“People who are never completely unforgotten never completely die.” (Ashleigh Brilliant)
I like this saying that I read on the Jack’s Winning Words blog that I get daily because it is true for me. Jack, being a retired pastor of course had some thoughts along the lines of immortality through belief. I certainly agree with those thoughts, but I had some of my on reflections of a more worldly nature.
My parents have been “gone” for a long time now, but they “live on” in my memories just as vividly as if I saw them just yesterday, so they are not forgotten and they have yet to completely die. My son and daughter also have a few fleeting memories of them as grandparents; so they may live through their lifetimes too. After that, I’m not sure; they did not live long enough to ever be seen and remembered by their great-grandchildren.
I have memories of my grandparents, so they’re still alive; but, I never knew my great grandparents, and so they are, at best, written entries on the family tree; and, perhaps, an image on a faded of photo or two. They have probably died. I suspect that there are few, if any, members of some other branch of the family tree who still have direct memories of them.
I suppose this begs the issue of those people from the past that are kept “alive” because they have been recognized or memorialized in some fashion; usually in pictures and with trophies or plaques or other commemorative items. That is why getting into various Sports or other Halls of Fame is so important. One “lives” forever in those sanctuaries. Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and Sandy Kofax and others in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame “live” today because they are remembered; they are not completely forgotten. Of course there are those who “live on” in infamy – Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan and others. In this modern era, we have movies and TV images that bring back to life many of those who are long gone. If you are still in reruns; you are never dead.
I have often seen people sitting or standing out at cemeteries, visiting and sometimes even talking with loved ones that have passed away. They are not forgotten. They are not dead for those visitors; and somehow there is peace to be found in talking with them as if they were still here and can hear what they are saying.
But, enough of the macabre; the real point that I started out to expound upon is that you really do “live on” in the minds of those around you that you touch; and as long as that is true, you have not “died.” General Douglas Macarthur expressed this well in his famous quote, “old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” They fade away in the memories of people. For most these days, Macarthur himself has faded away.
Hopefully you will live for a long time in the fond memories of the lives of those whom you touched in positive ways while you were here. For me that’s both a hope and a goal. Old grandpas never die either; they just fade away, too.