Today at 17:30 CET we will multilogue on Autopoieting. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvd-morjkpHtMOJB_2NCiYV3O7yrKgGjzN (we will begin a new mode of expanding on the multilogue today)
On March 2nd 17:30 CET we will multilogue on Deathing. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIsdumgqTssE9wrN_vfvLNN45Niy-Y7qrve
On August 28 2001 my dad went on a hike and never came back. We don't exactly know what happened, but probably he was a little too curious when crossing a canyon in Southern France. Turns out curiosity kills more than cats. He fell thirty meters and we hope, his body shut down before he hit the ground.
My sister, brother and i raced to Southern France where my mom was alone - with the amazing and loving support of the elderly couple from whom they had rented a house for the summer.
Once we had made a first glimpse of sense of what had happened and organised everything that wanted to be organised, we took the car and went on a journey home. Without much coordination we agreed on a route that we knew was longer, but more meaningful to us.
As we were driving in our little bubble of grief, we let go of our anger, grief and emptiness. We remembered beautiful and funny times full of love. We remembered absurd notions, ideas and ticks.
On the evening of the first day we arrived in Basel where i had spent my childhood and spent the night at the house of a cousin of my dad. While we had the inevitable conversation one has in such times, i noticed a feeling emerging from the depths of my subconscious.
I tried to push it back, but it was the liminality of the moment that made it push harder, that made me acknowledge a feeling i was too scared to put into words. For the first time in my life i had a feeling, new exactly what it had to say but was not willing to put it into words.
Underneath and woven into the grief and pain was a feeling of gratitude. A weird kind of gratitude - one about being forced into the world, one about being left entirely on ones own terms, without a fallback, one of positive liberty in the most absolute form, with all of the uncertainties that come with it.
It took me a while to admit and articulate this feeling to myself. And then more time to admit and articulate it to others. And even more to share it with my mom (who understood it).
I allowed myself one entire year of expressing my grief in many forms, writing a song, creating an image while symbolically enacting the fall that lead to his death and many more ways.
Death has a tendency to put everything else into a different light and perspective. What used to be in the shadows becomes visible. This can be deeply disorienting, it feels like a tectonic shift in ones value system and as you are losing the landmarks of your sense-making it becomes hard to see what is what.
This is where Deathing comes in. The ultimate tool for value based triangulation is the question of how you want to be seen by your loved ones at the end of your life. The continuous practice of Deathing changes everything.
Ending each day with the reflection on whether my actions were in line with the expectations of my dying Self provides the clearest possible compass. In a strange and liberating way inviting your dying Self into your here-nowness gives rise to love and to life.