As some of you know I took some time off to attend my dear friend Nigel’s funeral in Devon. He died of cancer and had much time to prepare for his funeral. It was a fitting tribute to his life. He had many friends and family who helped him as his dependency increased with declining health. He underwent arduous bouts of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and two surgeries. Towards the end he was on so many medications in an attempt to ease his pain and suffering, he referred to it as his own pharmacy. Yet when he had been told he only had 3 to 4 months to live he organised a party in his village to raise funds for the Macmillan palliative care nurses and even in his final week of life got married to his long-term companion in a beautiful church ceremony attended by so many.
A pre-recorded video of Nigel was played in the church at his funeral. He thanked his friends and family for their support over his life. He emphasised a number of times his life lessons: the value of friendship over job status, wealth and such material concerns. The ability to disregard the ‘what if’s’ and live in the moment. We all know this in our hearts but sometimes it gets lost. I thought it would be worthwhile spreading Nigel’s message in my newsletter and website. It made me smile that at his funeral he managed to get some politics in there. ‘Save the NHS!’ was his rallying call; you never know when you or a loved one will need it. Nigel told us he could ‘not fault his care, it was worldclass.’
So what picture to choose? It had to be an NHS one! Nigel was so impressed by this expensive high tech, radiotherapy machine (£1million it cost apparently) and the equally expensive radiation bunker in which it was contained.