A couple of weeks ago I went for lunch in Paris. An American friend of mine was on holiday there and whereas in the past I would have thought, ‘what a shame she isn’tLunch at Musee d'Orsay 6 nov 2014 coming to London, I don’t know when I’ll see her again’, this time I thought ‘I don’t know when I’ll see her again, I’ll go to Paris’. In the past I would also have considered how expensive it would be to go to Paris for the day, this time I thought, ‘What price friendship?’ She was accompanied by her 85 year old aunt who was taking her first trip to France and she was having a fantastic time.

Through our lives, friends and family members will die or move away and this is how life is. But as I get older I have started to realise that we need to acknowledge this and value the time we spend with our loved ones. It’s all too easy to say, ‘I’ll see you at Christmas’ or ‘let’s get together soon’ ‘We’ll do that when I retire’, but what if they aren’t around at Christmas or even next week? Last week I went to the funeral of the brother-in-law of a close friend, he was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour just 6 months ago and died at age 47. About ten years ago I had a spell when three women in my life, all in their 40s died unexpectedly. As a society we are unused to younger people dying because of advances in medicine and so we tend to think that there will always be time in the future.

Suppose we lived our lives as though we might never see someone again. What would you do differently?

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