Have you ever stopped to imagine life after death? So, you probably think I’m talking about resurrection or perhaps out of body, but I’m not.
I want you to take a moment to pretend something. It might bring some perspective to your life, it might not. But it won’t hurt anything and it might help. It might bring you back to reality. The reality that you will not always be here, but others will. That is the ‘life and death’ that I’m speaking of.
So, I have seen both my mother and my sister and my father all die or newly dead. In each case they looked the same. Dead bodies with mouths agape, eyes staring at nothing and me wondering, what was the last thing that they ever saw? Did they in that final moment see something we never see when we are alive? Probably not. Although there are some who call out names of loved ones that had been long ago gone before them.
No, probably they saw nothing and that is probably what I will see and what you will see, if you play this game of imagination with me. So, let’s move on.
It’s over, okay? You’ve died, flown the coup, kicked the bucket, passed over, whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same thing. You are no longer a member of this earth. You are a dead body of rotting flesh and spoiled organs.
Sorry to be so gross but it is the facts. I do believe I’ve read too many detective stories or books on what the body does after it is dead. I had to read those you see as I am a writer who wanted to write about that sort of thing. And when you want to write a novel that has dead people in it, then you owe your reader the right to know that you know what happens to the decaying body. It’s called research.
But this is not research, or maybe it would be nicer to call it that. Anyway, so now you are dead. You have been put in the ground, or slung out on the wind or thrown in the ocean, or your ashes that is, unless you happen to have been on a cruise when you kicked the bucket and maybe had to be buried at sea. But would they really do that these days? Zip you in a body bag and toss you over into the ocean after a few comforting words from the captain or a priest or a minister who happened to just be on that same cruise who by the way you might have just had supper with the night before at the captain’s table. So, I digress.
You are gone. But your house stands there with all your possessions. As you sit and look around at your surroundings while you are still alive and breathing and feeling frisky. Take a good look around, examine some of the items that you have collected over the years, the furniture that is brand new or very old but you love it just the same. Think about all that you have accumulated over the years. Some more than others maybe. Some people have the smarts enough to get rid of most things by the time they hit 70 or 80 as they know what’s coming. And if you ever had to walk into someone’s house after that poor soul has passed on, and you ever had to get out the garbage bags and start tossing stuff into them. Stuff that means nothing to you but meant the world to them, then you know what I mean.
So, now you know of what I speak. Life after death is who’s left. Who has to do that nasty job. Probably your kids or kid or some relative or other. Hopefully it is a distant relative or a stranger, who was hired by the family who could not bear to go through your stuff. That would be better wouldn’t it? Some stranger could do it much more efficiently, without remorse of tossing those treasured pieces.
But maybe it is someone that was close to you. It depends on the nature of that person or persons. What kind of heart they have, what kind of feelings they can’t control or can stuff away in order to do this horrible job. Who ever it is, the job will get done, must get done because the place must be cleared out for a family member to move in or to put the house on the market so some strangers can move in and bring all their crap through the door.
So, when the garbage bags are all full, and a few of the pieces that they have decided to keep or to give away or whatever, the house stands empty. It only holds memories now. But they are not your memories anymore. Your memories died with you. If someone or hopefully more than one loved you very much, your memory will live on, but not your things. They are at the curb in the black garbage bags. That’s your life!