I don't mean to write two sad posts in a row. I'm sorry. I like to mix it up a bit. The funny is good. I like the funny. If we can't do the funny, then how can we cope with the sad?
But I woke up this morning to the news that Peaches Geldof has died. Clearly, I don't know Peaches Geldof. I did, however, grow up not liking Mondays and having Bob Geldof to thank for that. And then I cried a dozen times watching the clip for Feed The World, and fell in love with the man who wrote the song. Later, Michael Hutchence (with whom I was also a bit in love) called Sir Bob a monster, but that didn't change the fact that he was part of the fabric of my youth.
I remember when Peaches and her sisters Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie were babies. Their names were one of those pieces of information sealed inextricably in my brain. You know... I couldn't remember what the capital of Russia was, but I remembered the names of the Geldof girls. Which, arguably, was more important currency back in the day.
I am crushed for the Geldof family that Peaches has died, aged 25, leaving behind two sons and a husband. It is so young. It is so hideously young. Every death of a young person brings my own loss to the forefront of my mind again. Every death of a person who pre-deceases their parents reminds me of my parents' grief in losing my sister. But Sir Bob's words just resonated so painfully, so profoundly, and so beautifully. He wrote:
She was the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and the most bonkers of all of us. Writing 'was' destroys me afresh. What a beautiful child. How is this possible that we will not see her again? How is that bearable?
We loved her and will cherish her forever. How sad that sentence is.
I could have written those lines about my sister. And it reminds me, yet again, of the suddenness of death. One minute someone is there in your life, alive and vibrant and present and vital and there. And then, in a second, everything changes, and your story is completely re-written.
But we can't live our lives fearing these moments. We have to live each day as though everyone we love will be there for the next ten thousand, because otherwise we cannot keep going. And for most of us, they will be there. It is the rare, tragic cases where they are taken too soon that remind us just how blessed we really are.
RIP Peaches Geldof. And to her family - I don't know you, but I really do feel your pain, and I'm sorry. Wishing you all a long life.