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Was heroin a way for Peaches to deal with grief for late mum Paula?

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The death of Peaches Geldof has been linked to heroin, like that of her late mother Paula Yates. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

The death of Peaches Geldof has been linked to heroin, like that of her late mother Paula Yates. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

The death of Peaches Geldof has been linked to heroin, like that of her late mother Paula Yates. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

OF course we suspected. But we wanted it not to be true.

We wanted Peaches Geldof to have died of some weird sudden death syndrome.

But now we must face the hard fact that Peaches Geldof died at 25 exactly as her mother Paula Yates died at 40.

And that Peaches' son Phaedra, who is only a year old, was by his mam's side when she died of a heroin overdose.

Just as Tiger Lily Hutchence, at four, was by Paula's side when she died of a heroin overdose.

A mother and a daughter who both left behind motherless children. And all either of them ever wanted was to be around for their kids.

LONELINESS

But neither of them could do it, in the end. Neither of them could escape the loneliness and tragedy in their own upbringings to safeguard the happiness of their children.

The saddest story I've heard about Paula Yates is how, as a child, she used to sleep outside her mam's door just to make sure she didn't leave during the night.

Helene Thornton-Bosment was an actress and dancer and philanderer.

Finding out in her late 30s that she was the daughter of Opportunity Knocks presenter Hughie Greene, not Stars on Sunday presenter Jess Yates, was one of the nails in Paula Yates' coffin.

Helen Thornton-Bosment may not have been a model mother to little Paula, but no doubt she had her own story of loss or abandonment.

You don't leave your child and go off conducting an affair without some terrible insecurity gnawing away inside you.

And the hard thing for mothers is that they get their own failings reflected back to them in the effects on their kids.

"Way to go, Mam," my daughter said to me this morning when my stressed-out shrieks started my disabled son shouting. I had my reasons. I'm only human.

Paula Yates and Peaches Geldof had their reasons for how they lived their lives too, and they were a hell of a lot bigger than mine. Both of them tried hard to make things different for their own kids, but the problem was they tried too hard.

Paula Yates even went as far as to tell mams not to work outside the home, saying: "If you are going to feel guilty, stay home. If you are indifferent to children, don't have them."

Peaches Geldof seems to have had a similar idea. She was up all night breast-feeding to satisfy the demands of "attachment parenting" and horribly conflicted over her need to keep working at the same time.

Peaches was, it seems, lonely in rural Kent where she had hoped to relive the "idyllic" part of her childhood, missing London and her party-animal friends.

Did we really need the autopsy to tell us that she had returned to the drug-taking that had been part of her mis-spent youth?

Could we not read those "heroin chic" images of Peaches even in the week she died, with alabaster skin and ill-concealed dark circles under her eyes?

SADNESS

You can't be a mother to two tiny children and stay effortlessly beautiful for the cameras.

You can't stay home all day with your kids while earning enough to put bread on their table.

And one young mother can't, single-handedly, turn back the wheel of sadness and abandonment in her own life to stop it affecting the lives of her kids.

Mams need help from friends and families. But most of all they need an end right now to the idea that there is such a thing as the perfect mother.


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