Re-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2015/02/22/death-grieving/
Two men who played key roles in radically transforming my life and my worldview have died. On January 21st, Marcus Borg, a renowned Christian theologian, passed away. And on February 7th, Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of Nonviolent Communication, passed away.
I don’t really know what to say about death. I knew I didn’t want the passing of these two men to go by without comment, without attempting to pay them some tribute. But I do not know what to write to help you have a better relationship with death, or what would adequately pay homage to these two men and their contributions.
I do know that grieving doesn’t have to make sense. I know that grieving is natural and necessary for our healing, and thus it is important to go through and express. And so I want to share my grief with you, in hopes that it will help me heal, and that in witnessing my grief your own relationship to grief and to death may be changed.
“I’m pissed that I never got to see these two men talk. I’m angry that I never got a chance to tell them how much their work has changed my life, and that I won’t get a chance to experience what their presence was like in person. I’m so angry that these people are gone and that their vision of the world hasn’t come to complete fruition. People still argue and bicker, using judgment, blame, and shame to control the behavior of others. Christians still get all caught up in debates over beliefs that they never even touch the deep, living God that lies below the surface of our religion. My mind says ‘it’s not fair! We should have done more to raise these two prophets up. We shouldn’t have allowed them to ignored and go unseen by so many.’
And I’m deeply sad. I’m sad because I wish I could have more inspiration, more growth from these people. I wish the world could benefit more from their active leadership. I’m sad because their death reminds me that I and all those whom I love will one day die. I’m dejected at recognizing that I don’t go through life treating it as the precious gift it is, and that I don’t cherish the connections I make in this life to the extent that I should given how fragile and temporary they are. I’m sad that those who were closest to these men are now mourning, that they are experiencing loss, sadness, and pain.
I’m also profoundly grateful for the ways these two men have contributed to my life. I am grateful for Marshall Rosenberg’s teachings which have helped me to accept myself as I am, tame my inner critic, and communicate with greater intimacy and compassion. I am so thankful for the work I do in the world of sharing Nonviolent Communication with people; this work gives my life so much purpose and meaning. I am thankful for the ways Marcus Borg opened up the Christian tradition for me. Borg wrote books that gave me inspiration, insight, and growth in my own faith life. I am grateful for the way he was able to help me move past the surface of beliefs into the deeper life source of my religion.
I’m grateful to both of these men for helping me have more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control in my life.”
Find healthy ways to express your own authentic grief in your life. Not necessarily for these two men, but for anyone in your life who has died. It could be a family member, a friend, an acquaintance, or simply someone who inspired you from afar. Allow yourself to grieve, and while you don’t have to do it in as public a domain as a blog on the internet, you do need to share that grief with others. You need the loving, compassionate ears of others for the expression of grief to be complete. It is only through our sharing of our authentic grief with others that we will ever come to terms and accept death.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.