Eight years ago today, my cousin Patrick passed away.

He was just 17 years old when he died.

One night, he said that he didn’t feel well and he went to bed early. The next morning, his alarm went off and he didn’t wake up with it.

It still scares me knowing that someone so young can just leave the world like that. Suddenly, unexpected, no sign of warning that it might happen.

Afterwards, they said it must have had cardiomyopathy. If that was known when he was alive, he could have just had the equivalent of about an aspirin a day and been totally fine.

It feels like such a waste of a life.

With Paddy, the saying is true that only the good die young. He had a beautiful soul. And he was one of those incredible all rounders – smart, good at sport, better at chess and brilliant with music.

He had a booming voice and a big laugh and no ability to cope with silence. My other cousin’s and I used to play a game where we’d see how long he could last if we just sat there and didn’t speak. He could never bare it for more than ten seconds before bursting into laughter or talking at double the speed to make up for the ten seconds he’d just lost to the quiet.

If Paddy was here today, he’d be 25. And I don’t know why, but whenever I think about what he’d be doing, I always imagine him in Japan. I don’t know what I see him doing there but I just have a feeling that’s where he’d be.

I think it’s important to honour people’s memory by thinking of them often and talking about them too.

In the words of Winnie the Pooh, “If there every comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart and I’ll stay there forever.”

RIP Paddy.