Those who worked with Jim sensed that something was wrong. He didn’t look well. And he didn’t have the same lively spirit that they were used to. Finally, Jim became so ill that he went to the emergency room. He had respiratory problems and signs of pneumonia. He died less than 24 hours later of a massive bacterial infection.
Jim didn’t want to seek treatment earlier because he was too busy. Jim insisted that he would be ok. An autopsy revealed that he had multiple organ failure. He passed away at the age of 53.
At his funeral, Jim’s “children” conducted a musical muppet performance. Big Bird sang, “It’s not Easy Being Green,” as a tribute to Kermit the Frog, Jim’s alter ego.
The world lost a creative genius when Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, passed away.
There are times when we need to intervene when those we love or work with won’t take care of themselves. Often these interventions can be very difficult. We may be resented for our intervention. We may never be thanked, even when the intervention is successful.
There may be no more haunting of a memory than knowing we could have made a difference, but didn’t. The death of Jim Henson may not seem to be something that most of us will encounter. But think about interventions that all of us might have been witness to and did nothing about: bullying, sexual harassment, severe depression, racial bias, sexual identity bias, substance abuse, and untreated medical conditions.
As interveners, we need to be calm but resolute. In some cases, we may need to seek the help of others. Our interventions may create doubts in others that we are being overly dramatic.
With all of the down sides of intervention, why should we go forward? You always need to think: Could I live with the memory of not doing something?
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“It’s not easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog