Essays About

The Famous Then Forgotten Dead

For a few days after we die, more people think of us simultaneously than ever did while we were living. Friends not seen for seven years drive seven hours for our funeral. Neighbors remember us to each other while raking their yards. Church ladies compliment our common qualities as rare virtues. Reading our name in newspapers, the whole town sighs for us over breakfast. In a week, the talk is moving on to other topics, and, being dead, we are powerless ever to call attention back to ourselves again.

Our names burn out like light bulbs, briefly flashing before going black.