When I die, passing from this life to whatever lies beyond. My body will turn to ash in the fires of a crematorium. Those ashes will fill a box, probably of a paper construction, such as cardboard, but what then?
Aside from someone, or no one, claiming that box, and its contents, what will happen to me, or rather the memory thereof?
Will time itself have already faded thoughts of my existence from the minds of those who once knew me, or of me? Will I be remembered, other than on official documents, themselves forgotten in some obscure file tucked away in a dark dungeon of a building, or no longer used computer system, both being considered out of date and obsolete. If anyone should recall thoughts of me, what would those thoughts be? The good I have accomplished, such as written words or artful endeavours? Possibly the bad I have caused, like the pain and anguish I was once responsible for. Perhaps the joy I once brought or the smiles formed by my presence?
Would anyone of my former lovers recall the passion of our being together, however brief? A person lives on, only so long as they are remembered. Once thoughts pass from the mind of the last living person who knew of me, I will surely fade quickly from having ever existed. If my ashes survive, not being scattered or flushed away, and one who knows not what they are, discovers them, will they be treated reverently, as coming from a former human being, or will they be considered as just an accumulation of the past to be discarded? If in some distant future, a person should come across my name, after having discovered and curiously investigated whatever contained it, would they sit back and wonder, who was he?
Will they, or, will they let their eyes pass over the printed name considering them, those characters on paper, merely just letters amongst others on the page?
Will it really matter, once I am no longer living, whether I am remembered or not?
Does it matter now, even though I have life coursing through my veins?
I think, yes, to a few, but not to the rest, including even many who knew me as a living, breathing person. Once a person is removed from the life, the existence shared with others, that person is soon forgotten, as I will be, as I already am, though I still live.
Death is not to be feared. Death brings an end to life, good or bad, as we know it, yet it is also a gateway to whatever may exist, if it indeed does, beyond that threshold death presents, when I die.
Harold, February 18, 2011