"But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning."
-The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thorton Wilder
Ever since the demise of my parents, life has been a surreal nightmare of sorts. It's as if I've been viewing into a dream sequence where all the characters have been playing their designated roles and the setting merely a shell of what I knew before. It's like an altered parallel universe that I really wanted to escape and wake up. I ask myself whether this is real or merely an extended dream wherein closing one's eyes will not change the moment. Vanilla Sky this ain't.
Indeed I have been waking up, going to work, eating my meals religiously and sleeping- just like any human being- in order to function my basic necessities. But apart from this routine, is there something to mark my whole existence in the world? As we pass away from this earth we are forgotten by the world only to be remembered by those who knew us, who encountered us in our respective paths, and those who we had a strong connection to. Everything else is secondary for none shall be brought to the netherworld and memories of the present fade gradually into the sands of time. We are nothing but specks in the course of the universe and the world will not weep or blip in our passing.
Legacies given by great people for which they are remembered for are more because of ideas rather than the persons themselves. Like Rizal for his nationalism and Gandhi for his non-violence, these personages remain in our thoughts because they have something great to teach the world. Even Hitler taught the world Nazism and the horrors that a person is capable to doing. They are distilled and are remembered for their abstract philosophies but not for their personalities, their hopes and their frustrations. The person withers away and only his name remains.
Inversely, who can we be able to remember those heroes, politicians and presidents that have come by? Even in greatness in character does not connote remembrance for future generations. Who can even remember the names of Eduard Douwes Dekker, Albert Schweitzer, Rabindranath Tagore? Only academicians and historians most likely. How about our own Dagohoy, Leon Kilat, Papa Isio, Leo Echagaray, Elpidio Quirino and the rest of the Philippine motley crew? Can one point out their works and their lives? No one most probably. Such reality is a testament that all of us will end up being forgotten as soon as we are interred six feet into the ground. And the world will keep on spinning.