I don’t know the exact day and time, but at some point after our brain grew a neocortex with the capacity for symbolic thought, humans started to speculate about the afterlife. Is there one? If so, is it pleasant, painful as an than an eternal botched tooth extraction, or worse: boring? Can we influence where we end up everafterly once we have exhaled our last breath?
Well, yes, there is an afterlife, and apparently we can send post cards there.
Today I received an email reminding me that my friend Alina turns 44 tomorrow, and that it´s not too late to write her a birthday card. I knew she had passed when, years ago, I opened the paper and was shocked to see her obituary. Nevertheless, Alina’s Facebook page is still alive.
I can also facebook (from the verb “to facebook”) my beloved uncle Julio, notwithstanding the fact that he left the analog world some years ago –after living such an extraordinary life that those who attended his wake broke into a spontaneous ovation as his casket left the funeral house.
In that app I find not only photos of him, but also of my dad, my grandfather, my grandmother and even my great-grandmother, who never even powered up a computer before passing, but whose pictures are among the zillion albums stored in the www.
I have shaken Richard Dawkins’ hand and carry a membership card from his Foundation for Reason & Science, yet still find some comfort in that digital afterlife hosted in a thousand servers even if after the heart muscle has stopped pumping blood to the cells.