David Bowie had been singing about his death since he incorporated Jacques Brel’s incomparable ‘My Death’ into his first self-destruction – that of his alter-ego Ziggy Stardust – who passed from this world into the realm of myth at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1973.
Since that time, many other reflections of Bowie have also bitten the dust – Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke, among others – while even earlier incarnations such as Major Tom were resurrected (albeit in a new life as a junkie) in ‘Ashes to Ashes’ in 1980.
Today’s guest column comes from Liam Farrell, columnist, broadcaster, ex-general practitioner.
Some years ago, on a hospice locum, I made a point of visiting the day room as often as I could. It was a source of wonder; whenever I looked in it would be humming with activity. In one corner, a sing-song would be in session, with a volunteer accompanying on piano; in another corner, set up as a little coffee shop, there were animated discussions going on at every table. Outside, the minibus, driven by another volunteer, was drawing up, and some residents burst in the door full of news about their guided trip around the Botanic Gardens. It was a place where death was not considered an enemy. Continue reading
Loneliness is a bigger threat to older people’s mortality than cancer and it is feelings of loneliness, rather than social isolation that is more likely to cause death.
This is particularly relevant in Ireland after a recent study by St James Hospital showed that one in three people over 65 and living alone suffered from loneliness.