This is the third column I have written in advance before I go on holiday, so it has been done so out of context.
It could seem totally irrelevant… governments may have fallen, natural disasters wrecked havoc, children born, couples married, jobs lost and won and, in effect, I will know nothing of it.
It is a strange feeling but let’s go with the feeling.
When I was caring for patients who knew they were going to die, I would sometimes suggest they write letters.
Some of these letters were ways of expressing things they struggled to say out loud.
They were important and it was helpful.
But many were for the future. Parents who would write letters to their children, letters to be opened in the future when they would no longer be around.
They would often be for important dates… first job, going to college, reaching 21, getting married, having children.
A way of being there when they palpably could not be.
They were, and are, letters of hope because there is a future.
In their own way they expressed the importance of relationships, of belonging, of expressing joys and thanks and saying goodbye.
I thank God they were written, yet wish we would say these things too.
Say them now to the people we love and care about... thank you, sorry, forgive me, I love you.
Simple words but at times difficult to say, if only we would.