When my mother had passed away, I had that feeling of loneliness and isolation, and I wanted to talk to someone who wasn't in my family. Sometimes it's easier to talk to people who aren't connected to you and who don't know you. So I went onto a Macmillan website and I found a forum called, Bereaved family and friends. And I started writing posts - what I was feeling and how I was feeling.
I wanted to feel connected to people who had also suffered loss from cancer. I'd say it was a lifeline, really. And sometimes when I couldn't sleep and I was awake at 3 o'clock in the morning, and I just felt so much emotion, I was able to put a post on and just say how I was feeling - it was a real release.
When I first put my post out, there were so many people who wrote back. I felt connected to all these people who were faceless and whose first names I didn't know or anything, but I just felt so connected on a real human basic level. And that was a life-saver for me otherwise it would have just stayed in my head, or it would have just stayed in my heart. Just to put something out there, and for someone to hold your hand, metaphorically, through that - that was priceless.
It's almost like on the Online Community, everyone who's on there is holding each other's hand in a massive circle. Two weeks ago I had a really bad week, it felt like my mother had just died and I had a massive wave of grief and so visited the Online Community. And someone else said, 'Oh, I had a really bad week as well, this happened to me...' and it was just so nice, like we were all holding hands, and that's so important. You can do that with your family, you can do that with friends, but sometimes, it's easier to talk to someone you don't know.