After death there is an absence for the living.
A void left full of things that no one will ever know.
The stories are gone.
The memories and the accomplishments of your beloved will eventually fade.
At the very least they will morph into something new- colored as words pass down.
People talk about legacy. Civilization encourages us to carry the past forward and religion shows us how to talk to the dead and honor the spirit keeping the life and the person’s contribution ever present in the beyond.
Reeling in grief, grasping for comfort, desperate hope evokes fantasies that the lost one will walk through the door. Speakers for the dead weave illusions telling stories of the past.
Then, I realize something true.
Understanding washes over me reconciling my rejections of what feels like de-escalating hyperbole wishing me well and consoling my anguish.
The stories are gone and the recontour will be forgotten but that’s okay because the memories and the holding on is not the legacy.
The legacy we leave behind can’t be quantified because it isn’t the story of our life it’s the way a single person’s presence alters the moments around their existence.
Legacy isn’t the stories we create it’s the stories we change and stories that would never happen. The inertia multiplied forward like the telephone game spawning infinite changes to the fabric of society that can only evolve in the space left by the void and the passing of life.
You are not gone… you are everywhere.