Goodbye, Jen

An old friend of mine just died. Her husband wrote to tell me; I’m still in a state of shock. Jenni was one of the most loyal, vibrant and passionate human beings I have ever known, humming with love and so very funny. She left behind two glorious boys – one only twelve – to whom she was devoted. In one email, she wrote of her eldest, a football prodigy, “Leonardo is very beautiful, isn’t he? But as I am his mother, I don’t often see it. He is politically engaged and witty – so different to my generation as teenagers. I don’t remember being that switched on.” I cannot begin to fathom the loss they are experiencing and will continue to experience for the rest of their lives. Jen, your electric green eyes, black hair and red, red lipstick will be with me always. If there is anything your death has left it is the sense that it is essential to dispense with those dreams and fantasies that will never come true, the great what-ifs and if-onlys of life, and to love and live in the moment. Life is simply too short for games. So roll over in your sunlit bed, turn to the person beside you and love them with all your heart, for tomorrow you – or they – could be gone. #valejen

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