Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
Last week, we had a memorial service for those killed in the London bombings. Today is Remembrance Sunday, where we remember those killed at war. And next week, there’s probably some other memorial service for people killed in another horrific tragedy. And all of these kinds of events make me feel the same way: If I died in some extraordinary fashion, I wouldn’t want to be remembered at these services.
There are very few things I can think of which are more depressing than the thought of being remembered for your death, rather than for your life. How many of those killed in the London bombings would want to be remembered as the person killed in a terrorist attack? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the happiness they brought to their family, and the good they did with their lives?
How many servicemen killed in battle would want to be remembered for enduring the worst possible conditions, far from home, only to die in unimaginable pain at the hands of the enemy? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the time they spent with their families, friends, and colleagues before being forced to fight for their country?
When the time comes, if some great atrocity carries me off, if I’m lucky enough to be remembered then please put the end to the back of your mind, and remember my life before you remember my death.