So more and more well known people seem to have chosen this time of year to take their last breath. Carrie Fisher is the latest and possibly best known or rather her 20 year old self is/was. One of the advantages(?) that the famous have over we the great unwashed is that they never actually die, apart that is from those who actually know them. For as long as their is some way of showing star wars movies then Carrie Fisher will live again as much as she ever did. Of course in this digitally connected world we who inhabit this world also now don’t die, instead we will continue on in the cloud so in one sense we have started to move beyond our own mortality. Of course the shadow we leave in the cloud when we have died is not really us, although given the many FB friends we have who we haven’t ever met or perhaps we did when we were much younger and have had any real face time in years, who would know the difference? Of course there are companies out there that would actually maintain our digital presence so we might all start to find shortly we may find it difficult to tell who is physically alive as opposed to only cloud alive.
None of this will be of any comfort to the family and friends of the famous who have recently died. Carrie Fisher was a real person to them but as I wrote the other day there are many many more people in the world who are feeling the same pains and anguish for the loss of a friend, loved one as those felt by a famous actress. To all of those people I wish you the best and hope that some day you will be able to come to term with your loss. But don’t feel you have to rush this…we are all different and we grieve in our own way.
If this all seems just a little matter of fact for you well in my defence I have seen and dealt with many deaths in my professional life. I have seen many many ways that people die by choice or not and so after all of this you tend to view death as, well, matter of fact. Although one of things I didn’t have to deal with is how to end someone’s digital life which I suspect may well be really difficult as it would dredge up too many painful memories when dealing with intimate matters such as passwords that is assuming that the dead person didn’t use Password as their password. One day someone will have to do that for me – I don’t envy them.