“Today is a good day to die…” is said to be the war cry of Crazy Horse, holy man of the Oglala Lakota. If indeed “Hóka-héy, today is a good day to die!” were ever uttered by the great chief, as they may well have been, then at the very least the words have been taken out of context and in that manner have entered the lexicon.

Surely, a warrior must harden his spirt, a leader encourage his men, but no man goes cheerfully to his death. We can only surmise that in the shaman’s own visions, in the rich tapestry and culture of his people he felt a connectedness and a knowledge that death was not an end and to live honorably and without regret is to leave nothing undone when the circle of your life closes.

Today was not a good day to die, because there are no good days to die. Despite this, today I became aware of the closure of three circles of life all far from my tiny island, however close by friendship and bond. While there is no mending the rent in the hearts of those that have lost, perhaps we can take solace in the honorable actions and lives well lived by those we grieve.