On Death and Dying

Rider - Waite tarot deck

Over the past few months more people who have touched my life have died than I care to count.  Not only famous creative types but this year saw the passing of two remarkable women, strident feminists both, whom I was lucky to call friend.  The first, before Christmas, of Dr. Marie Hammond Callaghan, at 53 after a 10+ year battle with breast cancer.  The second, just after Christmas, of Dr. Lidia Matassa, at 55 and suddenly, after a short but severe illness.

As I was staining my back garden fence yesterday the futility of it all was not lost on me.  I mean, look at the furious way we humans rush to be busy, rush to do things that don't really matter to give ourselves the illusion that death isn't waiting for us all.  Surely its the one thing we can actually count on in life.

And most definitely I'm not advocating doing nothing or giving up on leading productive lives because we're all going to end up six feet under.  To the contrary, what we make of our lives during this relatively short time we exist on the planet is the very essence of what makes us human.  How we spend our time, what we give our attention to, who we hold close; these things matter.  Our time here, with each other, is precious.

While I am continually saddened at the passing of these two amazing women, they live on in how they have positively affected my life and what they have taught me.  They are not forgotten.

Nos morituri te salutamus

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