Liked HEWN, No. 269 by Audrey Watters (Hack Education Weekly Newsletter)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I can be struck – deeply struck – by the loss of a celebrity. Like the loss of Carrie Fisher and Prince in 2016, this one hit me hard. We tend to attach a lot of meaning to stars – and not just the meaning that Hollywood star systems and the like hope we will. Stars matter because they are inspirational and aspirational, and even when they are larger-than-life, they are, in the end, fragile and human. They live and breathe and love and suffer and die like the rest of us.
Replied to Memento Mori: Learning about life, by knowing you will die (W. Ian O'Byrne)
One of the things that I do believe, and most people do not understand, is that most of the wonderful things I have in my life are present because of my mother’s death. Most of my large family comes from my father remarrying. Events in my life have unfolded to put me in certain places in certain times.
Sorry to hear your loss Ian.

I really enjoyed your reflectoon. It has certainly led me to think a little more deeply. I was particularly taken by your point about your mother’s death defining you in so many ways. I think that can also be said about a lot of those life choices not just death. Being the grandson of a European refugee who fled Communist Czechoslovakia, I am often left wondering what if, only to realise that there is no what if, just what.

Thanks you again for sharing.

Aaron

Replied to Death is a friend of life by jennymackness (Jenny Connected)
Iain McGilchrist’s stress on the importance of poetry, music and presence at a time of the death of someone you love, or indeed of anyone, resonated with me. I am fortunate to know at least two people who really understand this. As many testified at her death, my mother was unique. Had she not existed there would be a Betty-shaped hole in the Universe.
My sincere condolences Jenny. Sadly, death seems to be a topic of reflection at the moment.

Your post has me reflecting on the death of my mother. Although it maybe a part of life, I am not sure I was willing to accept death. I naively thought she would be around seemingly forever. I remember missing our last moment together:

My last real one to one chat happened when I was least expecting it. With my step dad out picking up my brother and sister from school, I had a few moments with my mum. All of the sudden the tone of the conversation changed from being chatty, talking about this and that, but nothing in particular, to being more serious. I am not sure if it was something that I said or whether it was something that mum was just waiting to say, but she learnt forward from the couch and told me that I was a great brother, an amazing son and a fantastic husband and that I should not listen to anyone who says otherwise. In my usual manner, I tried to dodge these compliments. Like my mum, I just don’t like being pumped up. However, it didn’t occur to my till much later that these were mum’s last meaningful words for me. Although we had a few more conversations, none of them were as deep as this moment.

I am not sure how I thought she would pass, but no-one and definitely no movie prepared me the change and transformation associated with cancer.

I find your mention of music interesting. My sister and I played Miley Cyrus’ The Climb over and over in our last night with my mother as she lay there slowing passing. I remember the track playing randomly on my phone in class one day. I had to check myself, let alone somehow explain why I had Miley Cyrus on my phone to a bunch of teens.

Thank you Jenny for sharing.

Aaron