The rich emotional tapestry that is my life so far, can be split neatly into sections thus:
>> before Al >> with Al >> without Al >> aware of the planet crisis
Before Al, I was arrogantly aware that there was much wrong with the way mankind operated. Gregarious and outspoken, expressing non-conformist opinions in a forceful manner. In the years with Al, my character gradually mellowed and I worked on learning and applying the powerful art of loving selflessly, and endeavouring to understand other people’s perspectives. I saw the value of humility, although it was not a quality that came to me naturally. Al was my emotional rock as I struggled with the challenges of my childhood family who, with the exception of my father’s new family, all needed emotional support and attention in different ways. Al also enabled me to conform adequately in a human pattern of survival that was not sympathetic to nature and was so clearly unsustainable.
Without Al – gaining insights into current practices in ‘end-of-life’ care for the elderly
After losing Al, my poorly brother died very soon after, thereby relieving me, in quick succession of two very big emotional stresses. There was a brief interlude when I was embracing the freedom to enjoy the wonders of life. Followed very soon by a suicide attempt by my mother, who then became dependent on me in many ways in addition to the emotional dependency that had dominated our relationship since, when I was sixteen, my father had left.
Despite being in amazingly good physical health for someone in their nineties, my mother had been urging me to take her to ‘Dignitas’ for several years. I was never sure if this was simply emotional blackmail. Had the UK NHS offered a ‘Help to Die’ service I could have called her bluff. She was too frail to take abroad, and at that point I was already concerned about my husband’s health, although he had not been diagnosed. Eventually she died, just a year after her first-born son, by starving herself in March 2019, she had developed mild dementia after the suicide attempt. She told me ‘I am doing this for you’. I told her ‘Thank you’. That point in time may have been the closest that our mutual understanding had ever been. She was an amazing woman in many ways, and I inherited her strength of character. We always had a very different outlook on the world, especially in my interactions and understanding of men. Her relationships with men were always dominated by physical chemistry, whereas for me, the meeting of minds was more important. She had grown to respect and care for Al, but she never really understood the powerful dynamics between he and I.
My mother’s decision to starve herself was a secret between the two of us. This is because UK Social Services policy is to keep you alive however much you wish for the exit door, and social care workers often endure all sorts of accusations of ‘negligence’ from relatives who are unrealistic in their expectations of end-of-life for their ‘loved’ ones. This is something that I hope can be addressed, we need to promote a healthier and more realistic outlook towards end-of-life care for the elderly, this might be a key requirement to facilitate a paradigm shift to ‘Degrowth’.
Awareness Awakening – Easter 2019
Easter 2019. It was very soon after my mother’s death that I saw on the national News that the Extinction Rebellion movement had closed the bridges in London. Marvellous! I thought, someone is finally taking the climate change issue seriously.
Message to the Reader – The story of the lessons that I learned from the XR movement will be available when a further button appears below. My hope is that people will find the story told on this website to be frank, thought-provoking and inoffensive. I hope that many will recognise the themes and identify with some of the feelings from their own experiences. It is not my personal story that is important, it only serves as an example of one learning-curve of life. It shows how individuals can change their behaviour and learn from others and choose their own direction. It is the collective story of mankind that is now at stake. We all have a role to play if we wish to salvage a future for our children.