A MOTHER who is still reeling from the loss of her teenage daughter to cancer six years ago has shared her story ahead of Mother’s Day.

Rosemary Locock, of Upwey, Weymouth said it still seemed like yesterday that her bubbly girl Karina Glynn, who she nicknamed ‘Minnie the Minx’, burst through the door with a Mother’s Day gift in 2003.

While every day is significant to someone who has lost a loved one, Rosemary said key events such as Mother’s Day and anniversaries were particularly hard.

She said: “The last Mother’s Day we had together was March 30 2003 when Karina came bounding in with a big china elephant plant stand because she knew I loved elephants.

“It’s one of my prize possessions.

“I’ve still got the last Mother’s Day card she gave me, when we knew her cancer was terminal.”

The card reads: “Dear Mummy, I love you so much and I don’t want to lose you.

“Try and have a good day for me, I’m back. Love you, love Karina.”

Rosemary added: “It’s almost six years since I lost Karina but it still feels like yesterday.

“She was 17 and just starting her life when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma – a bone cancer.

“She was so beautiful, feisty and cheeky, she made an impression everywhere she went and lit up so many lives.

“Everyone loved her.”

Karina died in June 2003, following a 20-month battle with cancer. She would have been 23 on May 21 this year.

Rosemary, 50, said: “The key dates are really hard, birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, obviously the anniversary of her death and even the day we buried her as well.

“I also find dates from throughout her treatment period quite difficult.”

She added: “But I also remember the fun things like when we took her to London and she went on the London Eye and drove a police barge and speed boat down the Thames, went abseiling and shooting.

“The Metropolitan Police invited her to do those things with them in April 2003.

“It was quite scary watching her on the speed boat.

“I could see her weaving from side to side, she had no fear at all, she was absolutely amazing.”

Karina was determined to live life to the full to the end and went on holiday to Thailand, Euro Disney with the Weymouth-based Claire Lemmon Fund charity for children with cancer, as well as out clubbing with her friends in Weymouth.

Rosemary, who works as an administrator for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and is secretary of the Claire Lemmon Fund, also has two sons Julian, 29, and Justin, 27, from her first marriage to Paul Glynn, and six grandchildren.

She said it took her a long time to come to terms with her grief.

Rosemary said: “I dealt with the loss in my own way, fundraising and making sure that Karina’s memory would live on. I thought that I was coping quite well but then the slightest ailment started to cause me concern and thoughts of cancer filled my life.

“After numerous visits to the doctors the nurse practitioner suggested I seek some bereavement support because medically I was fine.”

Rosemary was referred to Weldmar Hospicecare Trust’s family support worker Grahame Howard in February 2008.

She said: “It wasn’t easy accepting that I needed some help to cope with my loss but I am so glad I took the step.

“Some sessions were really hard but Grahame helped me to see that Karina will always live on in everything I do and everywhere I go.”

With Grahame’s emotional support Rosemary has turned Karina’s bedroom from the unintentional shrine it had become into a beautiful room of Karina’s favourite colours, photos and framed art work where her grandchildren could stay.

He also helped her to revisit the Kingfisher children’s ward at Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester – where Karina died – when one of her grandchildren was ill, and supported her London Marathon campaign in Karina’s memory.

She has also begun to write a book of Karina’s story.

Rosemary said: “By talking through my feelings and fears with Grahame I turned a corner and realised nothing can ever take away the beautiful times we shared and the bond we have will never be broken.

“Grief takes you to a place where you feel that you can never return.

“This is where the support network at Weldmar is a godsend.

“Nurses are invaluable to people who are in the midst of despair and I would urge everyone to support this campaign to raise enough funds for a nurse.

“It is vitally important that patients have the opportunity to spend what time they have at home with their loved ones.”