I always knew that I wanted to be a writer and I had always hoped that one day, I might be lucky enough to publish a book. What I didn’t know was just how important my first book would actually be.
I met Emily’s mother Christina when we were just 3 years old and for 36 years she has remained my very dearest friend. I was lucky enough to be at the hospital the day she was born and fourteen years later, Emily was one of the first people to welcome my own son Leo into the world.
After Emily's death I really struggled to know what to do. I couldn’t save Emily and I couldn’t bring her back. I was also helpless to take away my best friend’s pain.
But I continued to ask myself; what can I do?
The answer: I can give Emily a legacy. I can honour how much she mattered to me, how much she mattered to all of us and create a reason for people everywhere to continue to speak her name. I could dedicate my time to making sure that no more mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, partners or friends should ever loose someone they love to something so utterly preventable.
We need to find a way to make difficult conversations easier.
We need to make it easier for young people to talk about their BIG Feelings and talk about Mental Illness – anxiety and depression, without shame and without judgement.
We need to let yet young people know once and for all that YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT - you matter and you are loved JUST AS YOU ARE.