My Aunty Doris died on Friday. Before you go into the usual mode of “I’m sorry” etc… please don’t. I’m not sad that she has left us. I’m not sad that there is no place for her to move on to. (Yes I know those of you who have your beliefs will disagree with me, as will Doris no doubt. She was regular visitor to the church after all. More for fancying the vicar I’m sure!.) And I’m not sad for me. I don’t have an single ounce of feeling of how my life will be that little bit worse for not having her around. The truth is, my life is so much better for her having been apart of it, and for that, I can only be happy.

She was at least 92. And, to quote the proverbial cliche, she had a good innings. Although I’m sure, and forgive me for continuing the cricket metaphor, that last few overs were probably not so great.

Aunty Doris was a friend of my grandmothers sister Phyllis. She moved from London to Manchester during the war and they lived together until about 20 years ago when Phyllis died. I never knew if they were anything more than best friends, but to be honest, I don’t think it matters. They lived together for at least 40 years – a stronger bond of friendship I can’t imagine.

As a child I spent most of my primary school lunch breaks at their house. And I have many a fond memory of those times. They were both more like a grandmother to me than my grandmother ever was. At their time, a nicer, more caring, couple of people I could not have had the good fortune to spend time with.

Lots of love Doris – thank you.

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