Someone I know is dying.
It’s not a terribly unique thing, considering how many people are in the world and how many people are dying at any given moment. I, myself, have known multiple people who have died. It’s not unique, but it is still… a bit sad.
I am not terribly sentimental, nor do I fear Death or the hereafter. I just wrote a book about how Death is a kind, if distant, character. Life, on the other hand, is the hard part. And it is this person’s life that I mourn.
I did not know this person well, though I was connected to them. I spent very little time with this person and those moments I did spend are lost to the fog of my childhood. I remember very little, most of it what I was told. I know some about their past life and the struggles that were held. I know marginally more about the cause of death.
I think that is the part that is the saddest is the fact that these memories will fade into nothingness in a few short years. The people who actually remember the dying will die or forget. The next generation will not know this person at all. Nor, if mentioned, will they care.
Being a writer, I am surrounded by characters who transcend time. I’ve read — and written — people who lived hundreds of years ago or in some distant future. I have fonder memories of these people than of most of reality. Words allow a person’s story to be spread far and wide, to be remembered and treasured by multiple generations.
And I don’t know this person well enough to give them that sort of gift. I can name a character after them, yes, but I don’t know enough about personality or history to create more than a supporting character with no real purpose in my story. That much, though, I can do.
Death is not something I fear. Everyone dies. It is life that must be fought and won. And I’m sorry that I didn’t fight hard enough for your life or memory.