Yesterday when speaking to my dad on the phone he told me that my uncle Jimmy (my mother's sister's husband) had died suddenly. It had come as a complete shock to everyone. However it transpired my uncle Jimmy had known for some time that he had something (my dad didn't know what) inside him that could burst any time and kill him. He'd chosen not to share this with his wife or children because my aunt was also ill and he didn't want to worry her.
I didn't know my uncle Jimmy very well. My mother comes from a large, extended family and most of them stayed in Dumfries, got married, and had large, extended families themselves.
What struck me, when I heard the news that he'd died, was how awful it must've been for him to have lived with that knowledge and not shared it with anyone. To have not had the support of the people who loved him. What a dreadfully lonely burden that must've been.