The End of a Conversation

“I think the best thing to take from the experience of losing someone close to us is to begin a life worth living right now. Not putting off for the future right action and virtuous living, but practising them immediately.”

Doug Belshaw [Death]

I’m coming to grips with the idea that conversations can and should have a natural ending. I wrote about the many conversational spaces and places I’ve been inhabiting, with one of my favourite spots being the TIDE podcast with Doug Belshaw and Dai Barnes. So it was with shock that I heard of Dai’s sudden death. I jealously railed against the empty echoes where conversations would no longer happen. It’s funny to think that someone you’ve never met can impact and leave a lasting impression, just with strings of words, a tone of voice, or a laugh.

I’ve dipped in and out out the tributes about Dai’s life. It’s unusual to think how these conversations about someone I’ve never met, are resonating within my own life. Doug Belshaw’s reflection leaves me with his ‘call to action’ ringing in my mind. It is just this reason that has prompted some shifts in my own life, making decisions about the ‘right action and virtuous living”. So Dai’s death is particularly poignant at this moment as my life transitions.

This is a reminder for all of us, that there are so many more conversations to be had, here, there and everywhere. There is no end to the deeper discourse that can be found in so many places, so many ‘others’ to engage in dialogue. While I have never met Dai, I feel like I knew him, by listening in on conversations in the TIDE podcasts he and Doug Belshaw created. Conversations, even one’s we don’t actively engage in, can leave a lasting legacy.

I’ve captured a few memories, conversations from others, as my way of curating voices for/about someone who’s voice has made a lasting impression on many.

Here’s to you Dai Barnes and the many memories of barefoot conversations!

Photo attribution: Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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2 Responses to The End of a Conversation

  1. Doug Belshaw says:

    Helen, I don’t know how I missed this when you published it. My only excuse is that I was wallowing in grief and, indeed, even a month later tears are streaming down my face as I compose this comment.
    Thank you for your post, and all the best for your life transitions.

    • HJ.DeWaard says:

      Thanks Doug! No words can describe the influence that individuals can have from across the hall or around the world. Some folks never realize how much impact they have on the world. Your conversations with Dai have had just such an impact! Thanks for leaving your comment here.

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