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The Sunday Times Magazine - The Meaning of Life: Michael Palin on finding his way after the death of his wife of 57 years

The Sunday Times is a British newspaper that was founded in 1821. The magazine which is produced by the Sunday Times started in 1962. In this article we explore the September 17, 2023 edition which features Michael Palin - subtitled, The Meaning of Life: Michael Palin on finding his way after the death of his wife of 57 years.

In this edition, Michael Palin is interviewed after his wife of 50+ years passed away. For those of you not familiar with Palin, he is best known around the world for his work co-writing and co-starring in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979), The Meaning of Life (1983), and acting/writing/directing in number of other non-Monty Python movies as well. Back in 2018, we even reviewed the movie The Meaning of Life on our blog.


Now, to get into the meat of the article, are we going to get any deep philosophical insights into the meaning of life? No. But it is humbling to hear from such a distinguished celebrity how life changes with the passing of a loved one. For example, it is the little things that get him in his empty house: I said I could cope with the existential terror but not with defrosting the freezer. Yet, it becomes apparent as the interview goes on, that Palin is deeply hurt by the loss, as would be expected: When someone's gone, someone who has been so much part of your life for the past 60 years, you can't believe they're not there to enjoy a little joke, or an observation, or a bitch about somebody. A great sort of emptiness comes in.


Palin goes on to talk about finishing his latest book, Great-Uncle Harry: A Tale of War and Empire, which is about his uncle finding his way in life, never being satisfied, and eventually being killed in WWI. What else will Palin do now that his wife of so long has passed away? He talks about not giving up, to not stop living. In some sense, besides the sadness of it all, he states that he now has a lot more free time and he intends to use it. Maybe to read some of the books he always wanted to read, to start new projects, to relax a bit and just enjoy life. Before doing the interview, he was relaxing and saw a grey heron sitting on a log, and thought, that's a wonderful thing. But, most importantly, part of enjoying life includes still getting out and to be with people, one of his favorite things to do.


If you're a fan of Michael Palin, what do you think his greatest movie was? How do you cope with such a huge loss and can life still have meaning after that? Comment below and let us know.

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