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A moment that changed me: my mother died – and I became my brother’s legal guardian

It was in Stansted airport’s Pink Elephant car park that I realised all the adults were going home. It was early January 2007 and we had just returned from Mum’s funeral in Derry. I watched as uncles and aunts ambled over to their cars, and there the three of us were left: me, 25, my girlfriend, Jade, 26, and my little brother, Declan, who had just turned 16. I was now his legal guardian.

This moment shouldn’t have been a surprise. Mum had been ill, on and off, for eight years and, in her last 12 months, had made plans for what would happen if she didn’t make it. It was a no-brainer when she asked: “What about Declan?” “I’ll look after him,” I instantly replied.

Read more in The Guardian.

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