I see dead people’s molecular structure
Like many people who make it to the late autumn, early winter part of their lives, dying becomes a more conscious thought. Naturally this entails a routine visit to the obituary page in the local newspaper. Most of these obits will invoke the Christian hope or belief of an afterlife from expectations set early in life. I always enjoy reading some of the more creative versions that describe the passing of this life to the one beyond.
“went home to be with the Lord after passing away unexpectedly”
“was welcomed into the warm and loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ”
“joined the angels in heaven”
“Entered the Heavenly Gates”
“has been guided by her Heavenly Father to a blessed family reunion”
There is comfort I suppose for those who remain to know that the deceased is in someplace warm and friendly rather than the cold, dark earth their bodies are deposited to. I too like the idea that there is something after this life and rather than simply let people know I have “passed” I would also like my obit to inspire a sense of forever-ness, where we become more than worm food when our number’s up. But I don’t want to wound up in a place described by evangelical pastor A.W. Tozer that is little more than Sunday worship service on a grand scale, twenty-four seven.
Not a fan then of the traditional Christian view of life after death, my obit will be a bit out of the ordinary. Much has been written in a non-religious narrative about a spiritual interconnection humans feel with not only other cultures, present and past, but with the earth itself and even the vast reaches of the universe. It is this notion that got my attention and seems logical when you realize that all life forms are composed of carbon atoms.
When our bodies decompose or are reduced to ashes we rejoin those elements outside of a bodily or otherwise structured form. We become adrift in space and time and could ultimately manifest ourselves in some other form, becoming the seed, or in some cases, the manure of life elsewhere, be it here on this planet or somewhere beyond the stars. Life never-ending, just not in the limited imagination of the Bible people.
So here’s my contribution to the Obits page. May that day not come a day sooner nor a day later than my entire being is ready for it. No sense though in not having a little fun with this since it’ll be the last thing I’ve left people to remember me by.
Larry Norman Beck transcended corporeal life today. Being cremated it was his hope to have his ashes cast to the wind and become a part of the “mysterious realm” William Cullen Bryant referred to in Thanatopsis. The earth that nourished him has claimed him once again.
“To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mold.”
Being transformed to our origins as carbon atoms Larry expects to become part of the life in its various forms be it human, animal, plant or mineral. Perhaps if the winds and atmospheric pressure conditions are right he will pass into the solar system and beyond, to another universe yet discovered by Earthlings, waiting in some form for them when their space ship lands.
I’m considering stealing an idea from the entertainer Prince and calling myself “Ω” in my post-Earth life, or do you think that might be too weird of an idea?
“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” – Walt Whitman