Gracie Nuttall, sister of Laura Nuttall, said, "It feels like losing a future and a sibling."

Gracie y Laura

Gracie Nuttall, 21, recently completed her undergraduate studies and is eager to begin her career.

She recently lost her big sister, though, unlike most people her age.

Glioblastoma multiforme, the most severe type of brain cancer, was identified as Laura Nuttall's condition in 2018.

She was given 12 months to live, but despite this, she continued to astound her doctors with her upbeat attitude, living life to the fullest until she passed away last month.

only 23 years old.

It is challenging for Gracie to adjust to Laura no longer being around because of her capacity to defy expectations.

"This is it," Gracie tells BBC Newsbeat, "we'd been told for so long.".

"And then the number of times she returned with a force. She uttered "hold my beer" in full.

"The worst part, in my opinion, is that you end up with hope because you genuinely think she'll get better.

"Until the very last day, I didn't believe she was leaving. ".

Laura and Gracie Nuttall stood together as young girls with a church behind them. Laura is on the left and has short, blonde hair and is wearing a pink vest. Gracie is to her right and a bit further forward and has the same short, blonde hairstyle
Losing Laura, according to Gracie, "almost feels like I've lost my other part.".

The death of Gracie's sister, according to her, was like losing her "other half.".

You're okay up until something hurts you, she claims.

Gracie is short for little reminders. the moment you arrive home and discover Laura's bedroom light is off.

or finding something amusing online and eagerly anticipating telling her about it.

Up until she realizes she can't.

Gracie laments, "I can't seem to wrap my head around the fact that she isn't coming back. It just feels like there's a gaping hole in the house.".

"It feels like losing a sibling and a future, too. ".

News articles about Laura's post-diagnosis bucket list helped her gain considerable notoriety.

She got to know Michelle Obama, tried out for ship captain of the Royal Navy, and even got Peter Kay to perform for the first time in years.

When Laura was diagnosed at age 16, Gracie was 16 years old. Since then, the two have worked together to cross things off lists in an effort to raise money and awareness for brain tumors.

She has been referred to as "Laura's sister" the entire time.

The past five years, according to Gracie, can be summarized as "how was Laura.".

Therefore, I view my life in terms of how well she was doing during radiotherapy. ".

Gracie and Laura Nuttall sitting together, both drinking from a glass with a red-orange liquid in it that looks like a scientist's conical flash. Gracie is on the left and is wearing a grey Hard Rock Cafe hooded top while Laura is on the right and is wearing a long-sleeve grey jumper
When Gracie's sister received a brain cancer diagnosis, she was 16 years old.

In the previous five years, Gracie also made significant progress, finishing high school and earning a 2:1 in film production from the University of Salford.

She's also open about how it's been trying to balance that with the circumstances at home.

It was terrifying at first, she admits.

"I took about six months off from college when I was 16 and trying to complete my A-levels. ".

She acknowledges that although her parents' relationship "was quite strained at some points," they did an "amazing" job caring for Laura at the family home in Lancashire.

Many things, she says, "I just had to keep to myself.".

"Going to college was challenging, especially since I had to switch between different modes when I returned home every weekend. ".

Laura's mother, Nicola, acknowledges that caring for both of her sisters at the same time was challenging.

She asserts, "I think siblings get really neglected through this process.".

"How is Grace? wasn't always something people stopped to consider.

Actually, a sibling's grief lasts longer because you're expected to be there for your sister until the very end. ".

Since Gracie's face lights up when she talks about the fun the sisters had together, it is obvious that she too has fond memories.

However, she has some advice for anyone going through a similar experience: make sure to take some time for yourself.

Everyone encourages you to spend time with them and uses the awful phrase "make memories," she claims.

Do that if you can, but make sure you're not doing just that and that you're also taking care of yourself.

"If you need a day or 10 minutes, take it.

There is no manual on how to handle this, but despite my expectations, nothing has gone badly.

You shouldn't berate yourself for continuing to appreciate small moments of life when some things are still really good. ".

Laura and Gracie Nuttall at Laura's university graduation in the summer of 2022. Laura is on the left and is smiling. She has short blonde hair and she's wearing a navy and black university graduation gown and has a black mortarboard hat on. Gracie is to her right and she has longer, curly blonde hair and has a ringed nose piercing
One of the best days in the world, according to Gracie, was Laura's graduation last summer.

Gracie acknowledges that after Laura's own graduation last summer, she is anxious about her own ceremony next month.

She says, "I feel like I am kind of dreading it because she was always going to be there and now she isn't.".

"For a variety of reasons, it's going to be a very emotional day.

But we'll need to arrange for her to join us and do something special. ".

Though Gracie admits she has plans for the future, she can't help but think about her sister sometimes.

Even though we were told to be ready for it, she claims she has never been ready for the thought of life without Laura.

"Even after her diagnosis, I anticipated that she would attend my wedding and serve as my children's aunt, but that is simply not going to happen.

"As a result, I don't really know what the future holds any more, as it has been ripped out from under me after 21 years of believing that is how it would be. ".

Nicola and Gracie Nuttall sitting together on a bench in their garden. Nicola is on the left and is wearing a blue and white dress as she sits with her hands clasped on her lap. Gracie is to her right and has her hand on her knee, she's wearing a black and white floral dress
When something like this occurs, according to the girls' mother Nicola, younger siblings like Gracie are left out.

However, Gracie is certain that she will adopt some of her sister's optimism.

She says of Laura, "Laura was the bravest and the kindest person.".

"When she learned she would die, she made the decision to have fun, which she did.

In such a short period of time, she accomplished everything she set out to do.

So what's our justification? Let's jump out of a plane since there is no time restriction on us. each of those. ".

And what does "Laura's sister" think of the previous five years?

She admits that it hasn't been particularly simple.

But if it meant that my sister was still here, I would unquestionably return to that and begin every conversation with "how's your sister? ". ".

Check out Newsbeat on. Twitter.  and . YouTube.

Tune in to Newsbeat. live. weekdays at 12:45 and 17:45 - or playback. here.

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