19 April 2011
I learnt yesterday that Bunty Carter, my aunt had died on Saturday 16 April 2011. The news shocked me and has upset me more than I thought it would. Bunty was the widow of my father's elder brother Ray. As a child we had no contact to this side of the family. I am not sure of the reason for this, but be that as it may, after my father died in 2008 and I had buried him next to my mother in New Zealand, I made an effort to visit Bunty and get to know her.
I met her just the once and found to my delight that we seemed to click and get on as if we had known each other all our lives. To me she radiated charm and a regal serenity. We kept in touch a little by phone and letter. I made another effort to visit her, but sadly, unbeknown to me at the time, she had had a nasty fall and when I visited her house it was empty as she was needless to say now, convalescing in hospital.
Time does not stand still and stupidly I rather thought I would manage to visit her the next time I was in England later this year. Now the opportunity is gone and I wish I had written and phoned more. 2011 is indeed a sad year for me as more relatives and good friends have passed away since the year began, than the months that have passed.
My advice therefore is to seize the moment. Stay in touch with those you hold dear, for none of us know for whom and when the bell will toll.