When a friend dies, it catches you in the throat. The loss, the flavour, the timbre of him – for this time he is a him. We remember his cadence, humour and kindness. But also deeply ask, what is it all about, that life can be over – and what is life?
The places he traveled, sights seen, music heard can't go with him. What does it mean to look at a view, listen to a song? Where does that feeling go, when we are no longer here?
We can, by our acts, make statements to history. Integrity draws a wide brush stroke across the canvas of our common world. We remember Rosa Parks and Mother Theresa, but also the quiet neighbour who donates a kidney or Robert Charest who, despite chronic pain, takes his walker and picks up litter each day.
And on a personal scale, I remember acts of truth by my father and they seem timeless; Granny's wise sayings I pass on to my grandchildren – spanning 5 generations. Camping in the South Arican bush, by a flickering fire, I retail my grandsons with “Grandfather stories” for, despite fierce integrity, he was eccentric and always in trouble.
So, perhaps we need to kick our bucket list aside for it is not the bungee jump thrill that lives on. Not what we did or saw, but HOW we lived.
In memory of Kit, a kind and good man, beloved by his family. He will live on through his grandchildren.