‘There are times it takes my breath away’: Blackpool mum’s anguish over death of bubbly daughter

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“It’s just times like that when it suddenly hits me and it takes my breath away.”

Lauren with her mum Kirsty.

Lauren with her mum Kirsty.

A woman who died weeks before her 21st birthday has been remembered by her mother.

Lauren Birket, from Blackpool, struggled with mental health issue for almost a decade before she died on May 10, 2021.

Her mother, Kirsty Birket, has described Lauren as a bubbly, happy, and funny woman, who loved fishing and had appeared to be stable before she took her own life last month.

The 43-year-old told LancsLive that she continues to struggle to imagine life without her daughter in it.

“I just still can’t believe it, I keep looking at her picture and just wanting her to come home,” said Kirsty.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet to be honest, it’s all just really hard.

“There are times when I go food shopping with her sister, Lauren had her favourite foods, and I just break down because I won’t be buying them for her anymore.

“It’s just times like that when it suddenly hits me and it takes my breath away. I just feel like I’m in a different body.”

Lauren at 13, when Kirsty first realised that her daughter had mental health issues.

Lauren at 13, when Kirsty first realised that her daughter had mental health issues.

Lauren was born May 31, 2000, to Kirsty and her ex-husband Jamie Birket, 44.

Kirsty became aware of her daughter’s mental health struggles at the age of 13 following a holiday with Lauren, and her sister, Lucy Birket (now 16).

The mum-of-two said: “We had gone to London for a long weekend.

“It was roasting hot but she had a long sleeve jumper on, I asked her to take off but she just kept saying ‘no.’

“It got so hot that Lauren was actually close to passing out and she eventually took it off.

“When she did, I noticed that she had cuts on her arms, it took me aback.”

Lauren developed a passion for fishing.

Lauren developed a passion for fishing.

Concerned for her daughter’s welfare, Kirsty took Lauren to the doctors where she was referred for counselling.

Kirsty has never been able to truly pinpoint the source of Lauren’s issues.

“I really don’t know what caused it, she’s not had any trauma in her life,” said Kirsty.

“She got mostly what she wanted all the time, she was a happy little girl, she had a great upbringing.”

Lauren’s battle with mental health continued to spiral out of control during her teenage years and Kirsty admits that her daughter barely attended school during her final year.

Age 16, Lauren tried to take her own life, ending up in hospital.

Kirsty said: “That time I thought: ‘I can’t do this again, we need some proper help’.

"Lauren was always the class clown, always up for a laugh."

“Lauren was always the class clown, always up for a laugh.”

“At the time I was absolutely mortified, I thought: ‘This isn’t happening, this can’t be happening’.

“I kept wondering if this was what her life was going to be like; battling through this illness forever.”

Lauren seemed to improve following her attempt and was much more open with Kirsty about her issues.

Lauren also developed a passion for fishing, finding solace and serenity in the sport.

Though Lauren went through several different courses of medication and the occasional therapy session, Kirsty says that neither seemed to stick.

On May 7 this year, Kirsty made an attempt on her own life, she died three days later in hospital with Kirsty at her bedside.

Her funeral ceremony was held on Thursday (June 3). Lauren was buried with her favourite fishing rod.

Kirsty said: “Lauren was always the class clown, always up for a laugh.

“She was funny, energetic, and full of life, that’s who she was and how I will remember her.”

Kirsty has asked people to donate money to the mental health charity MIND in memory of her daughter.

You can do so through a GoFundMe page set up by Lauren’s friend Jasmine Abo-Elazm.