Go away death

I know, I know. We can never get away from death but some weeks just seem harder than others. Not only have women been dying on the private metastatic cancer Facebook pages lately but:

Maryam Mirzakhani, only woman to win math equivalent of Nobel Prize, dies at 40

She died of breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones. I think there are very few women math geniuses out there (I have theories about this but that isn’t what I want to talk about) and even though I knew very little about Maryam Mirzakhani it was nice to know that she was around and getting acclaim for her work and something she was passionate about. I often think that it is women like her who should be the celebrities and the role models that our children look up to – not the fucking Kardashians who are polluting our minds and contributing nothing to society. But now she is gone and has left behind a young daughter.

Today I also found out that Michael Stone passed away suddenly (and tragically) yesterday. Michael was a meditation teacher/Buddhist/yogi and really freaking funny guy. I had the opportunity to attend one of his workshops a couple years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed his writing. Two years after attending the workshop I am still chewing over – and laughing about – the things he talked about that weekend. He leaves behind a young family as well (I believe he and his partner just announced that they were expecting another baby).

Sometimes it seems like the deaths just keep coming. These aforementioned deaths are the ones that make me really sad – not only because these people were young but because they were touching the lives of other people. I know death is happening everywhere, all the time and I honestly try not to focus on my own death too much (which is much easier when I am feeling well than when I am laid up in bed on pain medication) but sometimes it seems hard to get away from.

I have a quote on my phone lock screen by Rachel Carson. It isn’t so much the quote that is important (although it is a beautiful quote) but it is a daily reminder that Carson worked at something she was passionate about up until the moment she died (of breast cancer). She sat in bed writing Silent Spring while the cancer ate away at her.

All these deaths are reminders of the life is short and you need to do all the things now variety that I still can’t seem to wrap my mind around. I try and focus on what is good around me – like new fern shoots coming up out of the ground or a 4-year old who is really excited about learning something new. But sometimes it is hard and all I want to do is hide away and wish I could feel the urgency that is supposed to come with being told that your time is going to be cut short.

So I guess all I can say is hug your people. And celebrate real people who are doing real things, because they are far worthier of our brain space.

  2 Replies to “Go away death”

  1. Sara
    July 19, 2017 at 3:48 am

    Celebrating you and your voice in the world, Melanie. And adding my voice to those wishing to keep you here with us.

  2. Val
    July 19, 2017 at 10:44 am

    When I heard of Maryam’s passing I was so angry. I didn’t know of Michael, I’m glad you had the chance to attend one of his workshops.
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings and for these important reminders. You’re touching lives, too. xo

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