Dead or Alive

Community Foundation Higher Ground 0 Comments

For those of us who possess a so-called ‘smart’ phone, chances are our contacts on that phone are filled with contact information for family, friends, professional associates, etc., etc.

What happens when a family member or friend among those contacts dies? What do we do with the entry that contains their name, e-mail and mailing addresses, and their phone numbers? At some point, we will probably eventually pull up their entry and hit the word, delete. And poof, they are erased from our contact index.

A split second passes, and it’s as if their place in our smart phone never existed. No trace of them whatsoever. Ah, the wizardry of technology makes its mark and takes its toll.

But what about the life that bore the name we deleted? Their physical remains may rest in the ground or a vault or perhaps scattered upon an ocean or released to the whims of the wind that swirls around us. But now, some attempt to keep the deceased alive in the virtual world of Facebook. There, birthday wishes can be transported to the dead who are being kept ‘alive’ in cyberspace.

But where are the dead really? Yes, we can account for their physical remains. We can resurrect their presence in Facebook. But what about their essence? Many of us have a belief system that offers some sure-fire answers (no pun intended here for those of you who believe in hellfire, brimstone and all the trimmings!).

I have no definitive answer for what happens to our essence (soul?) when we die. But in keeping with the words from the The Lion King, I do believe “they live in you, they live in me…” The dead live in us through the legacy they leave us.

Chances are for many of us, the dead leave a legacy that is a mixed bag. If there were things the deceased did to us that hurt and we never had or took the opportunity to forgive them while they were alive, let their exit from this world be the gate you enter to forgive. And if you would desire to keep alive the goodness of their life, you can do so by emulating that goodness in your life by living in a way that would bring a smile to their countenance.