The Door that Connects the Dead and the Living

Memories are extremely fragile when unprotected, and it requires effort to preserve it.

Often times I wonder, can memories of me be everlasting when I am gone? Recently I watched the movie "Coco" and I found the answer I seek - Yes, it could be. Ideally, that is what family does. They remember you for who you were and keep every single memories about you close to their hearts.

Our physical brain is naturally programmed to develop, to sustain, and to deteriorate itself over time. To overcome this, human civilisations since ancient times have applied linguistic and heuristic representations to accurately preserve and transfer knowledge (memories, skills and experiences) to future generations so as to ensure survivability of their tribes.

Memories takes multiple forms; A belief, a thought, or a routine. The instances ranges from a tribal culture, an ideology, how to farm, how to hunt, family culture, child's education, cultural cuisines, fashion and beauty, how to cook grandma's special recipe, inheritance, words from an Afternote, on objects such as Tombstones and Niches, and many beyond.

In the movie Coco, altars with pictures of deceased of the Mexican family, called "ofrendas" are being adorned at home where family members gather to create a shared consciousness with every reminisced story or passed-on tale of influence and inspiration. This is similar to what we Asians do - By having a niche, a tablet, or a tombstone, an object or a note of the deceased.

In my field of work as an end-of-life planner, on one side of the coin, I came across comments like "People these days are so busy. And when I passed on, my children may not visit me" as well as "Save the money and trouble, just throw me into the sea".

While on the other side, I do get comments like "My so and so did sea burial, and when I look up into the clouds, I was not able to relate. There were no traces of him left behind."

My duty and passion in this industry is to ensure that the door connecting the dead and the living remain open.

While it is important to respect the decision of how each wants their funeral arrangement to be, it is equally important to consider the perspectives of your love ones on how they wish to remember you.

Wouldn't that be more fulfilling?

By Queenie

Queenie is a End-of-life Planner at Nirvana

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