This week has been a lot about life and death. This past Tuesday, I was privileged to be part of an interfaith group that drove down to LaGrange, Georgia to learn more about their process of truth and reconciliation around the past lynchings of black members of their community. It was a historic moment in 2017 when the white police chief publicly apologized for the police complacency during the time of those lynchings.

While in LaGrange, we met many people working towards healing for their community. Part of that healing is the recognition of the murders and the injustice – and apologizing publicly for the criminal acts and negligence of whites. This is hard work. And everyone we met was fully invested in creating a more racially just and equitable community. There is much for us to think about and act upon to create a country that treats every individual with dignity and respect. There continues to be much work to be done around racial injustice. I promise to keep you posted as we discover ways to bring this truth and reconciliation work to Atlanta.

Then this morning, Compassionate Atlanta co-hosted a conversation with our charter partner, Compassion House for Living and Dying. Their model is based on dying with dignity. How do we prepare for death as a transition rather than a burden? How can we comfort the family and honor the wishes of the person who is dying? How can we create a community process for caring for one another?

Although these two experiences were very different, the wish for dignity remains at the core for every human being – in living and in dying.

Will you go into this weekend with the consciousness of that dignity? You may be celebrating freedom from slavery at the Passover Seder or death and birth this Easter Sunday or the birth of spring that surrounds us everywhere. No matter your practice, be aware, think about truth and reconciliation, and how we create a space of dignity for each and everyone of us.

Leanne Rubenstein
Executive Director
Compassionate Atlanta

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