I read a number of beautiful and heartwarming stories yesterday and wanted to share some of them with you. I have a feeling we're going to need some comfort this week.
Before I Die
Artist and all-around creative wonder woman Candy Chang made the Before I Die project for inspiration and healing and it has brought that in spades to people around the world:
After I lost someone I loved very much, I thought about death a lot. This helped clarify my life, the people I want to be with, and the things I want to do, but I struggled to maintain perspective. I wondered if other people felt the same way. So with help from old and new friends, I painted the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood in New Orleans with chalkboard paint and stenciled it with a grid of the sentence “Before I die I want to _______.” Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in public space.
The website has more information on the installations in different neighborhoods. She even sells a Before I Die Toolkit so you and your neighbors can put up your own wall.
Can you even imagine this happening five years ago? I can barely even imagine it now and I am so happy for Coy Mathis, and I admire her parents more than I can say. This must provide so much hope for transgendered people of any age. I sincerely hope the other parents at her school aren't giving them trouble.
Reverend Glenda Hope tries to hold a memorial service for everyone who dies, however lonely and forsaken, in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. She leads their friends and their neighbors from the hotels they live out their last days in through prayers, and funny and moving remembrances. She even contacted a very small local newspaper and now a reporter comes out to every memorial and publishes an obitutary. It is such a labor of love and a reminder that every life has worth and dignity. Rev. Hope is retiring soon and hopes to find someone to take her place.