A friend of the family, my dad’s old school friend, threw a party when she learn she had incurable cancer. She’s Irish and the local village pub became a huge folk party for the night, and so many people came the pub was packed. My mum, a small busy woman who is usually very prim and proper danced the night away. It was loud, and messy, and so completely full of joy. When it was time to say goodbye, I was 18. I went up to her at the end of the night and I’ll never forget the look, how she looked at me, like she knew that was the last time we’d ever see each other. She died a few weeks later, a month before her granddaughter’s birth and leaving a young son. But that party was so full of love and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.