Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933 – 2020)

September 19, 2020

I write this to you a little over 12 hours since we learned of her death from pancreatic cancer. She died on Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year (it’s 5781). One way that Jews memorialize the holiday is by dipping apples in honey to symbolize a sweet new year.

What a sour note this was!

We are all verklempt. Our hearts hurt. The tears likely hover in our eyes. We are in mourning. Again.

There are so many amazing obituaries of her in the media, so I’m not going to try to put one together here. She really personified what justice meant. She persistently demanded equity. Women’s rights were the center of her advocacy, but she applied her sharp mind to absolutely everything and absolutely everything pertained to women’s rights.

Our lives are more fulfilling and easier, in some ways, if we are clear about what we are meant to do here on this earth.

Ginsburg embodied soulful legal practice and soulful practice on the court. By this, I don’t necessarily mean the content. You can be a tax attorney and have a soulful legal practice. 

What I mean is that she was profoundly connected to what she was meant to be doing on this earth. Yes, it had everything to do with her lived experienced as a woman. And it was her unique voice, along with many other women, that could articulate our quotidian struggles. She did what she was meant to be doing. She was on her deathbed still articulating what sat in her soul – don’t let this president fill the vacancy.

We must mourn.

And I want you to remember this – our lives are more fulfilling and easier, in some ways, if we are clear about what we are meant to do here on this earth. Following the call of our souls is not easy, it’s just easier to do what we need to do when we heed it.

Let’s not do her memory injustice by thinking that she is the only person every who could do what she did. 

We all have these capabilities. We need the quiet to listen to what they are and how we execute them.

We need to tune in to our soulful journey.

And if you don’t want to do that, you can act. Because we need to take charge. NOW.

VOTE NOW if you can.

Volunteer to bring people to the polls – socially distanced and with masks.

Help people sort out how to do mail in voting. 

Contact your senator. Let them know that you do not want this vacancy filled until the inauguration.

Do it for Ginsburg.

May her memory be a blessing. 

Michelle Dionne Thompson is the founder of Michelle Dionne Thompson Coaching and Consulting, a boutique coaching firm that supports women in law and academia to build sustainable work habits for long-term professional success. She works with clients to marry their purpose with their knowledge and communities. You can learn more about Michelle at