Today marks one year since I lost someone very close to me. I won’t go into details here, but this morning I find myself thinking about loss. Thinking about how we, as human beings, deal with loss; particularly that of a loved one. The dead live on through our memories, brought forth by bouts of nostalgic longing. However, each individual we meet in life will remember us differently from the next. In that regard, which version of us actually exists after death? Is it even accurate? Or is the true essence of who we were lost forever once we slip beneath the veil?
I’m not trying to negate the feeling of closeness we get from remembering our beloved dead. It’s just that my mind won’t stop contemplating this now. Perhaps this is how I deal? I am truly sad today, but often times my sadness leads to deep, melancholic thought. I have always said that every person has at least three faces: the one you show strangers, the one you show loved ones, and the one you keep to yourself. If that’s true, then in theory, our true self dies with us. The memory left behind is not actually of ourselves, but of how we affected others. It’s a caricature of sorts, based on how others saw us when we were alive.
Maybe the only way to be truly remembered as you are is to reveal yourself fully to the world? Imagine that. Taking off the masks, showing who you are, warts and all. I don’t think any of us could actually do that. To be so exposed, so vulnerable, so open to judgement. Although it would feel delightfully freeing to not have to keep up any sort of facade in life.
I think I am content with my three faces. They serve me well. And I don’t find myself all that concerned with how I am remembered. I have no desire for any type of legacy. Besides, I won’t be here to see it anyway. Now, if I discover a way to come back and haunt you all, or if by some miracle vampirism becomes a real thing and I get to partake, then I will be interested to see how you all carry my name forward once I am gone. Until then, just enjoy me while I am here and think about me sometime when I leave for good.
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