“I heard your mum died recently…”

I had this interaction the other day:

“Are you Lorna?”


“I heard your mum died recently and I should talk to you because my mum died last week”

Erm – what do you say to that?

Putting the rest of this interaction aside (although I’m sure you’re now wondering how it ended!), it made me think.

Recently. What is ‘recently’?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary it is ‘not long ago’. But then, what time frame is ‘long ago’? Of late, a short time ago, a little while back…

As I write this it has been 2,840 days since my mum died. That’s 7 years, 9 months and 9 days. I have been alive for 9,594 days. That’s 26 years, 3 months and 7 days. 2,840 days is 29.6% of my life.

Surely that isn’t recently?

Now, to be fair to the person I was talking to, she had heard this fact through a mutual friend who I don’t know all that well. We met whilst I was training for my bike ride to raise money for Macmillan. I can see why she maybe thought mum had died more ‘recently’ than she actually did, if I never actually said when it was. However, it still made me stop and ponder – and for some reason, share my open question with you – what is ‘recently’?



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