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When We Are Gone October 30, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Poetry, Spirit & Ego.

IMGP3393bWhen we are gone
do we care
about all we left behind?

Do we worry
or wonder
about our claimed legacy?

Do our daydreams
into twilight memories?

Or do they linger behind?

When we are gone
are our cares
fast forgotten and erased?

Or do we take
one last look
over pale ghostly shoulders?

When we are gone
does time stop
for us, dead in its tracks?

Or do we linger longer?

Related posts:  Spring Grove Cemetery (Christine M. Grote) * The Undertaker Always Calls On Halloween (Andra) * Dust to Dust (Colonialist) * Do Dogs See Ghosts? (Kate Shrewsday)


1. Lisa Wields Words - October 30, 2012

Spooky and sad all rolled into one.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Halloween contemplation . . . speculation about spectres . . . best guesses about ghosts.

2. aawwa - October 30, 2012

A very thoughtful piece today! When we know the answers we won’t be around to share them…

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

I expect that most of what we worry about when we are HERE will not matter in the least to us once we are THERE . . . assuming we are ANYWHERE at all.

3. Judson - October 30, 2012

Personally, I think it depends on WHAT you believe about WHERE you have gone … or if you believe you have gone ANYWHERE at all.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Belief and faith and hope and trust are tools and superstitions we use to live within the mystery while we are HERE.

Do you believe that the beliefs we hold HERE shape our fate after we die? That if we believe we will continue to exist, we will. And if we don’t, we won’t? I expect our ephemeral existence or non-existence is more concrete than that:

X is dead. He either still IS or he ISN’T. No matter what he believes.

But, perhaps you are right. Our thoughts shape our world while we are here . . . maybe they continue to do so after we die. Maybe ghosts are those who continue to believe they are connected to Earthly concerns?

Judson - November 2, 2012

I agree … X is dead. He has departed this life and he isn’t coming back. But, the questions you posed were from the point of view of the living, concerning how and what X might feel/think/do after he is dead. The athiest would say that X thinks and feels and does nothing … he has simply ceased to live and therefore ceased to exist on any level. The spiritual person would say that X has departed this life for another different exisitence. Heaven? Hell? Reincarnation? Who knows? So, the answers to your questions about the dead depend on what you, the living believe.

nrhatch - November 2, 2012

We may think we’ll care what people think of us when we’re gone, but maybe we won’t. We may think we won’t and find we do. We may think we’ll be oblivious to life here after we die, and find we remain cognizant.

When we don’t know, we suppose.

But suppose there is a definitive answer to these questions. One not tied to belief. That’s what I’m after. The truth from beyond the veil.

Assuming there’s a veil to peer beyond. 😉

4. Don - October 30, 2012

I wish I knew. But I suppose one has to learn to live with mystery..

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Unless, of course, our dearly departed answer us from beyond the veil. Seance, anyone? 😯

I’m wondering whether “dad” is watching renovations on “his house” with approval or disappoval, or whether he is oblivious to happenings here . . . either because he has better things to do with his time since shrugging off ego and its incessant concerns or because he has ceased to exist at all.

Don - October 30, 2012

if they are aware of what’s going on here I think it’s the kind of awareness which is purged of ego, as you say Nancy, and because of that in some way furthers that growth in us. I’m sure we’re mysteriously connected with them in some way.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

I wonder if it depends on the extent of our spiritual growth at the time of death?

If we are still caught up in ego’s incessant mumbling and grumbling, perhaps we look back HERE with a desire to interfere?

And, if we have realized that ego is not to be trusted, we leave ego and its concerns behind to move on to the next plane? FREE at last!

5. Andra Watkins - October 30, 2012

Thanks for the mention, Nancy. I hope when I’m gone, someone will remember me well.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

We remember “the dearly departed” after they’ve gone . . . but do “they” remember us?

While we are here, we hope someone will remember us after we’re gone . . . but, once we’re gone, do we continue to care about our legacy, or lack thereof?

