This is a very difficult post to write for my blog. It is very hard to find the right words to say when someone dies - and over the past few weeks, two friends have died.
Both deaths were sudden, unexpected and untimely. I feel sad, and shocked.
I feel I need to write about this, yet at the same time I feel maybe I shouldn't be writing, because this isn't my grief to claim. Although they were friends, I wasn't an extremely close friend to either of them and any sympathy should be offered to their family, loved ones and dear ones.
However, they were people I had known for a long time. I will miss them, and it is hard to think that they are no longer in the world..
For those who were close to them, this is a terrible tragedy.
I do know how it feels to lose someone close. My father died a few years ago. A couple of years before that a close friend collapsed with a sudden heart attack and died in my arms. I even thought I saw his spirit leave his body as he died - although I realise I could have been mistaken.
The grief of losing someone close is terrible. There are always thoughts about what might have been, and it is difficult to come to terms with the fact that one will never see them again - at least in this lifetime and in the flesh.
One of the most difficult aspects of bereavement in our society is that there seem to be so few acceptable ways of offering sympathy and condolences, or to express grief. It is more of a taboo to talk about death than to talk about sex.
In some ways I wish we could return to the days when one wore black to show mourning, or lived in a society when people gathered to cry and wail over a tragic loss.
But we don't. And I am left writing a blog entry that I feel slightly awkward about; feeling I want to share my sympathy with those who are suffering, but not knowing quite what to say.