I used to (may be still do on occasion, don’t judge) lie in bed as a little girl with my mind wandering on what would happen if I died. There was something about imagining this world without me. Invariably I would end up crying and changing my train of thought. Imagining my own funeral always put me over the edge. It wasn’t about sadness for my absence. It was sadness because of the imagined sadness of others.
Reading Gone Girl brought back those memories. It isn’t a spoiler to share that it is about a woman who disappears from one day to the next. (You discover that in the first page of the book.)
I often tell my students, “If God stopped thinking about you even for an instant, you would simply cease to exist.” It is difficult to imagine a world without myself. I used to think of this more frequently at a point in my career when a lot rested on my shoulders and it had been a while since I’d backed up my computer. I would drive home thinking, “If I crash and my computer doesn’t make it out of the rubble, they are really going to be in trouble at work.”
The book is well written. The story line is enticing. So enticing in fact that despite my distaste for the sexual content of the book, I continued reading because I was hooked and wanted to find out what happened. The characters are well developed.
I would not recommend the book – so strong is my distaste for the sexual content – but it did leave me thinking… What is my place in this world? How authentic am I in my daily living? What is the impact I am leaving on those around me? How do I treat those I deal with in my daily life – particularly those whom I deal with on a daily basis who I can become more accustomed to seeing?
The truth is this life is brief. Last October I lost a friend. He was 27 years old. I drive by the exit where he was found dead on the side of the road without cause. I wonder when my moment will be. We have to move on. But the truth is people do not simply disappear, because their legacies live on.
What legacy am I leaving? And how aware am I of the precious time I have with those I love?