Clutching the nightgown her daughter was wearing when she passed away, Jackiey Budden lets out a heart-rending sob.
Ten years have passed since Jade Goody died. But for her mum, the pain never goes away.
“It gives me strength,” Jackie says, holding the gown to her cheek.
“It still smells of her. I often put it in my bed. And when I have it I feel close to my Jade again.”
When Big Brother star Jade died aged just 27 from cervical cancer, it sparked a national outpouring of grief.
It also led to a nationwide campaign to get more people into cancer screening, saving thousands of lives.
But despite the pride she feels in mum-of-two Jade’s legacy, Jackiey says nothing can replace the daughter she has lost.
Today devastated Jackiey, 61, describes how she is still haunted by those moments shortly after Jade’s death.
She said: “When she passed, I was the one who cleaned her. I wish I had never done it because the flashback never goes away and it’s awful.
“Her back was purple and blue. I had never been in that situation before. “I washed her and cleaned her and when the body man came I left her face open.
“He promised me he wouldn’t do the zip up before I walked away. That doesn’t go away.
“I brought her into life so I took her out of it and that’s why I did it. I don’t regret it but the image won’t leave me.”
There are two shrines of photos and flowers dedicated to her daughter’s memory by Jackiey’s front door and in the garden.
Images of a young, happy Jade adorn the walls, a reminder of the stark absence in Jackiey’s life.
Jackiey, who has previously battled drug addiction, lives alone in a council flat in South London, the same flat where she raised Jade.
She credits her pet dog Truffles for getting her through the day.
Jackiey said: “I recently lost my mum and dad. In 2016 my mum died and in 2018 my dad had a heart attack. It’s been too much. I feel physically sick.
“I’ve never been depressed in my whole life and now I take anti-depressants. The doctor has put the tablets up recently too.”
She told how she desperately misses the volatile relationship she had with her daughter, explaining: “I miss the arguments. Me kicking her out, her kicking me out and then making up.
“On the street I feel her with me but when I return home it’s just me. But if I felt how I felt on the street I wouldn’t want that. I do feel her in the house sometimes.
“I have been a medium for 25 years. Jade used to call me a white witch.”
Jade’s widower Jack Tweed, 31 – who married her just a month before she died – claimed in an interview this month that Jade wanted him to adopt the two boys she had with Jeff Brazier.
But Jackiey said: “Never in your life. I would have known. There is no way.”
TV presenter Jeff, 39, has brought up his and Jade’s sons Bobby, 15, and Freddie, 14, since her death.
He and Jade began a two-year relationship after she shot to fame on Big Brother in 2002.
To mark Jade’s anniversary on March 22, Jackiey and Jack are taking part in a Channel 4 documentary.
And Jackiey praised her former son-in-law for the way he treated her daughter. She said: “Jack is the best boyfriend she ever had in her whole life.
“He is the only man who never took anything off of her.
“He always took her on holiday, he’s always taken the kids on holiday.
“Jack doesn’t do it for the wonga. Everyone used to think Jack used to be with Jade for money but it’s not true.”
In October, statistics from Public Health England showed three million women have not had a smear test for at least three and a half years.
And Jackiey says she doesn’t want her daughter’s death to be in vain – so is urging young women to get tested.
She said: “All the girls and mums, you must go and have your smear test. If you are allowed it, go for it.
“I have fought for so many years for the age of testing to go from 25 to 21. I went to Downing Street, I stuck my foot through the door.
“I had 15,000 signatures but it never happened.
“But her death wasn’t in vain, her legacy lives on and it’s important to raise awareness about this awful cancer.” Jackiey told how she puts on a brave face in public but regularly breaks down when she gets home.
She said: “I go running, I go swimming and I go to the gym. I try my hardest to do as much as I can.
“When I am out I don’t cry. I will say hi to everyone. It is getting closer to the anniversary.
“People ask me how I am and you wouldn’t know any different.
“But I come inside my house and I break. I can do what I want here but out there I don’t want to.”
Following Jade’s death, Jackiey fled to Tenerife.
But now she feels happy living in the Bermondsey home where she raised her late daughter.
She said: “This is where I am meant to be. My house is full of everything, all these memories and objects from the past.”
In 2012, Jackie tried to take her life. She explained: “What I went through was horrible. It was awful, horrid.
“When I woke up I screamed and shouted in the intensive care unit and blamed Jade for bringing me back.
“I don’t ever want to go in that dark hole ever again.
“The boys need me and I need the boys so now I am going to live until I am 111.”
She added: “I could never be as sad or cry as much as I have done for Jade so I can get on with life now. No one else can hurt me. I got hurt when I lost Jade but there is no one else in the world who can do that.”
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