Yesterday I gave myself a birthday present by taking my daughter to Black Panther : Wakanda Forever. I have never cried so hard in a movie. (Spoiler alert,) not only do we have to say goodbye to Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed the Black Panther, but in the story, his other parent dies. Boseman died in 2020, followed by my father who died on my birthday in 2020. My mother did not last a full year after I lost my father, dying in September 2021. So, I was watching a movie that boiled my own sense of loss to the surface and left me completely drained by the end of the movie. But the Black Panther is not gone from our lives. Shuri, his little sister becomes the new Black Panther. And the next generation to follow was introduced at the very end. The story will continue.
My family story is similarly not ended yet. Though my personal chapters in the Great Comedy of Existence may be drawing to a close, the story continues through my children, my former students just as much as my biological children. There are many people in this world that I personally had something to do with the making of or nurturing of. And if climate crisis brings an end to all of that, the universe will go on without us. The universe is alive and conscious… through my existence, my children’s existence, and even the three-eyed green archeologist who digs up and decodes this post in the ruins of 6977 A.D. Ugna Whorleehee will become responsible for the continuation of the story in the distant future.