Meeting with Kelsey Parker on Kent's Broadstairs beach to mark the first anniversary of her The Wanted singer husband Tom Parker’s passing, the 33-year-old reveals to OK! that the anxiety she felt in the build-up to this milestone manifested itself in a tic.
Explaining that she first noticed the habit when she was out with a friend, she says: "I was just dreading this month. When I met my friend for coffee I kept clearing my throat and coughing, like a little tic.
"I think it’s just the anxiety of this month and the struggle. It’s like living in a s**t show."
Mum-of-two Kelsey – who shares daughter Aurelia, three, and son Bodhi, two, with the late singer – admits she's finding her current stage of grieving the hardest.
"I don’t want to feel like it’s s**t. But obviously it is, as it’s so difficult. Me and Tom were the ‘Positive Parkers’ and I try and see the positive in everything.
"But honestly, I don’t feel like there is a positive in my life at the moment. It’s just awful what’s happened to us as a family."
Tom died from a brain tumour on 30 March 2022 at St Christopher's Hospice in London, aged just 33.
"This is probably the hardest time since he died," Kelsey explains. "Going from February into March was such a hard transition because I knew what was coming this month. It’s been a year since I lost him, but it feels like yesterday.
"I’ve not really wanted to face this month because it’s the realisation that he’s not been here for a whole year and how much we all miss him."
Apart from taking the kids to Tom’s favourite beach, Kelsey, who met and fell in love with the singer when she was just 19, is planning other ways to celebrate his life one year on from his death.
"On 30 March, we’re going to walk to his bench," she tells us. "Tom is the man with all the benches. He has three! This is actually in a secret place that no one knows the location of, but it’s really special to me and my family.
"We’ll lay some flowers and just think about him."
She continues: "The next day I’m going to do some drinks for him. I’ve invited everyone along and we’ll raise a glass to him.
"I’m just going to try and celebrate it because I don’t want it to be really sad, even though I’m obviously going to be feeling all the emotions over again."
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