This morning, I sat at my computer and cried. I had just read the passing of someone called Joyce Tan Siew Ling who lived in Malaysia. Now, I am not the type to mourn the passing of lives from this world to the next. After all, we are all here on borrowed time, and Death was the only thing that was ever promised to us at birth. It comes to us all sooner or later.
By taking time to provide support, we help people when they most need it; we can help improve the health and wellbeing of carers and bereaved people; and we can build compassionate communities which show that - in the words of the Dying Well Community Charter - caring for one another at times of crisis and loss is everybody's responsibility.
I wrote in December about doing Christmas brilliantly. I hope everyone did and had a great time. Part of that ramble was saying that Christmas is an opportunity to end the year well and start a new one well. Ending something well has become a bit of a theme over the last few weeks for a number of reasons.
Generally speaking, Western culture shuns, fears and hides from death whenever possible. It is shrouded in mystery, and in fact, in secrecy to some extent. We don't like to discuss it at all, but when we must, we use euphemisms for it. We shield our children from it, we don't let them attend funerals...
Although it seems a lifetime ago, it feels like yesterday. Time doesn't heal; it just makes grief go out of focus. And anything can bring it sharply back again: a photograph, a scent, a memory or just the endless yearning pall of homesickness so familiar to people who've lost their parents too early.
Marie Curie works on its own and in partnership with a wide range of NHS, public and voluntary sector organisations to tackle many of the challenges highlighted in today's report. We want everyone, wherever they live to be able to have a 'good death', provided with the care they want and need, with support available for them and their families.