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Nature of the beat
64

“Why are people more willing to be remembered in death than life?”

(spelling correction mine)

I think this is in the nature of big plans and ideas, and in parenthood.

My grandfather chose to be buried at sea. Without sharing too much personal information, let it suffice to say that he was a heroic, larger than life figure of the kind upon whom the characters of Indiana Jones and Rick Blaine were fashioned. After many years of thinking about why he would choose to do this I am coming to the conclusion, that, in the end to him it just seemed to be the right thing to do about it all, and that would have to do.

I’m coming to agree with this point of view. The life of adventure has consequences. My father, aunts and uncle have been sure to remind me, in appropriate ways, of course, to temper my hero-worship of my grandfather with the important fact that he was not there for them very often, but for the world and himself. I don’t hold this against them. It’s just taken time to accept.

Perhaps this was his final lesson for me. In the end, despite the inspiration I may draw from his life and the very important goals he helped the world to attain, and the lives he touched, after his passing those memories were all that we were going to have, and it would be a tragic waste of our limited time to spend any of it at all defending his shrine.

I believe he chose to be buried at sea because it was the final act of justice he could deliver. That the lives we lead now are what matters and justice is the best verdict we can render. My understanding of this will evolve, of course, as time goes by, but I find it another reason to conclude that the freedom of choice may be best freedom of all, because it makes these acts of justice legitimate and lasting.

Your mileage may vary.

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