Look and See

In the highlands







Isn’t life interesting?

It never stays the same. There are always challenges and frustrations, exciting news and things to do.

Through our work and friendships, we are honed, our rough edges smoothed off, and we painstakingly evolve into rather improved versions of our former selves. Think back to yourself as the gauche 18 year old, or late teenager, who had the confidence to solve the world’s problems. Or the hassled young parent in your late twenties…

There is no doubt about it: life moves on, and carries us along on its river of experiences to maturity. We can be forgiven then, for spending too little time thinking about the end of our journey.

Or is the destination something we actively avoid?

This struck me recently on seeing this end of his life video of Philip Gould, who found dying  an exhilarating experience, and wanted to share this insight with others. It was uplifting. Of the greatest interest to me was that, through his sheer enthusiasm and excitement, he appears to have lessened the grief of his nearest and dearest. And that is a fantastic achievement.


I have watched this moving video several times now, and reflected upon it. From the initial apprehension of the journalist at the task he had been given, to the courage and acceptance that is demonstrated by Philip, it is hugely powerful.

It offers the possibility of considering what you can give when there is very little future.It was with the telling, that I understood I had  once found true solace in the death of a loved one.

On dying, my uncle explained to me that he was entering a place of great beauty, and he shared his overwhelming happiness freely with me. He was absolutely certain that his work here was finished.  So, in place of grief, I was given the privilege of  sharing his joy when he reached the end of the road. It was a fantastic gift to give.

At his funeral, although we had been very close, I was astonished to find that  sadness had been banished.

Only the picture of his new environment, which his words had painted so vividly, remained.

That was no  cause for grief.

©Linda Jane McLean

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