Last week the family travelled up North to attend the funeral of a family member who has recently died of cancer.
It was a different type of cancer to mine.
He faced it bravely, but in the end it was just too aggressive and too far gone for medicine to have its effect.
It seems that more and more as I live this life, cancer reaches out and gives me a slap on the face - it may be from close up or from further away, but it makes its presence felt.
A number of things have been whirling through my mind as I was thinking about what to include in this blog post. Should I talk about how allowing children to attend funerals, such as they did at this one, is not only a good thing, but also a healthy way of helping them to navigate and deal with living? Should I speak about how cancer survival rates continue to improve, but yet there are still many that don't make it? Should I speak about the power of family and the gentle support that they can provide in difficult times of grief?
I could speak about all these things, but ultimately the thing that circles back round in my mind time and again is the thought that - We are human. We are mortal. We too shall die.
Going to a funeral is sad. We grieve and mourn the passing of someone we love. We cry with those who have lost someone precious and loved. We are sad that we shan't see them again in this life. But we are also reminded of our own mortality, that we too shall die one day.
If you think about it, we are all actually the same distance away from death as each other. Death can happen to any one of us at any time - we just choose to ignore this in order to help us to focus on living life positively, which is a good thing. But we are still just as close to death as anyone else. Those who are ill may look closer to death, but actually death is an inevitability each one of us fights against every single day.
So in the light of this - or should I say in the shadow of death - how are we to live the life we are so fortunate to have another day to enjoy? If we view our lives in the light of eternity, would this help us to truly put our priorities in order? What would we do differently?
How are you going to LIVE today?