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Premature deaths are a reminder never to take our lives for granted

By Nina Steele 

An acquaintance of ours died in a car crash last week. She was 46. She had no children but had not given up on the idea. The last time we spoke, she was still hopeful that the right man could still be out there. That was just over 3 months ago.

Hearing of her death left my husband and I understandably in complete shock. What makes her death even more poignant is the fact that she had just had her loft converted. She shared her house with a lodger and the idea was for her to make the new conversion into her personal space, while the lodger would enjoy the rest of the house. Because the work had gone above the agreed timescale, she never got the chance to move into her new quarters.

Her death has reminded us both how unpredictable life can be and how we should never take anything for granted. When I last spoke to her, she was visibly sad about the fact that she was still single and childless. Now that she has died, and if you believe in destiny, then being single and childless was her path.

Which brings me back to this idea that we should never give up on a dream. The assumption when people tell you never to give up on a dream is that you will be around for a long time and so you should keep trying, regardless of how much unhappiness this is causing you. Most people always assume that because they will live till old age, there is plenty of time to be happy later.

I for one have always believed that life is unpredictable. Some people feel uneasy whenever I say that it can all end tomorrow. No one wants to imagine that their life can be cut short. We have been taught to fear death, instead of teaching us that life is precious and that we should make the most of every moment.

It is because I believe in the unpredictability of life that I felt strongly about my husband and I having a will. Most people believe in having a will later in life, preferably when you get to old age. Some even believe that writing a will when you are still considered young is tempting fate.

The assumption that we are all going to live till old age reminds me of the assumption that we are all meant to have children. The reality however is that, no one can predict what the future holds.

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