1. Interesting. There’s a little bit of truth in the ‘he lives in you/your memories’ part, as I’m starting to realize. Not in a literal way, but sometimes reminiscing about a parson can almost make it feel like they’re still there. That said, people use that saying so much that it feels shallow, annoying and fake much of the time.

    I don’t usually like using that saying myself, in or out of a story. But I do have chars delve into their memories and reminisce over the dead, both for better and for worse. Like…in my Naruto fanfic, one char will use genjutsus (illusions) to reminisce about his dead ex girlfriend, which kind of helps him cope day to day, especially since he doesn’t want to forget her, but it also makes it harder for him to move on in some ways.

    Other than that…I dunno. Death is depicted as upsetting, and something that people try to prevent with everything in them. And part of the reason it upsets them is because that person is gone and inaccessible regardless of any afterlife.

    • Rachel Nichols says:

      Yes. At least for a while they are no more.

      We have no idea where, when or how we’ll meet again.

      That’s why even faithful Christians mourn the dead.

  2. Travis C says:

    Thanks for sharing Shannon. For years I’ve built a lens for viewing the world in two general camps: those who believe in life after death, and those who do not. If you believe there is a greater power at the wheel of the universe and that there is more than our temporal, physical body’s life on the planet, then you can live and operate from a place of hope. Things will go wrong, but there is a restoration that will come. If, however, you believe that this life is all there is, flip the switch, lights out, worms and such, then this life literally is all there is, so everything that happens here matters (because after you die, it doesn’t).

    Maybe I need to start broadening that into “Those worldviews that believe death matters” and “Those who gloss it away”. At least in the above case, death matters. For one group, it’s the turning the page on the Great Story. For the other, it represents finality and gives the rest of one’s life meaning. In the gray area you describe, there’s really little of either.

  3. One of my pet peeves about pop culture stories is that so few people grieve. A person dies and the rest of the cast moves on as if nothing monumental happened or has changed for the people left behind. So, I really appreciate this post, Shannon. Christian writers should have a different approach!


    • That’s sort of what I like about anime. A lot of times, at least with the well made ones, the characters have strong bonds and it’s actually a big deal when one of them dies. There’s grief and mourning that often has major plot implications later on.

  4. Rachel Nichols says:

    I think this is why the “grimdark” genre is gaining a following. At least it’s honest about the ugliness we see around us.

What do you think?