A year ago, my son Raphaël Coleman, aka #IggyFox, died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition. Here’s what I have learned, and what he taught me.
Even in the most crushing grief, we are hard-wired to survive. The moment a human heart is broken, microscopic seeds of new life begin to germinate.
This is your new life. This is Future You. You won’t feel their growth for a long time, but they are there. Trust it.
There are many ways to live well. But the most powerful is to cherish, protect and nurture the most precious thing of all: life on the only planet we have.
As a wildlife biologist living in an era of biological annihilation, that’s what Fox did, campaigning to his last breath to save creatures and habitats on the brink of extermination. And it brought him what so many people seek in this darkening century: a sense of meaning.
He didn’t live to see all that can and must be done, but he pictured it vividly. And he believed in the power of ordinary human beings to effect the paradigm shift that is now beginning.
In one of his notebooks I found these words, written in the year before his death.
“ Nothing has ever inspired me so powerfully. Nothing has ever given me so much hope or such a sense of purpose. Nothing has been so clear to me as these visions that I have for the future.
I call them visions, because unlike hope or dreams they feel solid, tangible, traceable, catchable, possible, achievable – reality in the making.
What I am planning is nothing short of revolution. What I’m expecting is an entirely new era for humanity and the entirety of life on Earth. But I’m not foolish enough to think that this can be done alone.
While people are the source of the endless destruction we must put a stop to, they are also the key to reaching our goals.
So spark, shelter, and nurture the flame of passion until it roars. That energy, that power, can be harnessed to change the world…
Perhaps we’ll reach this brave new world in a decade, perhaps we’ll still be moving towards that long after I’m dead. But I know it doesn’t matter whether I’m here or gone.
What matters is that we keep moving on until we get there. When the light leaves my eyes, and I pass on, do not weep for me, for I am not dead…
All that I ever was and ever will be lies in the flame of passion that consumed me. The same flame that burns in all those who believe in what I believed.
I’ll not be dead until my dream is. I’ll not fade away until my vision does. I’ll not be gone until all my hopes are.”
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