18 September 2016

The Curse — and the Blessing — of Feeling Deeply

A lovely friend left this Earth on Monday. Rather than let cancer ravage her brain, she chose assisted dying -- while she was still joyful ... radiant ... luminous. With everything unimportant stripped away, she gained a wisdom beyond her years. Visiting her in hospital was like receiving darshan from a cherished guru.

I don't know what to do with all my mixed emotions. Grief at the loss of a friend (and at the thought of her partner's deep sorrow and loneliness). Gratitude that I have special memories of time spent together. A sense of purposelessness (after all, if it's that easy to no longer exist on this physical plane, then ...). Some (dare I admit it) anger that she didn't wait longer to give miracles a chance. Blessed to have been some small part of her living, and dying, well.

And yet I wouldn't trade these deep emotions and mixed feelings for anything. They are my lifeblood. They are what make me work so hard for the children of all species. The deep sadness and raging anger at the fossil fuel greed that is making the future a thing of the past juxtaposed with the utter joy and delight that children offer us. The sense of foreboding (knowing too much about how rapidly this climate change emergency is playing out, still with no concerted global mitigation) together with a complete sense of awe and contentment when the sun shines a certain way through the trees.

When I die, I want to be as lighthearted as my friend was. And my sense now is that the only way I'll be able to make that dream come true is to keep working, on behalf of all the children of all species, to avert planetary disaster.

My deep emotions keep me connected to the global problems -- and fighting for their solution.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?