Sir Ian Botham was understandably emotional on Gary Richardson’s Sportsweek on BBC Radio 5, recalling the deaths of Tony Greig and Christopher Martin-Jenkins in the space of a few days.
Both will be terribly missed for similar reasons: their passionate love of cricket, their ability as commentators, their instantly recognisable voices, traditional values, senses of humour, strong personalities and personal and professional achievements.
There’s no need to go into details of their lives here, for there have been excellent obituaries. CMJ, or the Major as his colleagues called him, was chief cricket correspondent for the Telegraph and its obituary is a model. The Guardian’s obituary of Tony Greig is also excellent.
Both died from complications caused by cancer, both at tragically early ages, Greig at 66, CMJ at 67. Despite the advances in medical research and healthier lifestyles – Tony Greig and CMJ exercised, played golf and probably ate well – cancer is still an effective killer. So too are other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and the increasingly common dementia in its various forms.
And then there are the random acts of stupidity, violence, nature and accident that take lives too early and with such shocking and devastating effect.
Yet so many people seem to deny that death will one day or another come to them… ‘who wants to think about their death?’ is still a common response when My Last Song is talked about.
Continue with this view if you want your final event to be dreary, unmemorable, distressing for your loved ones and inappropriate to your life and beliefs.
If on the other hand, you want to take responsibility for how you leave this world, to be remembered the way you want to be remembered, to have your life celebrated, to reduce the grief and anxiety felt by your friends and family then visit My Last Song to help plan your funeral and store your memories in your Lifebox so that future generations will know the real you. For all we leave when we go are our memories.