Baselines both – they give us footing, and something to push against. Perhaps not seen as things to embrace in general, but where would we be without them?
I was thinking about my dear old friend, Torsten. He passed away a few years ago, in his sixties (he had malign melanoma). But he had the time to make something quite extraordinary of dying, and the courage to share it with his nearest and dearest.
He was always an outspoken man, very intelligent and fiercely independent. He could be quite challenging, in the true sense of the word. I am not and have never been confrontational, but we developed a great, if spacious, friendship. I suspect the spaciousness of it was the key.
Towards the end his honesty grew keener, and infinitely softer. He was thoughtful in a way that came across as a profound tenderness.
I spoke to him on the phone the day he died, if I remember correctly. It was certainly very close to his death. His passing words were “dear child, we are all blessed.” It may sound trivial written like this, but the way he said it radiated true grace.