Mike Haubrich’s father died recently, after a long struggle at the end. He chose to go with dignity. Mike has written a post at Quiche Moraine in his memory. I hope when my time comes, someone eulogizes me as beautifully.
We, all of us, are materially connected to the planet on which we live. We eat, drink, breathe and metabolize the substances that make us and turn them into the proteins that build our cells and organs, but we are still mostly carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen even now and long after we have died those elements will continue. Dad died and made a little room for another person to eat, drink, breathe and metabolize and in a few years I will die and do the same thing. My ashes will be scooped into an urn and placed in a mausoleum for a few years and eventually will all return to the earth. We never go away, even long after death. The C, H, N and O2 that make us are remnant elements of a supernova that burst some 7 billion years ago because we are “starstuff.” He is still here, and always will be.
It’s rather amusing when religious folks suggest that you have to believe there’s “something more” than this life, that you’re “part of some grander design”, when the reality is, we already are part of something bigger than ourselves. Every carbon atom on this planet was built in a distant star that has since died and exploded, seeding the galaxy around it. Without that cosmic sacrifice, we wouldn’t be here. This is a much more sweeping and grand reality than any small and scope-limited religion humankind has ever come up with.
And it really does touch my heart and inspire me to do good things in my limited time on this planet.