So many of us yearn to make a difference-even to save the world- our world needs love more than it needs ‘saving’. ~Andrew Slack, Harry Potter Alliance
I just finished reading This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl. It’s a posthumously published book full of diary entries and guest posts dealing with the last few years in Esther Earl’s life as she battled terminal cancer. Like The Fault in Our Stars, it’s not a cancer book, it’s a book about hope and love. Although there were sad moments I never pitied Esther and her struggle. I finished the booking feeling encouraged to tell the people I love that I love them. And that it’s okay to enthusiastically love something.
At the end of our life, author Jack Kornfield says, the most important question is not how hard we worked or how much we accomplished. It’s ‘Did I Love Well?’ ~Andrew Slack
The end of the book did become a bit maudlin, but I don’t know how you could make a series of goodbye letters and eulogies totally upbeat. It was interesting to hear the perspective of people several years since she’s passed. Everyone seemed touched by her presence and her ability to positively affect the world around her. I always think back to the quote from Gilmore Girls, “People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute.” Although Esther’s life was cut short, I truly felt like she lived and loved.
I rarely like how young people are portrayed in the media because we seem to be talked down to, at times belittled and disregarded. This book reminds the reader to imagine a person at any age complexly. Although Esther is a preteen when the book begins, it doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of thinking about issues complexly and having thoughtful opinions about things.
Not long after her death, Esther’s parents started the non profit, This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation to help families with financial hardships due to seriously ill children. Every year on Aug 3, Esther’s birthday, thousands of people on the internet gather to celebrate Esther Day, a day to celebrate platonic love.
Just be happy. and if you can’t be happy, do things that make you happy. or do nothing with people that make you happy. ~Esther Earl
With all of the negativity on the news as of late, this book is a lovely reminder that there is still good, beautiful people out there in the world. Even though shitty things happen to good people, there is still hope. If anything, go tell someone you love that you love them.