Finding a text message from someone who has died is like coming across an old beach ball with their breath in it, or an illegible note in their handwriting – a random bit of disembodied yet tangible evidence that they did actively exist. And a reminder that all of us will one day be only memory. Even if we build a bridge, or write a book, or get our names on a fancy plaque on a charity wall, we’ll be lucky to be actually remembered more than a generation after we’re gone. Remembered for our humor, our perspective, our creativity, or whatever the spark is that makes each of us a unique human.
So make lots of memories now. Be kind to strangers. Be nicer to friends. Do things that matter, so that decades from now old men on a bench can reminisce about “that guy who helped my dad” and old women can talk about “that friend of my mom’s that made everyone pee their pants laughing.”
And share the stories of the characters in your own life, especially those long gone, so their memories don’t fade quite so quickly.
That’s all we are, people – a random message, a captured breath, and eventually just a reference. It’s our choice to make it a fond one.