dignity is hard work

Posted by chuckgski on Jan. 10, 2019, 3:33 p.m.

dignity is hard work

About 20 years I found myself following my careerpath after seeing how my own mom dealt with the death of her mom and wondering if we all grieve the same in some fundamental way as human beings. 

I began by asking what people themselves said about how they prepared for death and dying. In one place where I spent a lot of time visiting (over 10 years), a small kingdom in Africa called Swaziland (eSwatini) affected by AIDS, I learned it there, to them, it was about dignity.

Dignity is a funny word. It usually means being respectably treated to American listeners. To the people I met there it also means, in their language, shadow, personality, or soul, and everyone else has a hand in making you the person you become. That's not easy. It's a lifetime of love. And hard work.

Having lost a partner since the end of writing about all of this, I've come to think differently about my own feelings about dying and death. Learning is a journey. Thank you to Death Cafe folks for being a good set of recurrent stopping points along the way.

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