My uncle passed away recently. It wasn’t sudden or unexpected. He’d been ill for a long time, and was bedbound in a nursing home at the end.

It was incredibly sad to see, having been fiercely independent his whole life, despite a host of chronic health problems; the like of which would have been a perfectly understandable excuse for inaction.

When I think of him, I remember this determination to remain active and engaged in life, to confront each day and overcome his challenges anew.

He was driven and diligent, working every day of the year except Christmas and Boxing Day. A hugely practical man, he was a creative thinker and tinkerer, able to fix or mend almost anything. He was also stoic, a product of a previous generation, always dressed in a shirt and tie and reluctant to discuss his emotions.

But more than anything, he was a rock in his community, who knew everyone and helped wherever he could, volunteering and leading local initiatives for the general good.

Goodbye, uncle. You will be much missed.