July has been a pretty eventful month for me. In the first two weeks, I officially graduated from the University of Kent with a 2:1 in Journalism, saw Ed Sheeran live at Wembley and spent a week in Spain with some of my best friends. After two pretty great weeks, the universe thought it was time to bring me down a peg. As I arrived at Alicante airport to start my journey back to England, I received the devastating news that my Uncle Paul had passed away just weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer. My whole world was shaken, how could this be true? I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. So instead of spending my last week in Kent saying goodbye to all my friends, I was on the first plane home to Derry to be reunited with my family to mourn our loss.
Safe to say, this last week has been pretty tough in the Maguire family but it’s during times like these that I am truly thankful to have a big family. We laughed together, cried together and gave Paul the perfect send-off. There are times when I forget that it’s happened, forget that I’ll never see him again or that I’ll never hear him call me ‘Hells Bells’ again and then my heart breaks all over again. One of my uncles read the poem, ‘Death is nothing at all’ at the service, the first verse perfectly reiterates all that we need to remember:
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
If my Uncle Paul’s death has taught me anything, it’s that life is way too short. You just don’t know when your time will be up so use it wisely. As a recent graduate, I have the world at my feet and all I need to do is figure out what I want from it. That’s what I intend to do over the next few weeks at home, promise to keep you updated with my progress!