According to the old saying, there’s nothing as sure as death and taxes. This isn’t strictly true, because the wealthy can employ all sorts of dodgy ruses to avoid tax, but there’s little even they can do to prevent death.

Despite its relative proximity, there’s no reason why death should preoccupy pensioners, though this can be difficult when you’re continually reading obituaries for your heroes and the answer to 14 across in your daily crossword is ‘grim reaper’.

The good thing about death is that, unlike most things in life, you only have to endure it once. It doesn’t matter how well or badly you do it, and even if people think you’ve made a complete pig’s ear of it, you won’t be around to hear what they have to say.

Perhaps the best way to come to terms with death is to think of the billions of years that existed before you were born. They never bothered you then, so why should they in the not too distant future? Equally, the alternative to death is eternal life and that hardly bears thinking about. In fact, thinking about death or life has little to recommend it unless you’re a French philosopher and probably dead already.