A sudden and unexpected death of a person close to us leaves us paralyzed. What next is a familiar question in such an event. We suddenly realize there is a lot that needs to be done which we had left to complete with that person for ‘someday… but not now.. (because)…’and we are suddenly left with the realization that it is too late.

We get into any of these spaces. ‘I am helpless without you.’ ‘Oh! The things I could have done with you and your support.’ ‘I am sinking and life is not worth continuing.’ Or we can get into ‘A great person to have known and been with and left me enriched but time to move on.’ “ I learned a lot and my life is not the same but now I have new goals and aspirations.’ Whatever space we find ourselves in is just the way we are meant to be.

What we become present to is the person we have lost is not really lost to us. He /she is the person who while did have a physical existence outside of us is really the person that we created. Whatever that person is to us is a result of our creation. Who s/he is or who s/he is not, is all in our mind and we actually relate to this person of our own creation. So any person that we have come in contact with in our lives is really an image that we created of that person irrespective of who s/he really is, and who he really is not.

That can never be lost. It is our creation and therefore will be with us as long as we choose to let that person be with us.  One of the implications is that all the conversations we have are conversation with ourselves. Therefore, the physical existence of a person for our conversations is not necessary. If we can imagine the person, we can continue to have conversations with that person and we can continue to refer to that person as long as we live.

The same thing applies to the idea of climate change. As long as we can imagine the impacts of climate change, we can create images/ data/ proof of its impacts and take the necessary actions that are needed to make it disappear and feel good about it…


Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years, Gialome (pseudonym) is mainly concerned with the impacts of infrastructure and technology projects on local communities.

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