Just returned from the funeral of my friend Chris and now emotionally somewhat exhausted. The reality really hit when they played "Forever Autumn" from the War of the Worlds soundtrack. Always been one of my favourite songs on there, but now it'll be forever tied to Chris and the view of the coffin ready to go into the crematorium. The fact that it's behind the curtains doesn't help much.
My own mortality is certainly back at the forefront of my mind, too. Every time I face death - and I've faced too much of it, too early - I completely re-evaluate my life. There are many "open issues" that I'd have to tackle before I go. The ones that are open I'm ok to tackle in the next life. It'll be OK to see some people around next time and deal with them again. If that's how the universe works. I strangely think it does.
The Christian sermon and service is so bleak when you don't actually believe in God or the Resurrection or God's "mercy". I can see through a pagan Roman's eyes and be flabbergasted at what those Christians believe. I much preferred the "social part", where people would exchange memories, rather than implore the Flying Spaghetti Monster to "accept our brother Chris" and "dry our tears." While my heart kept saying "no, that's not how it works. That's not the truth." Moving my lips and going through the motions without feeling it is getting impossible.
Chris was a good guy, bright as a spark, fun, generous, kind. He needs no mercy from anyone, Flying Spaghetti Monsters or anybody else, fictional or real. His goodness, kindness and caring will stand him in good stead, whereever he's now. Maybe he'll move on, maybe he's coming back, and even if our soul/mind/character is just a function of the material brain - and as I said, I don't actually believe that, even though I'm OK with it, it's just that I've had experiences that point to a different model - even then his memory lives with us. And it really only matters for as long as we are around, anyway.
I'll set up provisions for my own death, my creative will, provisions covering the rights to my stories and everything else. In many ways, the duty now is to live in a way that people will remember me for the good rather than the bad, to make a difference in people's lives, and go out with a bow, a smile, and having given everything I have to give.