A few days back someone I don’t know passed away from cancer. Someone I have heard of, whose illness and struggle I have followed from a distance. She was a much-loved person. A strong girl. A determined girl. And she was merely 26-years-old.

Youth can move us into the arms of a frightfully beautiful mirage — of immortality. Nothing can touch us. Nothing is impossible. Nothing out of reach. Our energy, vitality, sexuality, beauty, youth always seem impossibly long-lived — far into the future we cannot see but believe we can comprehend. The reminder of how fleeting life really is, is then humbling, and empowering.

The infidelity of time doesn’t leave you with the luxury of pretences and laboured fears.

From what I have read, the girl who passed away, for no lack of strength or fight, was just 26 — three years younger than me. I feel inexplicably fortunate that I have lived this long, had these many more days with those I love. And immeasurably ashamed that I have nothing much to show for it.

A loss of life, such a precious life, is a travesty. Rest in peace, dear girl. I have much to learn from you.

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