I was saddened to hear that my friend who has been bravely battling cancer for three years, passed away today. The owl picture is because this was his favourite bird and he spent many happy hours at a local owl sanctuary.
I recently attended his wedding and even though he looked thin and frail, his energy and optimism was still burning bright in his eyes and his words. I think we all knew that things were getting bad, he had spent more and more time in hospital, but that never really prepares you for that news you never want to hear.
I had known him for 25 years or so and in that time, we have done a lot of travelling, eating and generally being silly with my brother and our other good friend. The stories could run on for pages, but it was the fun that really made it special and is what I shall remember.
They say that everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. For me, this is very true. My wife has battled and beaten cancer, my mother is just starting her battle and my friend has now lost his. It would be very easy for my health anxiety to envelop me like a black cloak, choking me with anxious thoughts and turning me inward. But I am determined that I will instead use it to remember that you only have one life. You really mustn’t put anything off for a moment, not even for a second, because there are many who don’t have the time to do all the things they want to do.
Pursue your dreams, love life and be thankful for every single moment that you are here. My anxiety tries to make me scared of life, to try and run away from it and waste it feeling depressed and scared. But we need to live life and never regret anything we have done, so we can get to the end believing that we have given it our best shot.