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There is no guilt or innocence in you. All of that is past. Guilt belabors the dead and I am no the Iron Hammer. You multitude of the dead are merely people who have done certain things, and the memory of those things illuminates my path. -Leto II to His Memory-Lives After Haw al-Ada

What do you become when you die? Are you the words you said? The things you wrote? The things you made?

I'm sure that's part of it, but more than the things you had a conscious hand in, I imagine what you become is dispersed. People hold you in their minds, in their bodies, in whatever form they can remember and keep. If time is cyclical and ideas are more than electrical impulses in our brains, then these memories aren't necessarily just fading video recordings of a who a person was but actual pieces of them. Whether those who hold those pieces deserve to or not is up for debate, but I think they're there, some brighter, stronger, some grayer, smaller.

And what do people do with those pieces?

Some try to amplify the smaller pieces by placing them into statues of stone, static figures of who a person was. They build shrines around them, try to make love to them in the dark, try to make a connection in death that was never there in life.

Some with the strongest pieces find the light almost unbearable, burning them from the inside out. They could be seen as keepers of that light, guardians of memory, and surely in some ways that is true. But just as in life, people change in death. Our relationship to the dead changes, as our interpretations and memories necessarily change and warp, it changes our present. Our vision of what our futures would be changes, which in turn changes how we're living today.

In death many things are forgotten, many things forgiven, but nothing ends.

When I die I'm not sure if I'll be remembered. They say you'll likely be forgotten in something like 4 generations, and I think I'm fine with that if I was just an atom floating through space. But I want more than that. I want to live a life where each year me and my loved ones are dug up, where the living see the ways we've changed, what we've become, what they will become.

I want to eat my elders, not to steal their power, but to have that bodily understanding that they're a part of me. Any resulting sickness a reminder that I don't, however, own even that piece.