Our neighbour died two weeks ago, incredibly suddenly. One moment she was there, the next not.
The night she died, after the ambulance and the police and the undertakers had gone, we sat up with her husband until the wee sma’s, keeping him company as the level on the whisky bottle fell steadily and he tried to come to terms with losing the love of his life.
They were together for 57 years.
Before the funeral last Thursday S and I sat on a bench in the cemetery, which is perched high above the city with spectacular views, and held hands, talking about life, and love, and what it all means. The conclusion we came to is that as long as you can leave this earth without any major regrets, and have loved and been loved in return, then you’re doing well.
Her death has given us both, not a wake up call exactly, but certainly pause for thought. It’s made us appreciate each other a lot more. When you’ve been together for so many years, it can get really easy to take the other one for granted and we are as guilty of this as most. But since this happened, we’ve been hugging each other just that little bit tighter and taking care with the small gestures, those things that seem insignificant but which all add up to show someone how much you love them.
Because whether we’re lucky enough to get 57 years or not, all of us need to make the most of our time together.