• Ilan Cooley

the good

Updated: Oct 13

"In her final days she called her friends and family to gather. Even in these difficult times, with all the obstacles, she asked us to gather and we did."

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The past three years I have spent a lot of time resolving grief and coming to terms with losing people. This has not been easy.

When I read the book, Mary Magdalene Revealed, by Meggan Watterson, I gained a new foundation for my own evolving beliefs. She explains how the concept of God is a translation of the words ‘the Good.’ I am spiritual, but my faith is abstract. I wasn’t even sure where to connect with it. I could not subscribe to the notion the answers were above me. I now have a different framework that makes more sense.

“The Good isn’t separate from us. The Good is the unrelenting truth of who we are. Each of us, at our core,” says Watterson. “That we are Good is not something any of us, ever, have the obligation to prove. It simply is. It isn’t based on what someone looks like, or who they love, or how they spend what tremendous little time we each have here. What’s Good in us is intrinsic. This is vision. And vision is power because it’s sourced from within.”

This simple shift helped me process and understand so much. The only place I need to turn for answers, meaning and direction is within. Absolution, resolution, and growth can all be found by looking inward. The answers are all rooted in love – the love of myself, and the love I have for others.

In processing grief, I have realized some of the most impactful things I have ever learned were from people who are now departed. Many of the most profound lessons about living have been imparted to me by those facing imminent death. They have shown me the Good, and have helped me find the Good.

About a week ago, my friend Korinda passed away. Although I fear sinking back into unrelenting sadness, I feel both my grief journey, and her example will keep it at bey. My ability to ground myself in the Good helps me. Korinda’s strong faith, rare resolve, and positivity help me. Her ability to personify the Good helps me.


In the past few months, this resplendent person taught me so many lessons about grace. In the midst of her own struggle, she took the time to connect with me. She even checked on me when she felt I needed support. It was a simple kindness, but certainly one that could not have been expected from someone who had so much to deal with, yet she did.


Korinda was determined to be the author of her own story. We talked about life and legacy. She saturated the world in her Good, and I feel that is what her story will be. I wrote her a letter hoping to put into words the impact she had on me. I know I am not alone in feeling blessed to have known and been touched by her. This is an excerpt from the letter:

Maybe none of us really understands our impact, or all of the meaning because we imprint it on other people and leave it with them and that is the way it is supposed to be. So much of our individual stories are how our essence intertwines with others. I am grateful our stories intertwine. What a gift it is to know you and call you my friend.

Your story to me is love, grace, and light. You simply radiate light and joy. You are a million-watt smile and positivity personified. You are intellect, curiosity, humour, and kindness. I know you have not set out to inspire others, but you have. I hear it in how people speak about you with admiration. The strength you have is not lost on anyone. I can’t imagine how your hard days feel, or how you get through them, but every single thing you decide to share means so much to so many people.

In her final days she called her friends and family to gather. Even in these difficult times, with all the obstacles, she asked us to gather and we did. Korinda gave us the ultimate gift, one that was finite and precious — she gave us her time. We came together for the Good — her Good.

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