This is a time in my life when the message seems to be, don’t get too comfortable in that chair, you’ll be getting up again. And again.
Yesterday I received word that my friend Heather Mains died in a kayaking accident. We spoke just a few days ago about my pending trip to stay with her in Toronto, both of us so pleased to finally be seeing each other after a long hiatus. I am full of grief, loss, sorrow.
For those of you don’t know Heather, hearing about her wide ranging accomplishments is a very limited portrait of this extraordinary human being. When I first met her she was a graphic designer and wisdom seeker who just happened to also be a former Olympian bump skier. Everything about her was relentless and passionate, and I liked her immediately. After giving birth to her first child, she got religion about women and birthing options. She became a doula and a spokesperson throughout Canada for new and better approaches to childbirth.
Over the last few years she expanded her advocacy to socially conscious marketing and communications design through her company, Duegood. She shared her campaigns and causes with so many of her friends, and it was impossible to not be inspired by her tirelessness to make life on this planet more sensible, more hospitable and more human-centered.
The best way I know to honor Heather is to ask the tough questions, to be tenacious in bringing about change, and to encourage others to participate in the vision of a better world.
Once again, Laurie Anderson’s words come to mind:
When my father died we put him in the ground.
When my father died, it was like an entire library burned down.
A few links about Heather:
Her letter about choice in childbirth published in the National Post last year
A personal account of her role as a doula during a difficult pregnancy and birth:
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