You’re not dead….until you’re forgotten

     Will you ever be truly forgotten? The true sense of being totally forgotten is as bewildering as the concept of heaven, a black hole or our national debt. To be totally forgotten is unimaginable to us. What we once were, what we are now and what we will be, is no small thing to our sense of being. Actually, it’s almost monumental for some, like great corporate leaders, politicians, inventors, movie stars  writers, pop stars and on and on and on. When they have passed, they will still survive for many years in the limelight of our collective memories because of what they accomplished during their lifetime. But, that’s for the select few. What of the common folk? How, or will, any of us be remembered?

     When death finally forecloses on our spirited lives, the last visual evidence of our unique existence will be the final viewing of our carcasses before they shut the box or fire up the furnace. Once that is concluded….we are gone. The sad reality, after being planted by our children, is that only about 12% of them, after the first year, will ever visit our grave site again. Once their generation is finally kaput, there is a less than 2% visit rate by the grandchildren. I need not depress you with the stats for the great grand children. Fact is, people continue to live their lives, even without you. They move away, go to prison, forget where the cemetery is, croak, and you have to remember that you are now….outta sight….outta mind.

     As for me, my name will live on for a while in some dusty bureaucratic records and in a score of hard drives throughout this hemisphere. Junk-mail will continue to seek me out for at least a decade or so, well after my twinkle has gone out. The only surviving shrine to my existence will have been my home. Once Wifey and I stop sucking air, the extended family will gather like a school of starving piranhas and quickly purge our treasures, call Goodwill and then put up cheap signs on every corner advertising an estate sale. In due time, following probate, any evidence of us ever residing there will have vanished with the stroke of a pen.  At that point, our eradication is nearly complete.

     Time will pass, and each continuing generation of my family will live out and finish their own lives. Then finally one day, many, many years from now, my great grandson, the last surviving person to have ever known me, will be in his 90’s. His time will be coming to a close as he lays on his deathbed, reflecting on his own long life. He will quietly mumble something to the nurse about when he was very young. How his great granddad, Charlie, used to take him fishing in his boat. It will be a fleeting reflection, and in his final moments, he will remember me for the very last time. It will only be then, as the final surviving memory of me fades…….that I will truly be forgotten. 



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