Marie Louise McConville: Naya tragedy reminds us that time is precious and we should enjoy life while we can

Glee star, Naya Rivera went missing in a California lake last week. The 33-year-old's body was recovered six days later. Picture: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File
Marie Louise McConville

You just never know the moment.

We can be here one day, making the dinner, shouting at the kids to clear up the mountain of slime, and the next we could be gone.

I think lockdown has made many of us re-evaluate life and helped us prioritise the things that mean the most to us.

Personally, it made me realise I sometimes waste time doing things I don't particularly enjoy, it's just routine.

Now I will not be doing that any more because time is precious and I want to spend it with my husband and children doing things we enjoy.

We all makes plans for the future, days, weeks and months ahead but the reality is, we don't know where we will be by then.

So why then do we waste so much time worrying about the silly things?

There was dreadful news from the US this week about Glee star Naya Rivera, a beautiful and talented young actress who went missing off a boat in a California lake.

The 33-year-old had boarded the rental craft with her four-year-old son, Josey, on Wednesday, however the little boy was found unharmed, sleeping and alone on the boat that evening.

Naya was missing for six days before her remains were found by search and rescue teams.

Her distraught family had been pictured on the banks of Lake Piru watching as difficult searches had gone on to find the much-loved daughter and sister.

I was heartbroken to see an image of Naya's mother, Yolanda, crumpled beside the lake at one stage, devastated by the tragedy.

Never had she dreamed she would encounter such pain in her lifetime.

Locally, in recent weeks, the family of south Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe experienced their own distress after the young man went missing before sadly, his body was found.

I am sure his family have been left totally broken by their loss.

Both Naya and Noah were young people who had their whole lives in front of them.

Both had dreams and aspirations, probably a mental list of things they wanted to achieve and do and places they wanted to see.

Both left their homes on those fateful days never dreaming they would never again return alive.

The reality is, we never know what's around the corner so why put things off?

We should all live for the now, in the minute, tick those boxes, have the fun.

We should tell those we love that we love them every day and kiss and hug them at every opportunity because one day, we won't have the chance to do it any more.

Time is precious. It's time we realised that.


It was revealed this week that The Great British Bake Off 2020 could be axed this year due the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bosses behind the hit show, which is usually broadcast in August, have said they are "working hard" to produce a new series and while plans are in place to film, it will not have its usual return date.

The news follows reports that this year will not feature older contestants due to concerns they could fall ill during filming.

I just love this show, so fingers crossed it will go ahead in some form - piping bags at the ready.


So, how's the new normal going for you then?

Fed up with the queues yet?

Longing to get away from it all?

If you have shelved plans for a sun-soaked foreign holiday this year in favour of a staycation or even just a series of day trips here, there and everywhere, you are not alone.

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, parents everywhere are frantically trying to rearrange plans.

Thankfully, as restrictions have begun easing, there are many great places on our doorstep to explore.

Among the attractions to have recently reopened is Castle Espie in Comber, Co Down.

A wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) on the banks of Strangford Lough, its habitats include open water lakes, salt marsh, saline lagoons, shallow seasonally flooded wetland, strand line flora, woodlands and limestone grassland of important ecological value.

Anyone wishing to visit must pre-book tickets as part of new health and safety measures and in a bid to limit numbers.

Social distancing and additional hygiene measures are also in place.

Check out for further details

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