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Do You Remember?
My sister died in 1996 having spent most of her adult life in one of the many stages you go through after being diagnosed with Cancer. And then again. And then again. My mum died 6 years later of a broken heart.
Clearly on a mission to ensure that the ‘average life expectancy’ of this branch of the Philpin family was as high as possible, Dad died in 2018 - 16 years after Mum at the ripe old age of ninety four.
It’s a version of the story of every family that has lived on planet earth.
Mum and Dad had no siblings, which means that despite me actually being ‘John the Eighth’ - I kid you not - John was my given name as it was all the way back to my dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad. I like to think that what we lacked in originality in the naming of the ‘first born son’, we made up in some other way.
All of which got me to thinking.
You remember Coco right?
Coco introduces the audience to ‘The Land of the Dead’ - a place where deceased souls reside as long as they are remembered by the living with the ‘remembrance’ being their photo placed on the family's ‘ofrenda’. Once a photograph is no longer displayed the soul ‘moves on’. (I never quite understood what happened prior to 1826 - but it is only a movie - so we’ll let it slide.)
It’s a lovely idea though we all have our own ways of remembering, not least the tombstone.
Which got me to thinking some more … about legacy and ‘leaving something for the world’ … which to a greater or lessor extent, don’t we all think about, talk about, want to? … and yet some of our greatest minds, leaders, writers, artists … are barely remembered, so who are we to expect more?
Here’s what I know. We will all be forgotten. At best we will be remembered for some ‘body of work’ - but who we are/were - as people. Will we? Will we really?
This newsletter has been sitting in my drafts folder for months. Today I saw this on Instagram (Jason Flom) .. and saved below for ease of watching. Because it connects. It relates. It is what I have been thinking.
At the end of the day … as Liana Finck has it … this is likely our best lot.
Live in the moment. Take it from me, easy to say - really hard to do. So keep practicing.
Remember. As much as you can. Remember.
If this at all resonates with you, pop over to the Substack byan excellent production that connects and inspires me with every read.
I’ve been writing about our true nature and investigating whether life’s aims reflect life’s games. Too often, or at least it’s my experience, we end up playing a series of games that denude us of soul and that means taking us further and further away from who or what we are.
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Post Script … I know I have been absent. Apologies. Lots of balls, plates and the occasional chain saw being juggled .. but we are getting there. Please do share with others, so that when I share plans more publicly - more people will benefit from the work.