Thursday, 25 July 2019

Thoughts on the death of Darren Bronham Niccols

I heard today of the death of Darren Bronham Niccolls. I am sorry for his husband Lee and those who loved him. However I cannot be someone who now grants him sainthood . It was WH Auden who said that the words of the dead are modified in the guts of the living. The ideas we leave behind us are our legacy. Those who love us know who we really are and that's how it should be. But the ideas we leave behind have the capacity to promote an expansion of the human condition and the compassion that the vulnerable and broken experience. These words gave the capacity to do the opposite as well. We must judge Darren and ourselves on this basis . We must judge if our words and ideas add to prejudice or labelling or if they add to and expand understanding and tolerance. I simply do not believe that we should speak differently of the dead than we do of the living .I note that it is those who shared his prejudices and views are the ones now singing his praise and promoting his sainthood. It could be no other way. The real tragedy is that we are all born under the shadow of our own death. All of us as we live should seek to widen our views, promote tolerance and educate ourselves. Perhaps if we survive death we have a chance to continue that process. We can only ask ourselves in the early morning dark who we really are and what we have done. Your words Darren are now being modified in the guts of the living . The harvest you have sown will now be revealed. It's the same for all of us and I would not dream of speaking differently of you now.

I know that were it another's death those who shared his or her politics would behave as Darren's group are doing now it could not be otherwise. It's all part of the human condition.
I can't mourn for you Darren but I have great empathy for those who loved you and who you loved. I would mourn for many of the many different faiths and politics that are different to mine. But I am afraid that I cannot for yours . I have empathy for the death of another person and for their hopes and dreams. I once said to you "that every saint has a past and every sinner a future" I don't think you really understood what I was saying" none of us are either a saint or just a sinner and perhaps those who have died achieve sainthood in the guts of the prejudiced and narrow beings that still live. It was your ideas Darren I loathed but I think you failed to understand that too. The loss of humanity at death is both the tragedy and blessing we all experience. And I mourn for that loss that we will all experience. I am sorry for the loss for Darrens friends and loved ones but that's all I can say. Homer said we should live each moment for what it is. He said that the gods envy us because we will never be again. That we are all beautiful because of this. It is our ideas that make us ugly or otherwise and only we know what they are or what our ambitions truly are. So please don't fear the Reaper...You can check out any time you like but your ideas can never leave..

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