Cancer-stricken singer Bap's reflective posts from hospital serve as a poignant reminder of how precious life really is
Just months after the talented singer Bap Kennedy announced that he was suffering from cancer, his brother Brian has revealed that he is suffering from the same illness.
What a dreadful coincidence for the brothers and their wider family. Brian has carved out for himself a distinguished career in entertainment, and his fans everywhere will wish him well.
Cancer is one of those illnesses which many people find difficult to talk about. However, Bap has been very open, posting regular updates.
As one might expect, these have been beautifully written and reflective pieces about the human condition.
They are obviously based on his own feelings as he as tried to come to terms with the bad news, and also his thoughts about his wife Brenda coping with the challenge.
He has also been describing the tremendous humanity which he has encountered in the Ulster Hospital and also at the hospice where is he currently being cared for.
In our busy lives - if we are fortunate enough - we moan about the routine trials of life. However, Bap's posts have been a reminder of what really matters in life, and the challenges some people face, while noting how truly wonderful others are in helping those people who are seriously ill.
We also think of the wider Kennedy family circle who find themselves having to deal with such awful news, not once, but twice, in recent months. The same news also comes to many people throughout Northern Ireland every day, but it is also encouraging to recognise that there are increasingly better survival rates and treatments.
As Bap Kennedy notes, it is good to know that those who become ill are cared for so well by our health professionals.
Cancer and other severe illness can strike so much fear into people's hearts, but we also know that the human spirit can soar above this and bring inspiration in the darkest hour.