Sneezing Vespers Until Midnight

A friend recently told me that he was thinking about the meaning of life and death. He said that, in his view, the meaning of life is "something we do, and not something that we do, or are". I thought...

George Eliot
Nov 22, 2022
3 min read

Sneezing Vespers Unit Midnight

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
— George Eliot (1818-1890)
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Sneezing Vespers Unit Midnight

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.
— George Eliot (1818-1890)

The titled responsion is...

A friend recently told me that he was thinking about the meaning of life and death. He said that, in his view, the meaning of life is "something we do, and not something that we do or are." I thought this was very good and thought we might talk about this more when we age. Of course, we will, but as long as our children live long enough to comment on our philosophy, I feel okay with that. However, I have a few thoughts I'd like to share for those who don't.

We should remember that our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them. What we do when we remember is remember what we need, when we need it, and why. We do not remember what we've lost, and in fact, many times we will be better off forgetting what we've lost. The best way to remember our dead is to forget them. I am reminded of the poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Dead Shall Have No Fear." He wrote it more than a century ago, but there is some truth to what he wrote then and some validity to it now. We need to forget our dead to remember our living ones.

It can be terrifying to think that we may lose our dead. When we first realize our mortality, we often do everything we can to avoid it, and I'm not trying to condemn this approach, but sometimes it's hard to avoid it. For those who do avoid death, it's not only their death but their living ones, too, that they are afraid of losing.

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