To Reflect: Fill the Gap

 

Tweet by @TorrensJonathan with text:
 "My dad died when I was 8. Every week a few of the dads on my hockey team would offer to tie my skates. Not in a big showy way, in a quiet kind way. They filled the gap. Find a way to fill the gap for someone. It'll make you both better."

To Read: Elizabeth Gilbert on Love, Loss, and How to Move Through Grief

Elizabeth Gilbert on Love, Loss, and How to Move Through Grief as Grief Moves Through You by Maria /Popova | Brain Pickings (10/17/18)

"How to move through this barely survivable experience is what author and altogether glorious human being Elizabeth Gilbert examines with uncommon insight and tenderness of heart in her conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson on the inaugural episode of the TED Interviews podcast.
'Grief… happens upon you, it’s bigger than you. There is a humility that you have to step into, where you surrender to being moved through the landscape of grief by grief itself. And it has its own timeframe, it has its own itinerary with you, it has its own power over you, and it will come when it comes. And when it comes, it’s a bow-down. It’s a carve-out. And it comes when it wants to, and it carves you out — it comes in the middle of the night, comes in the middle of the day, comes in the middle of a meeting, comes in the middle of a meal. It arrives — it’s this tremendously forceful arrival and it cannot be resisted without you suffering more… The posture that you take is you hit your knees in absolute humility and you let it rock you until it is done with you. And it will be done with you, eventually. And when it is done, it will leave. But to stiffen, to resist, and to fight it is to hurt yourself.'"

To Read: How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life

How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life By Lydia Christianson | Jordan Independent News (1/29/20)

"Death. It’s a taboo topic for many — some avoid the topic altogether. But there are those who confront it head on and help the rest of us do so, too.

They’re called death doulas. Similar to birth doulas, who work with families at the early stages of life, death doulas help at the end."


To Read: The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death

The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death By Sigal Samuel | Vox (August 12, 2020)

"Mortality might seem like a scary thing to contemplate — in fact, maybe you’re tempted to stop reading this right now — but that’s exactly why I’d say you should keep reading. Death is something we really don’t like to think or talk about, especially in the West. Yet our fear of mortality is what’s driving so much of our anxiety, especially during this pandemic.

Maybe it’s the prospect of your own mortality that scares you. Or maybe you’re like me, and thinking about the mortality of the people you love is really what’s hard to wrestle with.

Either way, I think now is actually a great time to face that fear, to get on intimate terms with it, so that we can learn how to reduce the suffering it brings into our lives."

To Reflect: Be the Things

Picture of a cornfield with the words: "Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone."

Picture of a cornfield at sunset with the words: 
"Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone."
 


To Read: 'I Was Completely Unprepared': Confronting My Sister's Death"

‘I Was Completely Unprepared’: Confronting My Sister’s Death By John Troyer | The Guardian (3/24/20)

"Despite my lived experience and academic credentials on human mortality, I was completely unprepared for Julie’s untimely death at the age of 43. I was not unprepared in that way many people are wholly unprepared for a person to die. There was an element of that emotion, but I was raised to understand that any person, especially the people we know and love, unexpectedly die all the time."


To Read: Death Positivity in the Face of Grief

Death Positivity in the Face of Grief By Megan Devine | The Order of the Good Death (1/18/18)

"There’s so much potential inside what we know as death positive people, but there is a chasm there, between the ways we talk about death in the abstract, and the ways we live inside actual death and grief.

We’ve got to start talking about grief in the face of deaths that are not beautiful."

"What we’re really doing, in both the death positive movement and its sister, the grief movement, is turning towards what feels scary and painful. We’re building skills, and gathering knowledge – not to avoid grief, but to withstand it. To able to companion each other, no matter what comes."