Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Why is it so important, for most people to be remembered after they pass away?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (15540points) August 23rd, 2014

I have always wondered this, I would like to not be forgotten right away.
But then again I don’t expect people to be mourning me for years either.
Why is it so important?

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21 Answers

rojo's avatar

It is not important to the dead; I think it is important to those who knew the deceased. It is a way of showing respect for who that person was, what they did and how important they were to you. It is a way of coming to accept that life is finite and when we go all we leave behind is memories of how we were as a human being and the hope that we have in some manner influenced those who survive us.

cookieman's avatar

It’s only important to the deceased before they become deceased. After that, they don’t care about much.

Seriously though, I think it’s because the idea of being completely forgotten is crushingly sad. After all those years of struggle and heartache and joy and building relationships, it can’t all be for naught. To simply be forgotten.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Big egos. Persona─║ly I don’t care if nobody even realizes when I’m gone.

canidmajor's avatar

I must respectfully disagree, @ZEPHYRA, nowhere in the Q is it intimated that “most” people want to be immortalized on a grandiose scale. That would be indicative of big egos. I think (my opinion, only) that most of us would like to be remembered well, by our loved ones especially, for a time.
I would like to think that I have had enough of a positive impact on those around me that they would carry on fond thoughts of me, as I recall my loved ones who have predeceased me.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Life is so brief, it feels good to have had an impact that lasts at least a while longer.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’m not really concerned if people remember me after my death. And I certainly don’t want some grandiose monument. A simple 15’ bronze statue cast in my likeness is enough I think.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar for what ,to give people something to throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at?
(Just kidding)

Darth_Algar's avatar


Why not? It’ll make no difference to me.

zenvelo's avatar

People hope to be remembered a little bit, whether family, friends, or neighbors, because it brings some meaning to their existence. It’s depressing to think that once one is out of the room, no one will even think of you again.

My grandfather died 29 years ago, at the age of 97. He had moved away from the town where he had made a difference 20 years before that, and outside of family and a few of my mom’s friends, no one really remembered him. It was sad to me, even though I still think of him often.

He is buried in Southern California, I went to his grave once about 12 years after he passed, my mom (now 90 yrs. old) has not been able to go there because of her health. It’s sad that there really isn’t anyone who will ever go there again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just…want to see some legacy of mine passed down through the generations, even if it’s just hard work and perseverance. And optimism.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@zenvelo But after your generation there will be no one to even be sad that no one will visit him again. That’s why cemeteries ares such a waste of time, space and money.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III I agree with ta, which is why I have told my kids to either plant me in a “green“cemetery where I dissolve into the soil, or scatter my ashes at a meaningful place on the coast or in the mountains, so that they can remember me when they see the view.

There is a cemetery in Oakland CA that has been around since the 1860s, and is still quite busy. it is popular as a walking spot and has great views of San Francisco. I walk through and see headstones of 70 to a hundred years ago, and think about there is no one around to tend them anymore.

ibstubro's avatar

Because we are our memories, and we want to believe we have touched other lives. If you’re not a part of someone else’s memory, then once you’re gone, it’s as if you were never here.

There’s a school of belief that thinks we never truly cease to exist as long as there is someone left on the Earth to think of us, if only occasionally and briefly. I think there’s an element of that in all religions, creating martyrs so that it’s not just the notoriously evil that are remembered.

That said, it makes me no nevermind whether anyone gives me a thought after I’m gone. I won’t be here to return the favor.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Here’s an alternative way of body composting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s great, @zenvelo! But I’d really prefer an urn with a little more class!

ibstubro's avatar

VERY cool, @zenvelo! What could be classier, @Dutchess_III? I wanna be a hickory tree when I grow up.

rojo's avatar

Oh Sure @ibstubro! Go with a hardwood for eternity!

ibstubro's avatar

Sorta like, “Come swing on my limb, baby. It’s, like, *hickory!”, @rojo?

Dutchess_III's avatar

The container itself! I want something that looks like art, not a commercial for a landfill!

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s a profound question squeek. My guess is that there is a need within us to discover some point to our existence, and it seems being remembered is a handy way of proving that we mattered. Let’s let Shakespeare beautifully sum up the reality.

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