Art of Dying Volume II - Page 51

There was no place for applause. Everyone could feel that death, through her father, was asking us to be quiet. But that seems far away from how I feel now. It would have to be a state of being that shuts down my interest in exploring death. But, even in that state, I don't feel that I would lose my empathy with other people's pain. One night a girl played an audio experience of recordings related to her father’s death. It started with a voicemail he left, telling her about his cancer. Messages left by him and other people followed before she played recordings from his death bed, his breathing, his death rattle. She then played several recordings of awkward calls, people saying "I'm sorry.” “I'm here.” I love you." When the last message ended, everyone just sat silently. There was no place for applause. Everyone could feel that death, through her father, was asking us to be quiet. I'd like to be more and more open; open and wiser about this conversation about death and dying. I feel like what comes up for me now more than ever is just facing life’s losses and changes and the shortening of time. Everything gets mixed up and dissolves in all of that. I want to keep opening. I want to be present, and maybe quieter. And maybe more at peace. But still in this and holding space with people and being able to look into someone's eyes and say, "I see it, you know? I get it. And, I'm here with you in that. And, you don't have to change it. You don't have to get where I am. You don't have to do anything but know that I'm here and I'm open, and that's my work. To be with you in that. And to be with you and these truths." I believe that my life will be richer for it and that I'll be deeper even though sometimes it will hurt more than ever. I hope that my work inspires others to turn to their pain and losses and their grief, to be with everything, knowing that it's work they need to do for themselves and everybody else. Because that's the point. I don't know what else we're doing here but to be in these things with each other. That's what the show is. You’re Going To Die is a willingness to be there with one another. I don't know any other purpose for us to be here. NED BUSKIRK is the creator and host of the 501c3 nonprofit You’re Going to Die, a movement intent on bringing people creatively into the conversation of death and dying, through unabashedly confronting loss and mortality. The first live event was held on March 6th, 2009, as a simple poetry night held in the golden belly of a San Francisco apartment. Now the live event series, You’re Going To Die: Poetry, Prose & Everything Goes … encompasses more than simply open mics and live shows, but is also an online international community creatively engaging with our shared mortality and all its inevitabilities. “While I think there are several reasons to account for the movement’s success, I’m certain the greatest cause for its momentum and relentless support is that we, as community, desperately need communal spaces, online and off, to gather and grieve, to suffer the losses we’ve endured and/or stand to lose eventually, to be with one another in this often unspoken G'WFFBvR6&SvR&RvrFFRWfVGVǒWN( 066WBFBf7BFvWFW"B6VRrvR6W6RF2G'WFFf&B7&R&WGFW"ƗfW2( Хuurs$B4( "TDs$B4ХdTRS