You don’t find bossy Italian wife talking about death very much... I try not to dwell on things I cannot change and it is a certainty: death will come to us all. Sure, I have thought about it; thought of my own demise as well as that of others, either those who have already passed or those I fear losing. It’s a natural thought as it is a natural occurrence.
Many years ago, though, as I thought of these things--way back before the losses that changed the make up of who I was occurred--I came to a way of thinking of it that made me feel a sense of comfort about this sordid subject. It was the thought of my own mortality, and my own existence.
As I live, I often wonder will people remember me when I’m gone? It’s a thought that goes hand in hand with thinking about your own death, I suppose. We humans are prone to those egos, after all. A part of us wants to think that we will be remembered... that memories might be all we have after we’re gone, right? Wrong.
Energy, as science teaches us, can never be created or destroyed, and this holds the key to life, for me. It’s sad and it’s counter intuitive to believe that when we die that we turn into nothingness. How could I ever be nothing? It doesn’t make logical sense. If we are energy, we can change shape, but we can never truly disappear.
This made me think about the moments in which we live.... each little moment we breathe and think and live is a moment that we carve out in time. It’s like an artist carving a man from stone; our lives are paintings on a canvas of time. Some people believe that time is linear and that it only goes one way. Perhaps it’s true, but I don’t believe it. I believe time is circular, and that our energy is in a loop that continues to exist. Always.
I am, therefore I am. I am now, and I am forever. My energy is infinite, even if no one can see. So it doesn't really matter how we are remembered when we are gone because we are carved out. Those memories are carved into the existence of the universe. Though you can’t see them, and you can’t touch them, they are as real as the moments you live now. And they still exist long after they have passed.
At least that is what I like to think.
Today is not just any day, which is why you are finding me talking about such serious matters, and such personal beliefs. Today marks one year of the shooting in Arizona involving Gabrielle Giffords, a congresswoman who I must say, I find remarkable. That is one way this day was carved out last year. It touched many people.
As the world [and particularly our nation] learned of that tragedy, there was a separate tragedy developing in my own family... it was the death of my stepsister, who died peacefully in her sleep that very day. She was 27 years old. I didn’t talk about it much at the time. Perhaps I had trouble understanding what exactly I should say...
Death can be an awkward thing. I felt speechless... emotionless, and then at once filled with the breath of sorrow. It felt like something had been ripped from me, like that last conversation that I never got to have with her. But if the experiences we had together still exist, then they live and breathe in their own space and time. Somewhere, out there in the universe, we're all young and we're all happy. An echo of laughter rings out, a tear falls, and successes and failures of every kind play out.
We may be a speck of reality in the big unknown, but this speck is all our own and goes on forever and ever. Amen.