My brother Mel lost his wife this week.

Amy had lymphoma and deteriorated very quickly. She was only in her 40s. It was an awful shock to all of us. Amy joined our family only a few years ago and it’s a pity I didn’t get to know her well.

A few days before Amy passed away, Mel wrote this on Facebook:

We talk about life, living and smile when we see a baby. We avoid the issue of death and all that it brings…..well yesterday I came face to face with it on the 6th floor of menara timur at the university hospital. The gentleman opposite my wife’s bed went into his last gasps and left us, just like that. That’s life, so make the most of it in a kind and gentle way, thats all we leave behind.

We do avoid the issue of death.

I really didn’t know what to say to Mel when I called him from Australia. No one prepares you on how to properly offer your heartfelt condolences. No one teaches you to be open with your emotion.

And, yes, Mel is right on this one too … we must make the most of life.

It reminds me of the John Lennon song that says “Life is what happens to you whilst you’re busy making other plans.” That is so true. We think about other things, hoping or worrying or complaining or just dreaming, not realising that life is happening right here, right now.

I wish Mel strength to endure through this sad and difficult time. I wish him peace of mind and a return to happiness.