This morning, I heard an NPR segment on “dignity therapy.” A professor from the University of Manitoba has developed this therapy to comfort those who are dying and want to leave something greater than the image of their dying selves behind. So, they tell stories and find dignity in taking control of their own history through narrative.
It sounds like a wonderful idea, but as the therapist was discussing one man’s story to his son, he said he told the man to think that the words he was sharing might be the last words his son ever hears from him. I hear this cautionary tale quite often–the advice to “live each day like it’s your last.” But I’m less motivated by endings than beginnings. When I consider the things I say or don’t say to Aaron and Clara, sometimes I like to think that these are the first words I am saying to them, even if they’re just the first words said on September 16, 2011. Every moment can either be an ending or a beginning, but endings say we’re done and beginnings say we’re just getting started.
Now, to fully appreciate this video segment, you need to keep this image of the mama duck in mind:
You haven’t heard a mama duck until you’ve heard Aaron read “Little Quack’s Bedtime” to Clara. Best mama duck voice of all time.