Wednesday, March 31, 2004

And... on a less happy note

I'm typing up some signs for an event this weekend ("Sodas - $2" -- that sort of thing) and I was asked to do two signs I didn't do last year.  "In Memoriam" signs.  Our group lost two members this year.  I didn't really know either of them very well, but still -- there's something powerful about typing someone's name and a set of dates.

There is, of course, the reflection on one's own mortality.  The idea that sometime way (way, way, way -- one can hope) down the line, someone who only vaguely knew me will be typing up my name on an "In Memoriam" sign, and double-checking the spelling, and doing some quick mental mathematics to come up with a number that will indicate how long I've been on the planet, but will do nothing in the way of illuminating whether I did anything useful with my time.

Don't get me wrong -- I know that both of these people were well-loved by many others who knew them better than I did.  It isn't that I'm doing these signs because nobody is there to mourn them -- far from it.  It's just that doing the signs has fallen to me -- and it seems almost irreverent for me to be doing them -- when I don't have any grand grief for the departed and instead can look at their names and dates and think only about whether I've got the right font and if the type is centered correctly.

I don't think about my own death much -- hardly at all, really -- but when I do so, it is with some sort of comforting understanding that I'll be missed by the people whose lives I've touched.  I guess I never really thought about the fact that there will ALSO be people who hardly know me at all, who'll sit there at their computers, with sitcom reruns playing in the background, typing my name because it's their job to do it, and not really thinking anything about me at all.

Not exactly the "Circle of Life," is it?

1 comment:

annalisa135 said...

I know how you feel. I did an entry ("Whats the Point?") that talks about death. Its a quagmire of thoughts/ feelings/ and questions. Have you ever read "5 People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom? If not, i'd recommend it highly. It makes you think about the people in life you've touched (either in a good way or a bad one) and how its affected their lives in the long run. Good book!