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Zer Netmouse
December 13th, 2006
10:20 am


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Death (hopefully no time soon, yet inevitable)
A friend of mine just posted about a fear of dying and having nobody show up at the funeral. I've felt that way before. Death in general is a pretty scary thing. Interestingly enough, at about the same time, supergee posted a link to Robert Anton Wilson's Blog, which has on it the following conversation:

Wavy Gravy once asked a Zen Roshi, "What happens after death?"

The Roshi replied, "I don't know."

Wavy protested, "But you're a Zen Master!"

"Yes," the Roshi admitted, "but I'm not a dead Zen Master."

the story's not the same without the illustration

This is about the same as my attitude about what happens after death: I don't know.

But I hope, in some small pocket of the world, that what happens after my death includes that people get together to celebrate and share memories of my life.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Hopefully by that point, everyone left will be really really old, and have lots more great memories to share.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
Every five years at my college reunion, I make a point of going to the memorial service for deceased members of the class. I only knew one of the deceased so far, and only tangentially at that; but I feel it's important to show up.

The event is poorly attended; but I was told by the university minister ten years ago that as the years pass and more members of the class are gone, the more people attend.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
My hypothesis is that, while I care *now* what "will happen" after my death, I won't actually care then. (Scare quotes there because the future is might uncertain.)
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not aware of deceased members of my college class, off-hand. I know of two deceased members of my highschool class, and I worked hard to find pictures of them for the presentation (not just of deceased people) at the 30th reunion.

Statistically it seems nearly certain there are some I don't currently know of (about 150 in the highschool class, 400 in the college class, and 1972 and 1976).

To some extent all this focus on dieing people is a symptom that all of us are getting old; but partly it's just more *visible* because there are actual dead people to observe our reaction to. Fandom for example has always been very history-focused, and that includes honoring our dead.
[User Picture]
Date:December 14th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
I don't worry about having a funeral that no one attends near as much as I worry about having a party - while I'm still alive - that no one attends.
[User Picture]
From:omnifarious' OpenID account [omnifarious.org]
Date:December 14th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)

I wonder how humanity would change if death weren't as inevitable as it is? I doubt that the dreams of having a backup will ever really come to pass, but I suspect we may conquer aging. Statistically speaking the average lifespan without aging would be about 250 because of accidents and things. Would that get longer if aging weren't a factor? Would we have people who became incredibly risk averse as they got older? Would it be the opposite?

I find the idea really fascinating to think about because I really do think aging might be conquered in my lifetime.

[User Picture]
Date:December 14th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)

And thinking about it... I don't care so much if nobody attends my funeral. I guess I worry more about making sure that people who are depending on me are taken care of in some small way after I die. I worry more about dangling obligations and things left undone.

Oh, and also, could you read this post and friend my OpenID account? :-)

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