Thoughts on living and dying

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Thoughts on living and dying

It is easy to forget, in the rain and the routine, the aches and pains of each day, what a tremendous privilege it is to be alive.   Proximity to death brings a kind of urgency about life that one can quickly lose in the humdrum of work, commuting and making dinner.  Having just witnessed the passing of my beloved grandmother, I am feeling a range of emotions from sadness to gratitude to emptiness.  But, within the grief, there is also an overwhelming urge to live.  To stop worrying, stop complaining, stop being fearful, stop clinging onto things not meant

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Transcending the body

Transcending the body

When the vicar, Sarah, arrived yesterday to see my grandmother and to say a prayer for her, she walked into the room and said “Oh, it doesn’t look like Dora.”   Far from being an insensitive comment, it was tinged with tenderness and some surprise.  Of course, she would have always seen my grandma at church dressed smartly in a skirt and navy blue blazer with court shoes, beautiful white hair perfectly curled–always immaculate.  But her observation ran deeper than that, for me. There is something that, when it begins to fade, makes the person look less and less like

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When forgetting is a blessing

When forgetting is a blessing

Last night was quite difficult, emotionally. As you know, my beloved grandma has Alzheimer’s and my mum is living with her as a full-time carer. ¬†Over the past few weeks, she has deteriorated rapidly, the ravages of the disease taking its toll on her body as well as her mind. ¬† In contrast to a couple of months ago when we were able to take her out to the seafront and she would walk for a few minutes, holding onto her wheelchair, enjoying the fresh air and, usually, an ice cream, she is now bedbound, barely able to lift her

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