Facing loss but feeling gratitude

This week has been a tough one both personally and publicly. It has been tainted by sadness but also has made me grateful for what I have been lucky enough to experience. At the moment I may be feeling the loss but in time I, like many others, will come to appreciate what I had.

Two more celebrities have been taken from us much too soon. 2016 is just four months in and it has left us without some treasured people who made great music, great films and great comedy. The death of Victoria Wood yesterday at the age of 62 was very sad as she was a huge part of my childhood. I agree with many commentators who have said that she paved the way for lots of girls to reach for the stars. They could see her successful, unusual, Northern and bright and saw in it the opportunities that exist.

Today we are coming to terms with the untimely death of Prince at the age of just 57. He was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years in the 1980s. Without doubt he was a musical pioneer who trod new ground and was comfortable being himself even though that made him very different.

It is important to have those people who can inspire us. The people who use their skills, abilities and talents to push themselves and break new ground. I know that by looking at what they have done it inspires me to push myself further, and I am sure many other people feel the same way.

But they don’t have to be celebrities for us to recognise amazing achievements. My week has also been a sad one on a personal level with the death of one of my partner’s childhood friends. They had known each other for all of their 45 years and I had known him for almost 30 years. It was a terrible loss to family, friends and those who had been lucky enough to know him. I had a huge amount of respect for him as he had dealt so well with a life changing event some years ago. He made sure it didn’t stop him doing what he wanted to, and for that I can say he really was an inspiration. I have to say thank you to David for being part of my life. Thank you to Victoria Wood for the laughs and to Prince for the music.

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