I feel like I’m constantly banging on about living each day as if it were your last. This idea encapsulates the importance of not sweating the small stuff, not worrying about things you have no control over and most importantly, fosters the graduate mindset we need to truly enjoy all that life has to offer us. Due to this very public platform I’m cautious of becoming too preachy about my stoic beliefs and because I’m human, I’m always balancing on the edge of actually believing what I say and saying what I need to hear.

On Monday the cruel reality and importance of ‘living each day as if it were your last’ was sadly realised when we went to the funeral of Matt’s old bandmate Beau. When I first started going steady with Matt he was in a country horror band called Graveyard Train. Having created their own genre of music, the 7 piece band had several years of popularity around 2008-13. They toured a lot and for that 5 year spell, for better and worse as any touring band will tell you, they were family.

At the start of this year Beau was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He passed away on my birthday, the 29th of September. He was 45. I hope that you’ve never had to go to a funeral of a young person that has been taken well before their time because it's that saddest place on earth. The collective grief is overwhelming. While Beau never complained about the hand he was dealt, everyone else felt robbed. 

The funeral MC (I’m sure there's a more official name) said that grief is just love for the person that has nowhere to go. There was so much love in that room for Beau, for his partner and their families that I think everyone was quietly weeping for the entire ceremony. I certainly was. I felt like my heart may have broken forever when the Graveyard train got up to sing a song for Beau. The last time they’d ever all be at the front of a room togther.

Among the tears were great belly laughs as people shared stories about Beau and his generosity, his love of music and life. Afterwards, as I looked around at the over 100 people who had attended the funeral it was clear how far his love and infectious laughter had reached over his short 45 years.

While Beau’s passing is an absolute tragedy in every sense of the word it also reminds us how fragile and precious life is. Western culture has a very linear approach to death. We go from A to B, birth to death. Eastern cultures have a more circular approach where we are all part of a larger system that eventually calls us back. I like to think that the experiences we share with others leave imprints and impressions that make us who we are. The people we connect with throughout our life mould us and when they leave us, we realise by how much.

We have to live every day as if it's our last because one day it will be. 

Grief does not obey your plans, or your wishes. 
Grief will do whatever it wants to you, whenever it wants to. 
In that regard, Grief has a lot in common with love.

- Elizabeth Gilbert.

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