Yesterday evening I got one of those inevitable phone calls. The ones you just know are bad news even before you pick up the phone. I knew because my mother had tried to call me twice in quick succession, which almost never happens. The message was bad news indeed.

My aunt is dying.

She has been ill most of this year. Cancer in or near the brain. Although the doctors did try to fix her with surgery and various other treatments, yesterday they came to the conclusion they had tried all and couldn’t do more for her. She might live for a while, or maybe just a few days, they don’t know. Lucikly she has no physical pains.

She is only 66 years old.