Preparing for the death of a close one 2


Death needs preparation. Preparation, especially for those who will be left behind, and I have started preparing for the death of a close one. She has been my bedside companion for many years, and the holder of my most intimate thoughts. She has been a part of my conversations with friends, my work and my leisure. She is the one I turned to when I woke up, and she put me to sleep for many a year. It looks like she may die soon.

When she dies, she will take with her a part of me – naturally. A friend once told me of a ninety year old man who just returned from his friend’s funeral. With the passing of this friend, he said that no one remembers him as a child anymore. While my case is not as dramatic, some memories of me will be lost forever with her passing.

You may argue that a laptop is not like a person that she will not take her memories with her passing; and that I can transfer the memories with a little effort. But for me, a laptop is not merely a machine that contains and processes memories. The tactile sensation, the sight and sound of a laptop is unique to it, even if it were mass produced. You may argue that I could go for a newer, faster, better looking laptop after this one. I guess it’s like an old man getting a trophy wife; there is something to be excited about, but much will be missed with her passing.


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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