In the lead-up to Christmas, I’d started to notice that Mum was acting differently. A couple of days beforehand, we went to the supermarket for a big food shop. Usually, Mum would be armed with a lengthy shopping list. She always knew exactly how much of everything she needed. But this year, instead of charging up and down the aisles, she trailed silently behind me. Then, on Christmas Day, when my husband Chris, then 39, and our children, Archie, eight, Martha, five, and Mabel, one, gathered around to play board games, Mum sat at the opposite side of the room. ‘I’m no good at any of that,’ she said. She looked so lost and alone. I didn’t realise it at the time, but Mum was trying to distance herself from the family for fear of making mistakes. Looking back now, it was the last real Christmas we spent with her.