“Death and the Ripples of Life: What We Leave Behind” Comments, Page 1

Just click to return to the article “Death and the Ripples of Life: What We Leave Behind”.

7 Comments (3 Discussion Threads) on “Death and the Ripples of Life: What We Leave Behind”

  1. Libby I always relish in what you write! Another thought provoking article, I very much like the idea of ‘paying it forward’, I hope some of my good deeds have rippled the odd life here and there to date. We often do a good deed in return, but this is a much nicer way to have been thought of, to offer something of true help not just payback. I’ve just started my training to become a therapist and I hope I leave a mark somewhere in the future, a memory, a comfort. Thanks Libby!

    1. Hi Mandy, thank you so much for your kind comment – it’s great to have feedback from readers and especially to know that what I write touches or resonates with someone. I think this is what I was getting at with the idea of rippling forwards into other people’s lives – we all absorb ideas and meanings etc as we go through life, from what we read, see, do or receive from other people. I suppose it’s all to do with learning in its broadest sense. I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks again!

  2. Hi Libby

    For quite some time now I’ve been struggling with the ideas you presented in this article. I think my questions consistently include how and what to do, as I interpret ‘leaving’ something behind as an act or action. My therapist is trying to get me to see the person I am, in other words just being, not having to do for someone or accomplish something, can be equally impactful. Intellectually I understand her point, but feeling-wise, I still am compelled to have a concrete representation somehow. And truly no idea how to get where I feel I must.

    Accepting I really won’t make my ‘goal’ real can quickly turn to feeling an over all failure. You know, that spiritual element of purpose. Not necessary to have Leslie Neilsen the well known actor kind of purpose, but something very personal to each individual that just needs to be somehow out in the world. Even silent unseen impact you speak about. I think my difficulty is not that anyone else be aware of what I’ve done and left to the world, but my own awareness.

    At the same time, utilizing people whose lives are more public as inspiration can be valuable, as you’ve pointed out so well via your ongoing enjoyment.

    Good article and quite timely for me.


    1. Hi Barbara

      Thanks very much for your comment. I think the concept of leaving something ‘concrete’ is an interesting one – how do we define what is ‘concrete’ and what is not? It seemed to me, reading your comment, that thoughtfulness and a real struggle with your desire to leave something to the world are very clear in what you write. Perhaps your words are, in their own way, just as concrete as other things which we tend to think of as more substantial. Certainly, over the last couple of days since you posted your comment, your words have stuck with me and made me think in a more (concrete?) specific way about what I would be leaving behind if my life ended now. So thank you for that.

      I wish you well in your search.

  3. Hi Libby, I have really enjoyed this article. Firstly, my hero in psychotherapy is Yalom and his perspective, humour and honesty so I totally agree with you!

    Your article seems yet again (uncannily) relevant to me at the moment as my children are now growing into twenty somethings. Although they are so individual I do see the odd characteristic of myself and my husband and this makes me smile! Being happy within themselves has always been a focus of mine (as a parent) and the importance of fun. With the bad weather, imagine my joy at seeing these two young adults soaked to the skin and in fits of laughter after sledging on the top of an old suitcase. You see, when I am gone Libby, my children and their children will live on and bits of each generations perspective is passed to the next. Hopefully, I would leave a level of “it’s okay to be me and I shall have some fun in the process – regardless of my age” What we leave behind walks, talks and breathes!
    Many thanks again for a lovely article Libby.

    1. Hi Kate

      Thanks very much for your comment. I could so clearly visualise your children (as they certainly were on that snowy hill!) as you described them having fun! I once wrote a post elsewhere which quoted the American actor Woody Harrelson as saying “A grown-up is just a child with layers on”, which seems highly apt for your comment!

      I quite agree with you in saying that “what we leave behind walks, talks and breathes” and what is so lovely about that idea is that whether we leave behind our own offspring or not, we all influence other people through our lives and it’s people who are the carriers of those influences, albeit some of the ideas are also written down.

      Thanks again for a smile-inducing comment!

  4. Hello Libby,

    I completed my Diploma in Counselling this week and now hope to earn my living in counselling. I, too, am a huge fan of Yalom (I’m half way through his Opus Magnus, Existential Psychotherapy). For me, the practice of counselling is rippling exemplified. Being Grounded in the Person-Centred appoach, I steer clear of any kind of interpetive intervention yet my belief is that my use of the Core Conditions will begin the rippling effect of self-awareness, self-acceptance and positve change in my clients. Existentially, I hope that my client, through our work, will come to uncover or develop his or her own set of values and beliefs – to formulate meaning in what may be experienced as a meaningless world.

    As a father I’ve tried to encourage my two children to develop a value system that will help them to become caring, selfless and meaning-searching individuals which will ‘ripple’ through the generations of our family. I sense, though, that I’m not the stone thrown into the water but simply one of the ripples. My parents, their parents, their parents etc precede my little ‘wave’.

    If I live with courage, responsibilty and the knowledge that I always have a choice, then any ripples that I produce will, I hope, be positive ones that follow the ‘Arrow of Time’. That’ll be enough for me.

    Great article Libby, thanks for posting it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.
 characters available

In accordance with our Privacy Policy, your email address will not be published with your comment or shared in any other way. Please do not SPAM. Comments which solicit personal advice, are rude or inflammatory, are not about this specific post, or are otherwise not in keeping with our Terms of Use may be deleted at our discretion. If you would like to make a comment or ask a question about something other than the subject matter of this post, please do get in touch directly.

Overseen by an international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe, CounsellingResource.com provides peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

Copyright © 2002-2022. All Rights Reserved.