It has now been just over a week since my dog Maggie took her last breath and each night I have lit a candle and for a few moments contemplated a photo of her sitting happily in a stream. For seven nights, I have held Maggie gently, briefly but with full attention, in my thoughts and acknowledged how important this lovely animal was – and still is – to me. How grateful I am for her presence in my life.

I’ve found this to be quite illuminating. Because it occurs to me that not only would it be wise to, but I want to, do this for people and four legged friends who are still very much alive. How easy it is to become consumed by the busyness of life and take the ones we love for granted. Very clichéd but very true.

So from tonight, I’m developing a new habit. I’m beginning a new ritual. Every night, along with cleaning my teeth and writing tomorrow’s to do list, I will light a candle. I will hold the face of someone who is dear to me (and there are so many of you) in my thoughts and I will wish you well.