Sunday, 2 September 2012


When I die, I don't want a tombstone with my name on it.

I don't normally go about having preferences for a future that effectively will never exist for me, but I was mindlessly scrolling through the internet and I glimpsed the line "When I die, I want my tombstone to read..." and it got me thinking.

Everyone has different beliefs and I don't know this as a fact, but I think that I exist inside my body, and although my body is a part of me, once I die, my body and I will be separated.
Nothing of who I am will be in a coffin underground.  My body is not what will remain of me.

What's going to be left of me in this world after I die, the part of me that will continue existing and representing who I am now, are all the things I've written and all the memories, however petty, that people have of me.
I don't want a tombstone with my name on it standing on a piece of ground that is completely unrelated to me. Even if my body is buried underneath it.

Perhaps what would be best for everyone is a world without tombstones, where we recognize that our bodies have borrowed their essense from the earth and are then returning the essence and returning to the earth. We shouldn't mark a spot on the earth and pretend that a larger part of what a person was can be attributed to it. Do we not all believe that atoms don't die, they transform? We probably shouldn't embalm people and delay the process of dust to dust either.

I think embracing the return to our origins, to the earth, would help ease the mourning and the fear we all seem to have of death. But we won't know unless we try.

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