A reflective post this week to honour the passing of Alice Pyne, aged seventeen, who I wrote about in my post Two Inspiring Blogsites back in June of last year. Alice achieved more in her short life than most of us ever will, with her national campaign to get everyone in Britain to sign up to the Bone Marrow Donor Register. She also, with the help of her amazing family, raised tens of thousands of pounds to set up a charity, Alice’s Escapes, to provide free holidays in the Lake District for families with a seriously ill child. She lived up to her motto: ‘One life . . . live it!’
Many young people want to make a difference in the world, even if only to one person – my son has just started writing a blog and his first post was on this very subject – see also Action for Happiness on Why Helping Others Matters. But to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit thousands of children and adults with life-threatening diseases is inspirational – Alice received a ‘Pride of Britain’ award and she and her sister were both honoured with the British Empire Medal for services to charity. Alice’s courageous spirit lives on; her sister Milly plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, together with her parents, in memory of Alice – you can sponsor her here.
This weekend our small town has also been paying their respects to 15-year-old Helena Farrell, whose sudden death has saddened the whole community. Her friends compiled a photo tribute showing a young woman blessed with beauty, intelligence, musical talent, sporting prowess, and a close and loving family. In spite of all this she was somehow unable to reach out and get the help she so desperately needed in a time of crisis.
My father once told me he got through five years as a prisoner-of-war by remembering that ‘this too will pass’. I guess as adults we have enough knowledge and experience to know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, but young people haven’t yet acquired this wisdom and their emotions can overwhelm them. If only we could turn the clock back and show the outpouring of love and support that was always available, but we know we can’t – there’s no easy answers. Helena had already made a lasting difference to the lives of her family and friends, and her loss has touched many more of us who never knew her.
My loving thoughts are with both families.
I wish I could show you
When you are lonely or in darkness
The astonishing light of your own being