Andra Watkins - October 30, 2012

I doubt it.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

We spend much of our life concerned not only with our reputation while here, but with the legacy that we will leave behind.

If you’re right, and I’d wager you are, that’s wasted energy ~ since, when we leave, we are no longer concerned with either.

6. kateshrewsday - October 30, 2012

And that, Nancy, is the sixty four thousand dollar question.
I have no idea what I want the answer to be.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Do “the dead” care one whit about the monuments created to honor their memory? Or do we create great cathedrals and mausoleums for our benefit rather than theirs:

* To convince ourselves that what we do here matters
* To persuade ourselves that “they” are still HERE with us
* To feel better about, one day, “being gone but not forgotten”

It’s something I’ve been thinking about since dad died ~ wondering whether he’s looking over his shoulder at what is happening HERE . . . or whether he’s sailing distant shores without a backwards glance.

gita4elamats - October 30, 2012

Do “the dead” care one whit about the monuments created to honor their memory? – NO
Or do we create great cathedrals and mausoleums for our benefit rather than theirs? – YES
I think that your Dad’s ‘looking over his shoulder at what is happening HERE . . ‘!
Peace & love!

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Perhaps he is, Gita. If so, hope what he sees doesn’t give him indigestion . . . or nightmares. 🙄

gita4elamats - October 30, 2012

Peace & love!

7. Tom (Aquatom1968) - October 30, 2012

I have a strange pull back to the year 1642, and the early seventeenth century, Nancy, and I’m trying to find out why. If and when I find out, I wonder if this will provide an answer to your questions? And, if and when again, does it really matter what I find out? The more you think about ‘when we are gone’, the more questions reveal themselves!

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Cool! Keep us posted. You might answer some of my questions, or you might unearth new ones.

Either way, hope you discover why 1642 is calling to you.

8. gita4elamats - October 30, 2012
nrhatch - October 30, 2012

Glad you enjoyed.

9. nancycurteman - October 30, 2012

I guess what I want to happen when I go through the Golden Gates is that most people will celebrate having known me.

Nancy, thanks for the referrals. I’m already celebrating knowing you.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

They will, NC . . . but not for ages, I hope.

And, thanks. I saw that Vivian made it over to read your latest post ~ I’m glad. Your blog is chock full of information for writers wishing to promote their words. 😉

10. sweetdaysundertheoaks - October 30, 2012

As I get older I am believing that when we are done here, we are done.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

If we don’t come back to visit, I wonder if it’s because we’re off doing something else (and no longer care about “our old school”) . . . or because we’ve ceased to exist.

sweetdaysundertheoaks - October 30, 2012

I am a fallen away Catholic. So heaven and all that. But when my Mom died and she didn’t show up in some shape, form or sign? I began to believe that this is it because, believe me, if she could have come back to let me know she was ok and happy and missed me, she would have been there. I believe she would have let me know something. I think this is it and we cease to exist. I might be too tired to say what I mean tonight. Maybe I wasn’t listening or looking or understanding enough.

nrhatch - October 30, 2012

I had much the same experience when my grandmother died, Pix. After that, I no longer believed in Sunday School promises of a personified God who could/would/should answer our prayers. That God died along with my grandmother.

I’ve never bothered to resurrect “him.” I see no need.

11. jannatwrites - October 31, 2012

Well, there’s only one way to find out….and I’m not ready to know yet 🙂 Seriously, when it’s time to go, I don’t think I’m going to linger over things I had to do, but I might look back at those I loved.

nrhatch - October 31, 2012

Thanks, Janna. I expect most of us won’t want to return to empty out our “in-box.” It’s easier to imagine that we’ll desire to maintain the bonds of love and friendship we forged in life.

I read an interesting book about the after-life and what it might be like. The principal character died. He learned he could re-visit Earth anytime he wished. He went to check on his family and friends once. He went to visit his favorite places of natural beauty once.

