Daily Archives: October 9, 2008

Death and Movement

“The longest duree one can witness is one’s own life”

                                David Harvey, Somewhere

My grandfather died on Monday. My dog died on Tuesday.

This is something I’m going to be meditating on for the next little while.

What roles does death play in movements for radical social change?

     – We talk about the role of violence, does this involve death? Many indigenous American tribes are dying out. Is our work affirmed by our mortality, does it define it? Poverty implies death. Foreign policy does too. Prisons, policing, the justice system, healthcare, immigration. Food.

More specifically, how do we care for our dying? How do we integrate our approaches to our dead and dying friends and family with our approach to the rest of the world? Most importantly for me in the past two weeks has been the connection of care and death.

I have worked in Early Childhood Education for some years now, I have helped friends and family grieve over our dead. In both, it feels as if you are growing something.

In tending to my dying grandfather, there was a defeatism. I was not sure what to do, how to make him as comfortable as possible, what to expect.

What is our relationship to our dead and dying?