reading the words ‘In loving memory of Patricia Duddy’ got me teary eyed – that just should not be a sentence that I have to read. 

Christmas seemed unimaginable without her but we got through it – not without a few tears though. Without the love and strength of my wonderful family, these last three months would have been impossible. Memories and pictures are all we have left now but at times, they can make it that much more unbelievable that she is gone.

I have been meaning to post this for a while but just always found a reason not to. She always loved reading my blogs and just knowing that she won’t be reading this one breaks my heart.

It still doesn’t feel real to think that I’m never going to see or talk to her again, and each day just gets harder and harder. You will be loved and missed always, Tricia. Not a single day goes by where you don’t cross my mind.

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