With the passing of Lemmy, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now Sir Terry Wogan, I am once again reminded of this brief and fleeting thing we call life. It's far shorter than you may think ...
This thing we call life is the time between when we're born and when we pass on. It's brief and fleeting and certainly far shorter than you may think!
I've had three close shaves with death since 2012. The first two were brain aneurysms caused by stress, and the third was cancer, which my Oncologist said started around the same time and from the same cause.
"I'd have preferred to have died from an aneurysm as it would have been over with quite quickly!"
Some cancers grab you quickly, some more slowly. It can linger and invades every part of your life, although as my McMillan nurse told me when I thought I was going to die, going out in a haze of whisky, fags and as much morphine as you like is no bad way to go.
Yes, cancer is a physical disease, but there's a dramatic effect on your mental state and, should you beat it, you spend the rest of your life terrified that it's going to come back. And don't get me started on the financial damage when you can't work, or even the profound effects on your relationships with friends and family.
"So if life is so brief and fleeting, why do we leave things unsaid with those we love?"
If we fall out with someone, then why do we not use our best efforts to sort things out before it's too late? Regardless of who fell out with who and for what reason, why not reach out to them today?
The passing of my friend last week leaves me in great sadness, but the worst thing about him dying is the regret that I never got to say "yep, you were right and I was wrong, and I should have listened to you". We had a falling out a couple of years ago and I can easily see that my illnesses since 2012 were a direct result of me not listening to him!
"I didn't tell him that because I believed there would always be time to put things right. But there wasn't, was there?"
So with the rock legends passing on, with actors, entertainers and yes, even with people we love moving on, isn't it time to swallow our pride, beat down our ego and ignore that narcissistic need to be right, and try to sort things out; to put things in order and rebuild those all important relationships?
The only thing that is of any value in this world is love. The love we have for our family, the love we have for our friends, the love we have for our pets, for the other beings that share this beautiful world alongside us, and the love we have for ourselves.
People chase money, status, power and recognition, but they'll never find satisfaction that way. Yes, we can be a pretty face in a flash car, but deep down, when we're alone with our thoughts, late at night, we will always feel empty and alone if that's the path we choose.
"Chase love instead, because it's the only thing that's worth a damn in this brief and fleeting thing we call life!"
So swallow your pride right now and shove your ego aside. Pick up that phone, write that email, send a text, click their name in your instant messenger program or (most courageous of all) knock on that door. Maybe you'll need to spend a long time making up for what you've done, or maybe a simple "I was wrong and you were right; sorry" will be enough.
And yes, you may see what happened as the other person's fault, but really, knowing that you may not get a tomorrow to tell them, isn't forgiveness the right thing to do?
Whatever you do, and regardless of who's fault it was, use your best efforts to rebuild that relationship because if you don't, you may be filled with regret when that person moves on, and you'll never again have the opportunity to say three simple words that really can make a difference: "I love you!"
No other words matter, except maybe you can add the word "unconditionally on the end of that if you really want to show them you mean it. No strings attached hey? Always the best kind of love isn't it?
Seriously, don't leave it until it's too late because you are going to regret it.