Birthday and death day. We all live through our birthday every year and, equally, we unknowingly live through our death day every year.
But they're just days. Arbitrary days. So why is that approaching two separate days every year I become tenser and angrier and blacker and feel that bit worse about the world?
November 4 is my dad's birthday. He should be 69 today. He's not. He didn't get to be 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 or 68 either.
That's a lot of years not to have.
I've felt his absence every day for every single one of those years.
This is my dad with my mum on a beach near Bamburgh Castle in the mid 60s. It makes me smile every time I see it.
Wish you were here.
Tu fui, ego eris.