When Is Your Memory Truly Forgotten?
“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” — Banksy
While this quote was directly attributed to the graffiti artist Banksy, the sentiment is not his alone and appears all over the place, attributed to several different people.
“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That’s when I will be truly dead – when I exist in no one’s memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”― David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
I’ve read that ancient Egyptians believed that once your name vanished from people’s memories, you were truly dead. That this complete erasure was comparable to an eternity in hell.
People are remembered by their legacy, whether it’s public or private. If something you did lives on in the public consciousness, then your name stays relevant and you, (your memory) become immortal.
With the work I do in video biographies, my goal is to create a work of art about your life that lives on into perpetuity, continually speaking your name as well as your accomplishments, thoughts, visions and goals into future generations of your family. By this, our wish is that your descendants who have yet to be born, will know you and understand who you are and that years down the line, your name will still be spoken and you will be remembered.
Stefani Twyford is a personal historian sharing life stories, connecting generations and preserving legacies. To learn more, visit her web site, find her on Twitter as @stefanitwyford, visit the Legacy Multimedia Facebook Fan Page, or send her an e-mail.