I take solace in the indestructibility of energy.

One of my dearest friend’s mummy died this Christmas and I feel so deeply saddened to hear the news. It also touches that part of me that is unprepared for the inevitable passing of my own mummy. I take much solace from this. If you have lost someone you love, I hope you find some comfort in this too.

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.

– Aaron Freeman

Mrs Iluyomade, may your energy continue to light the hearts of all whose lives you touched.

Death, you damn bastard.

My friend has a deadly brain tumor. They have done all they can, and now its time to rest and await Death, that damn bastard.

He is more than my friend, he is my mentor – the guy I looked up to for the longest time, though not of the same mother or father, he is my brother. He made everything alright for a lot of people – me included.

So much can be said of him now… so many occasions can be remembered. but there will be time for those – when the brandy is flowing and his friends are gathered.

I remember him picking me up from the airport when I first ever set foot in the UK, in his suit and his Mercedes. I remember the drive from the airport with him, to my brother’s shared flat. The thought that I had him in the same country as me made my uncertain future a little more certain.

He was always the expected guest at the party, the soul of the group. For as long as I can remember, he was Mr Dependable. He supported his parents and his siblings back home. He shouldered responsibilities many would shirk and he did this with dignity and maturity. He commanded the respect of his peers and the love of his friends. A love that transcended petty fallouts, one based on honor and respect and an appreciation that this was one damn fine human being.

He was….No he IS a good man.

Sure he had his demons, he perhaps drank a little too much. He could be cocky and perceptibly arrogant.

His love for life and all within it was legendary, he loved wine, women and a good time. But when the time came for him to take his place amongst the respectably settled, he did so with his trademark confidence and fortitude and was equally successful at it as he was in all he undertook. He became a husband and a father to three beautiful children.

But now the death that has shadowed him for two long years now is finally upon him and the twilight is near. If death could make a mistake, this would qualify as a pretty big one.

Death , you damn bastard. Why would you take this man whose life has been a working lighthouse to many lesser opportuned souls cast adrift in a harsh world? Why abandon his family, his friends to a future without his wit, his confidence , his friendship and love? Surely there has been some sort of error, perhaps you got your list wrong. Maybe you spelt the name incorrectly. You damn bastard Death, spare him and redeem yourself. Can you not see it’s not his time?

I cannot imagine a world without him in it, at least not such a happy one.

After the sun has set on his story and the tears have fallen, life will go on. Age will tell on us all, memories will fade and in time the loss will dull. Yet his children will bear testimony that he did indeed walk this earth and through them his legacy must live on.

Perhaps one can take a simple lesson from all this. Be like him. Help all you can and enjoy life to the full. So that when that damn bastard , Death comes to harvest your soul, you can say with absolute dignity and resolve that you led a good life and that you were now ready for the next. That you have done your best and the rest is left to , well, the rest.

I salute you my friend, my brother. I will grieve you for a long time. In those moments when your name is uttered in friendly banter, be assured that it will be with respect and fondest memories.


Featured Image By: Wayne WilkinsonCC BY 2.0