Betty, who lived next door to us for the whole of our 20 years living in Daventry, died very recently. We kept in touch with her when we moved to Shropshire so when we didn't get her usual Christmas message we guessed that something was wrong.
She was always the perfect neighbour - which was fortunate because some of our other neighbours were rather "strange"! In no particular order there was the man who was clearly running a business from his home - despite previously signing a binding legal document agreeing not to do so. Then there was the man who deliberately set his own house on fire and the elderly couple who "demanded" for reasons that were never made clear that we "must" chop down a tree that was some considerable distance from the boundary between the two properties.
Betty was an oasis of normality in a desert of strangeness.
Claire and I have always believed in the idea of people dying to make space for newcomers. In 1984, when our daughter Sally was born, my Grandma and Grandpa (who were then aged 89 and 90) wrote to us telling us how pleased they were to hear that a new family baby had arrived to take one of the places that they themselves "expected soon to vacate". Now we will always remember that Betty died just before our niece had her baby boy. He was born to take Betty's place in the world.
Rest in peace Betty - we are happy that you have been reunited with your husband George after so long apart.