And I only knew her for seven years before that. My dancing cuddly koala of an eleven year old, who could cling on round my neck as I walked out to meet people. My grumpy teen dragging the duvet back over her head and refusing to get up for school. My little innocent, needing one more recital of the Three Little Pigs, one more Billy Goats Gruff, one more Cheese and Potato Pie and maybe even a Chocolate Bar.
It seems extraordinary that she can have been gone now for longer than I knew her. Crazy. How can she have been a part of our lives less time than she has been apart from our lives?
It can't be eight years since the phone all which changed everything, eight years since we stood by a bed listening to the sounds of a sats monitor gently beeping more and more slowly as an overburdened heart wound down. Eight years since the relief about the end of the suffering marked the start of an entirely different kind of pain.
And so, as an annual reminder, I'll say this again. If you're a carer, and you bath your clients. Take off your gloves before you test the water. Use the thermometer. Follow the law, follow best practice, save lives.
And if you're one of our carers, caring for one of my children, forgive me if I possibly seem a little irrational on the subject of testing the water. It matters, folks.
And if you buy a secondhand bath tub, get the manufacturers to fit the thermostat accurately. Maybe it is expensive. Funerals cost more.
And if you're a friend, don't tell me your thermostat's all wrong; tell the plumber. Fix it. Because trust me, you don't want the images I have in my head even eight years on.