With the passing of each significant figure in 2016 there has followed a public outpouring of shock and sadness, made all the greater by social media. The sheer number of well-known individuals who’ve died in a single year may not be unprecedented, but it feels like it.
Always my reaction is to wonder whether the person realised how much they were liked and appreciated while they were still alive. Wouldn’t it add to the tragedy if he or she went to the grave unaware that thousands (in some cases millions) loved and respected them enough to grieve as they would for a member of their own family?
All of this, I think, strengthens the case for celebrating success through giving awards such as the Cateys (see statuette, far left) which honour the greats in hospitality and of course the Oscars, their equivalent in the world of entertainment.
I recently asked my big brother how he would like to be remembered when his time comes. He said he’d like people to say “It was better when he was here”. As British understatement goes, that modest aspiration is in a class of its own.
If you mean it, say it now.