Some of you already know that Linda Kichline died last week after suffering a stroke. Linda was the heart and soul of ImaJinn Books and she left us far too soon. It was Linda who looked at my Vampires and saw what they could be. When every other editor was saying my vamps were too violent or that the story didn’t follow some mythical formula, Linda read the first few chapters and said, “I love it!” From the beginning it was her skill and generosity that made my books possible. She was my friend, and I will miss her.
I’m not a religious person—being condemned to 12 years of tutelage by nuns will do that to a person. But I have always believed that the people we care about live on in all the lives they touched, either directly or indirectly. But then I found this piece by Aaron Freeman that says it so much better than I can. He talks about why you should want a physicist to speak at your funeral, so that he (or she) could explain to your grieving friends and family that the essence that was you, every Btu of energy you generated, every particle that was affected by your passage through the world, goes on forever.
—————————-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 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 her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her 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, that according to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. -Aaron Freeman ——————————————–
I’ll be back next week with news of ADEN (who’s definitely coming out this year!) along with a map (finally) of the territories, and other news.
Take care of each other.