“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”, Albert Pike
Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She has been dead for many years, but today I remember how she laughed when I tried to show her floor exercises from gym class, how wonderful her fried pies tasted, and how stately she looked in her nurses uniform as she went off to work. Yesterday as I stopped in The Break for a meeting, I saw the community remembrance shrine that is being created as part of our Festival of Remembrance to honor loved ones and create community around grief and healing. I thought of my “Nana”, my parents and so many others who have touched my life. And even though I had nothing to leave, I was moved to remember. But even more, I was moved to see beyond my life to the stories of loved ones that others grieve and to think about the stories of people I will never know in places I have never been — those who died in wars, violence or climate disasters and all the families who grieve them. Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal”. In the notes that adorned the shrine, I saw a glimpse of immortality. Grief connects me to my ancestors, but also to my community and to all those who suffer and die around the world.