And then he got on with the next stage of his journey.

12. sufilight - October 31, 2012

I didn’t find this poem spooky, I found it moving. And, those who move into whatever world there is or isn’t do survive. When my sister’s son passed away, a gifted medium gave her details that only sis could know. the skeptic would say, maybe the medium was reading her mind but the medium started to hum a song about an apple tree, and described a piano, a room with certain details. Sis had no clue what she was referring to. Sis used to own a boutique in NY, and she related her experience with the medium to a group of her favorite customers; one turned white as a sheet as this was her late mom’s song, piano and room. The customer had never mentioned said song to sis. Since the customer was a practicing Catholic she refused to talk about it again.

nrhatch - October 31, 2012

Thanks, Marie. It’s this type of mysterious synchronicity that makes me fairly certain that “this” is not all that there is. And that the bonds we forge in life survive death.

1. The medium shared info with your sister about her son.
2. The medium shared “extraneous details”
3. Your sister was moved to share it with her customers.
4. One of those customers would never go to a medium
5. That customer recognized the “extraneous.”

Spirit has ways to get through to us even when we insist on keeping the door closed. 😀

sufilight - October 31, 2012

Exactly! I got goosebumps reading your comments. Sometimes people ask for a sign or visit from a loved one and expect it to be in a certain way, but one has to be open to the many channels through which a loved one can contact one, and one of them is through a reputable medium.

nrhatch - October 31, 2012

I agree. When we LISTEN . . . anything in life can be our guide. When we don’t, spirit finds a way to reach us anyway.

13. colonialist - October 31, 2012

Applying sheer science, we know that matter is indestructible and only the form of it changes. Why should life force, spirit or soul (whatever one wants to call it) be any different?
Interesting the synchronicity of the various posts.

nrhatch - October 31, 2012

Yes! Good points, Col. What better time for synchronicity and mystery than . . . Halloween.

colonialist - October 31, 2012


nrhatch - October 31, 2012

Boo Who? 😯

14. CMSmith - November 1, 2012

Well, that’s a little bit haunting, but pretty appropriate considering the date. I think of you sometimes and wonder how you are doing, and also how your mother is doing in her new location. I hope all is well.

nrhatch - November 1, 2012

Thanks, Christine. Things seem to be on the upswing . . . for all of us, including mom. She called this morning and we had a “real conversation” ~ her cognitive functioning seems to be improving now that she is not so isolated. Fingers crossed, that trend continues. Wish you would experience a similar “reversal of fortune” with your dad.

CMSmith - November 1, 2012

I’m glad to hear it. They say socialization is really important. I hope she continues to recover.

15. Three Well Beings - November 2, 2012

This is a beautiful poem, Nancy. It really fits me right now. I think I’m asking some of those questions. I don’t think Halloween had much of an influence on me, but for some reason I’ve been very affected by the sad stories coming from New York and New Jersey. I’m completely distanced in geography, but my thoughts have been a-stirring! The poem is perfect for deep thought wading! 🙂

nrhatch - November 2, 2012

Thanks, Debra. Several events coalesced as I wrote this poem ~ dad’s death, the ghostly presence of Halloween, and images of destruction wrought by Sandy. Most of us who are paying attention have been deeply affected ~ either because we know the locations, places, and people impacted . . . or because we know that if it could happen THERE it could happen ANYWHERE.

Life is precarious.
Our time is limited.
Are we investing it wisely?

Many are caught up in the “fame game” . . . trying to create a name for themselves here so they will leave a lasting legacy when they’re gone. Once they’re gone, will it matter?

Creating happiness for ourselves and others while we’re here is apt to give us a better return on our investment than expecting some delayed gratification or reward from beyond the grave.

16. 2e0mca - November 4, 2012

Hauntingly thought provoking – Great poem Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - November 4, 2012

Thanks, Martin. I’ve been entertaining thoughts of death this week . . . not in a morbid way, but with curious fascination.

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