Chief Dan George was a chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation in British Columbia and a prominent Indigenous actor, poet, and activist. He often spoke and wrote about his perspectives on death and grief. One of his most famous quotes on this topic is:
"When I'm dead, I'm going to my ancestors, and they're going to ask me two questions: 'What did you learn?' and 'What did you teach?' And if I don't have any good answers, I'm in trouble." This quote reflects Chief Dan George's belief in the importance of both learning and teaching throughout one's life, and the idea that death is not an end but a continuation of one's journey. It also suggests that there is a responsibility to share knowledge and wisdom with others, and to live a life that reflects these values.
In another quote, Chief Dan George expressed his view that grief is a natural and necessary part of the human experience:
"Grief never ends... But it changes. It's a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith... It is the price of love."
This quote speaks to the idea that grief is a process of adaptation and transformation, rather than something that can be "fixed" or "cured."
It also suggests that the experience of grief is a testament to the depth of one's love and connection to the person who has died.