Life and Death. Thoughts from the past week.

My condolences to David Bowie and Alan Rickman’s families, friends and fans.

I’ve been reading people’s thoughts on their passing, comments on mortality and suffering. David Bowie and Alan Rickman died within days of each other, both aged 69 and both having lost their struggle with cancer.

Both were working practically up to the end. Bowie’s latest album, anyone? ‘Lazarus’ is especially awesome: music, lyrics and video. We have yet to see Rickman’s last film.

My Mother In Law (MIL) died aged 45 of cancer. She was in pain and it wasn’t diagnosed BECAUSE SHE WAS A WOMAN. Doctors would have run tests for a man but, because she was a woman, she was told ‘your uterus has slipped a bit’. Meanwhile she had bowel cancer that spread to the liver before her bowel was so blocked that she couldn’t even fart. THEN it was diagnosed. She lived for another 9 months and passed away on 6 January 1992.

Both David Bowie and Alan Rickman died of cancer. Their loved ones had time to say goodbye, which I think is a blessing. I hope they both had good pain management along the way.

I think dying after a (relatively) short illness after living a full life is a gift.

My MIL had so many regrets: she regretted starting an art class with an abusive teacher who put her off creating any art ever again. She regretted not having a bluebird necklace. She regretted lots of things, some of which she managed to change in her last 9 months.

I wouldn’t wish a long illness on anyone. I wouldn’t wish that pain and suffering be extended for anyone.

I wish no one had to suffer from cancer. Rock on, scientists searching for cures.

I’m saddened that Bowie and Rickman died.

Life and death… It is death that makes life precious. It’s the threat of ending that can motivate us. It’s no less sad when our heroes die and we’ve lost SO MANY in recent years.

Let’s take these two iconic lives and celebrate them. Look to them for inspiration for our own lives. Let’s paint, sing, act, do charitable works, LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD. And let’s encourage others to celebrate their differences, and encourage others to change the world with their creativity too.

Lest we forget.