Inspirational Islander speaks to the nation before hospice move

Simon Boas receives the Bailiff's Silver Seal from the Bailiff, Sir Timothy Le Cocq. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (38502848)

AS he expects to move into Jersey Hospice for his final days, the Islander whose reflections on life and death have touched millions gave what may be one of his final interviews to the BBC’s Today programme on Thursday 4 July.

Simon Boas – whose articles for the JEP have been reproduced by the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday, and read out on Radio 4 – told presenter Emma Barnett: “I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my life.

“It does us all good to think about [death]. That’s not in a gloomy way [but] by kind of realising it’s inevitable and it’s a part of life, it actually throws life into perspective and helps you to enjoy it more and prioritise the important things.”

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Mr Boas’s writings, which first took the form of three extended articles published in the JEP following his diagnosis with terminal throat cancer last year, were being expanded into a book described by publishers Swift Press as “a paean to the joy of life”. A Beginner’s Guide to Dying will appear in October, with proceeds going to palliative charities.

In his radio interview, Mr Boas told listeners that his family were about to go through the most difficult thing in their lives but he hoped that his cheerfulness in the leaving of life might help them in the years to come.

“My pain is under control and I’m terribly happy – it sounds weird to say, but I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my life.

“I used to think I’d rather be hit by the proverbial bus, but having a couple of months knowing this is coming has really helped me both do the boring ‘death-min’, but also get my thoughts and prepare myself, and feel so accepting of what’s to come. It’s been such a great bonus, actually,” he said.

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