“I was not. I have been, I am not. I am so grateful to have participated in life!”
A beloved cousin died yesterday and we, at a Johnson/Smith/Denoo family get together had a discussion about what we want inscribed on our gravesite. I don't intend to have a gravesite, but will have a marker placed on my mother's grave. I want it to be clear that when I die, my mind, body and emotions change into a different form and return to the atoms from which I evolved.
This is off topic but Google "odd news" (it may have been in Yahoo) and you will find that when George Harrison died in Los Angeles in 2001 they planted a memorial tree in his honor complete with a plack of the event. Now they are having to cut the tree down because it was killed by beetles.
This is a true story.
What a strange coincidence! Is this what they call serendipity? No, I think it has to be a pleasant surprise.
This is a nice memorial. Look at the polish on the arm rest and bench. It obviously is used. Sit there and have a virtual conversation with the man himself.
I like the inscription, but grateful to what?
I am so grateful that I was born, was able to grow up, and that I was able to learn life-skills that improved my life and the life of people around me. I like your comment.
Just like my ancestor with the flying dirgible machine long before there was one, I will fall into obscurity as a myth of sorts. There need be no inscription if I am creamated. Maybe "just add water" on the urn. That would work.
I've pre-arranged cremation with a service that promises to pick up my body anywhere in the world and return the ashes to my family. (This could be a very good scam: how can you tell one set of ashes from another?)
The constant theme at memorial services is that the dead person will not be forgotten, but I believe we should all be forgotten. My message to my survivors is: don't waste time memorializing the dead, get on with your own life while you can.
I like the poem of Marina Tsvetaeva:
It may be that a better way
To conquer time and the world
Is to pass and not to leave a trace,
To pass, and not to leave a shadow on the wall.
Nice poem. Somehow it reminds me of this quote from Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit…what a ride!”
Bertold, I like this. I am surely glad I did all the things I did and talked to all the people to whom I talked, and the challenges I overcame. Now I can just sit in my garden with a cup of coffee, a book, a computer on my lap, and the wildlife scurrying around my feet. No regrets, no missed opportunities, no place I want to go or person I want to meet. 'tis nice!
How about this by the author Jack London, who died at 40:
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
I'll steal an idea from Mark Twain:
"My parents woke me up from a most pleasant nap! And without first asking me!"