Reads the Greyjoy family slogan in the “Song of Fire and Ice” series by George R.R. Martin. This very slogan could be deciphered and broken down metaphorically in a positive manner for our death-denying society.
“What is dead may never die.” How can this one line be dissected? What does it interpret? We die only once, a known fact; at least for the real world we exist in. Humans, have no knowledge of an afterlife, or what happens or proceeds in one. So once a person passes away; our society should take in consideration that one death it was and always shall be – that the loved one who has passed away will never go through this certain distress ever again, and neither would we once we die.
This very slogan can be taken in another manner: even with a person’s passing – the memories we have of that particular someone, the legacy and the actions the person left behind will never cease to exist till we cease to exist – but then our actions and memories don’t cease to exist till the people we have shared these somethings cease to exist. This is an endless cycle, till all humans cease existing, and disappear into oblivion.
Literature has always been a get-away from reality for me; and it’s surprising how a few writers can change the way you think about life. I recently read Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and if the ideology of ” what is dead may never die” had to be supported by proper definitions; Kurt has them.
“All moments: past, present and future; always have existed, always will exist.” If the theory of relativity was ever exercised into reality, and successful time-machines were to be made; a person would be able to travel to any moment that will exist the way it has existed, it’s always preordained. “When a person dies, he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past.” Travelling back to any moment in the past, you’d still see the person who has died very much breathing and laughing and doing things the way they did as in the moments of the past. This dead person, has never died, will have never died in the past moments.
A person’s dying should be as much of a celebration as much as the person’s birth. A turning point had been surpassed at either instances; the memories will always be there; the essence of the person will always be there. As Rumi quotes: “If you look too closely at the form, you miss the essence.” The feelings, the emotions, the moments a dead person has made with countless others will always exist; the person’s significance and soul will always remain even though the form, the body has depleted away.