David Soul died, aged 80, on 4th January 2024. People may remember David best from playing Ken Hutch(inson) in the famous TV cop series ‘Starksy & Hutch’ (1975-79) and UK No.1 solo song hits ‘Don’t give up on us now’ & ‘Silver Lady’. For others what haunts our memory is his role in the scary TV film ‘Salem’s Lot’. Alcoholism clearly afflicted David and his relationships for a large part of his life, but it is encouraging to see that latterly he recovered and found stability and a soul mate in Helen Snell, in relationship since 2002 and married (for the fifth time) in 2010. David had 5 sons and a daughter and it’s good to hear that, when he died in a London hospital, that he was surrounded by his family and loved ones

Hearing of famous people dying, soberly reminds us of our own mortality. Some face it with humour:

“I get up each morning and dust off my wits,

Open the paper, and read the Obits.

If I’m not there, I know I’m not dead,

So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed!

 

How do I know my youth is all spent?

My get-up-and-go has got up and went!

But, in spite of it all, I’m able to grin

And think of the places my getup has been!”

The poetry of a pensioner anticipating ‘the inevitable’ with grinning, grateful resignation. I have 2 funerals to conduct this week of dear older folk, each funeral a celebration of their lives and a commending into God’s Hands. Faith in Jesus Christ makes all the difference to such occasions, enabling a broader and brighter perspective. The prospect of eternal life can swallow sorrow and help dry loss’s tears. The grieving process is still raw and real but seeing a loved one in God’s safe hands and at Home with Christ forever, is such great comfort.

At 61, it’s sobering to appreciate I’m in my ‘latter years’ and a spur to ensure that I make the most of them in service and legacy. The purpose, by which I measure how I spend my time and resources, is “To share Jesus’ Love and help people take steps closer to Him.”

Alfred Nobel woke up to read his own obituary. His brother ‘Ludvig’ had died and journalists got their wires crossed. Alfred Nobel realised that he didn’t want to be known as the inventor of dynamite and bombs of mass destruction, so he set up ‘The Nobel Peace’ prize. And it worked, every year Nobel’s name is recognised beside someone who made our world that bit brighter. So what legacy are we in the process of leaving?