As part of an acting workshop we were asked to write our own obituary. Never has a writing exercise aroused so many emotions and forced me to deal with so much of my life. It goes beyond a simple ‘what do I want to do with my life?’ – something that could be written down in any goal-oriented exercise – instead, it forced me to question a legacy, the people in my life, my values and their order all at once. It was shocking to finally admit to myself what I really want to do with my life, and the dissonance between that and my surroundings. But rather than see it as a path which I now need to stick to with myopic focus, I felt it more as an insight into myself. Goals change. My obituary may also.
So here it is.
____________, survived by her closest friends and incredibly loving partner ___________, was a prolific philosopher, ethicist, polemicist and ardent pursuer of knowledge. She lived her life taking and seeking every opportunity she could, rarely settling down and constantly travelling to apply her knowledge in areas around the world, particularly those affected by climate change. She tackled ethical and environmental issues through her work with several NGOs and IGOs, including the UN. Her work and outlook took her to almost every country in the world before she eventually retired in the calm, welcoming mountains of New Zealand.
She worked tirelessly to change our perspective of the world around us, to preserve this unique blue and green sphere and the quality of life of all its inhabitants. She undertook nothing less than the challenge of improving the human condition.