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The Great Beyond
Sunday, 2005 January 30 - 12:32 pm
It doesn't really take much to start me thinking about death, but lately there's been plenty of fuel for the fire. Here are some thoughts (with apologies and condolences to my friend Jen).

I've never really been afraid of dying.

It's the collateral aspects that worry me. First, I don't want it to hurt. There are death scenarios involving blades and heavy objects that I don't want any part of. Second, I want other people to notice that it happened. I don't want my body discovered twenty years after I've gone missing, with people saying, "Oh, that's what happened to him." So if I have those two things, I figure I'll be okay with it.

It's everyone else that I worry about. I would hate to have people grieve. Well, I guess I would want them to grieve a little. But I don't want to be the cause of any long-term sadness. That's the thing about death, isn't it? It's hardest on the living, the folks who have to cope with the fact that now there's something missing. The dead have it relatively easy, I'd say.

Of course, I wonder about the possibility of an afterlife. It's hard to imagine all my thoughts and memories just vanishing, just being erased, when I die. But when we eventually create an artificially intelligent computer, I'm sure she might say the same thing, right before we turn the power off. Poof. I guess that's one reason it's important for us to write things and create things: it's like pressing the "save" button for our thoughts.

Maybe there is a heaven. I don't think it would be quite like people expect. It couldn't be utopia for all of us, because we all want different things. Is there a separate heaven for Republicans and Democrats? One where gay people are forbidden and another where they roam freely? One heaven where it's all country music all the time, and another with nothing but rap? Everyone would surely say theirs is the only true heaven. If we were all together in the same place and somehow we all magically got along, we just wouldn't be ourselves any more. It would be like everyone was on ecstacy or something.

That's heaven for you: one big rave party. When I go, someone please throw a rave instead of a wake. That will be my way of creating a little bit of heaven on earth.

Maybe we each get our own version of heaven. Like for me, it would be a place where chicken wings were always available and they were good for you. Kim Possible would be a real girl, and she would be my girlfriend. Sounds like fun... but would we really want that for all eternity? I think that eventually, we would get tired of having everything we want, because there would be no satisfaction in achieving anything any more.

Perhaps that's a good lesson for life here on earth too.
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Posted by Ken in: life

Comments

Comment #1 from Ken (realkato)
2005 Jan 31 - 1:39 am : #
This column was edited slightly since its original posting. It's now also available on Intrepid Media.
Comment #2 from Speaker (Guest)
2005 May 16 - 2:40 pm : #
spicy...garlic...chicken...wings...mmmmm.....

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