During the night, I did something I never do. Mosquitoes woke me up and after getting rid of them, I went to the bathroom. I then made the mistake of opening Facebook. First (and only) thing I saw was that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. You know how we say knowledge is power but ignorance is bliss?
I’m not writing this as a (former) journalist, so I won’t get into her legacy in details. There are loads of great articles already about that. Writing something personal about someone’s death is bound to be self-centered. We do not write about the person, we write about the impact that person had on us. While it makes me uncomfortable, it’s also part of the process of grieving. So let’s go with it.
I’m French. I didn’t know Ruth Bader Ginsburg personally. Her death won’t affect me directly. Whatever happens in the U.S. always ends up affecting the rest of the world however. And I used to be a law student. Even if I didn’t get a job in a law-related area, it shaped my life and my way of thinking. I loved the thought process more than anything. When we met through work many years later, my very dear friend Stéphane and I bonded over our love and respect for RBG. I do not know how to explain what RBG brought to my life as someone from a different country. I was (and still am) simply in awe of such a brilliant mind. I have laughed with glee when reading some of her opinions. She’s one of very few people who make you feel smart when reading or listening to them. She’s always my first thought when people ask about people I respect, or examples of badass women. A very recent example of that is when Bywater Books asked about a person, a place and a thing readers would like to see in Anna Burke’s next Seal Cove romance. I don’t often take part in games but I didn’t have to think for more than 20 seconds for this one…
Ruth Bader Ginsburg stayed standing as long as she could. I do not want to think of how much pain she must have been in and yet she was still standing. I hate that one of the first emotions that accompanied the news of her death is fear. As if the light had gone off. I get that, to some extent, we all lost a beacon. And that this loss means the U. S. are in even more terrible shape. But I don’t want to believe that all hope is lost, that RBG was the only one standing in the way of evil and (even more) disaster. I have faith.
And that’s the strangest thing. RBG died on Rosh Hashanah. That has to mean something, especially this year where everything seems to be out of control. I am not a religious person. I do believe in something, though. Something bigger than us. Probably the universe. I don’t know. I definitely believe in karma and that what goes around comes around. I believe in signs. I believe in hope. I believe that things happen for a reason, even if that reason seems impenetrable.
May her memory be a blessing.