For a lot of reasons lately, i've been thinking about death.
No, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon (at least i HOPE not. Why? Do you guys know something that I don't? That's SO not cool! Tell me, dammit!), but a smattering of events over the past few months have got me thinking more about mortality than normal.
Actually, 'mortality' isnt really the word i'm looking for. I guess what i've been dwelling on is more about my 'Legacy'.
I'm saying this really badly. Let me start over.
Every few weeks I go to the cemetery with Mini-Me, to visit my grandfather. I can't help but notice that while I'm there, there aren't a lot of people visiting. Most times, it will just be me, Mini-Me, and some random elderly person putting flowers down on a grave every few hundred feet or so.
And that's about it. ALL those dead people. THOUSANDS of dead people. And maybe 50 LIVING folks there to visit them.
And, it gets me to thinking. "HOW is that possible?" How can there be SO few people wanting to pay their respects? Surely, most of these people had loving families, to which they were surely an integral part of their lives. It just seems to me that there should be more people milling about, and i have often wondered WHY that is never the case.....
Then the answer came to me.
For many of the people buried in a given cemetery, most of THEIR immediate family is probably dead, too.
Then i thought, "Well, surely their children visit them periodically." And i'm sure thats true. But what happens when you advance the clock even further, and now even their CHILDREN are gone?
I mean, how many people visit their grandparent's graves? Yeah, i do, but i'm fucking awesome. I would bet that most people don't.
But let's advance the clock even further. Let's talk about GREAT-Grandparents. How many of us have gone to the cemetery to visit THEIR grave-sites? I'd bet the percentage is near 0%. I remember doing it a few times as a kid, but for the live of me i couldn't now tell you where the hell i was.
But go back even farther, and look at the generation before that. I don't even know what my great-great grandparent's names are, or where they are buried. For all i know, i could be fucking STANDING on my great-great grandparent's graves right now, and i wouldn't even know it.
So, the sobering thought occurred to me that, when you die, you could probably expect to be visited by family or friends for about 20 years or so, if you're lucky.
Hell, go out further, about 50 years or so, and you're probably lucky to even have been REMEMBERED by anyone in your family.
Ain't that a kick in the balls? You bust your ass your whole life, trying to be a loving family member and a good dude, and then your progeny procreates a few times and before you know it, you're just some dude that your great-great grandkids find a picture of in their parent's attic and say to themselves, "Who the fuck is that clown?"
That bothers me. It REALLY bothers me. I don't WANT to be forgotten. I don't WANT to just be some dusty old gravestone that people from the future step over when they're walking to the more 'recent aquisitions' in the cemetary.
No, 200 years from now I want kids to gather around my grave and tear up wistfully as they recount stories of their Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandpa Slyde.
But that's PROBABLY not going to happen.
Nope. No chance. I'll just be one of a gazillion other forgotten souls that eventually haunt the Wall-Mart that some future community will decide to build over my long forgotten grave site.