This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Bucket list of dreams

For years, people with terminal illnesses have been writing bucket lists - goals they want to achieve before they die. And now, many people have started writing lists of their own, posting them on the internet and sharing their inspiring journeys with others. Chris Thundow reports.


f someone could tell you, with absolute truth, when you were going to die, would you let them tell you? It’s life’s ultimate surprise, its biggest,

most powerful revelation. The question is one which pursues, haunts and inspires us throughout our life. Would you want that knowledge, that

countdown of the years, months, weeks or days you had left? And, at a fundamental level, would you even

believe it? How readily do people really, truly, fully believe in death? Of course, on a philosophical level, every one of us knows that one day we will die. But, though we take safety precautions and look after our health to varying levels, it is almost impossible to live a life expecting death. The knowledge that one day we simply stop living is an understanding that so many of us tuck away. When we are young everything is so far in the future; we’re not living forever but we’re here for a while yet. And when we are older, we engage in a bitter

battle against the years. We joke about ageing; we jibe each other about the passing years; we raise a cynical eyebrow at yet another birthday; we spend our money on wrinkle creams and hair dye; we fight and we fight to stay young. So what happens when we are given a cause

and expected date for our death? What does that do to us? How does it change the way we see the time we have left? And what if that news was given in our youth? Alice Pyne was barely a teenager when she was diagnosed with cancer. At just 13, Alice,

of Ulverston, Cumbria, had been told she was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a disease which spreads through white blood cells. As time wore on, and the youngster

underwent different treatments, she began to realise her chances of overcoming the condition were slim. In 2011, not wanting to waste what time she had left, Alice started an online blog called Alice’s bucket list. The idea was that she would write down all the things she wanted to do with her life and try and achieve them in the years she had left. This she outlined in her first post, in her inimitably understated way. She wrote: “The cancer is now spreading

through my body. It’s a pain because there’s so much stuff that I still want to do. I guess that my particular cancer is made of strong stuff (which is hard because I know I gave it my all and I’m strong and determined too). “Anyway, mum always tells me that life is what

we make of it and so I’m going to make the best of what I have and because there were so many things I still wanted to do, mum suggested that I turn my ideas into a bucket list. “I’m not expecting to do everything on it.

Some of the things are just not going to happen because I can’t even leave the country now (I’m too much of a risk), but they’re on there, because they were on my ‘to do’ list at some point. So, I thought it would be fun to have my list online and to tick things off and do a little update on everything I do.” Almost as soon as she had posted that first entry, it grabbed the public’s attention. More

Farewell Magazine 35

Top – Bottom: dolphin by, Pyramids in Giza, Cairo

, Egypt by, Rollercoaster by

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84