As today is my 45th birthday I have been thinking a lot about the brevity of our human existence. When my time on this earth concludes and I have crossed the barrier from this existence to whatever, if anything, lies on the other side of the grave I hope as those left behind who loved me will read this series of paragraphs, from Daniel Keyes, as they plant a juniper tree and bury my ashes
"But this was the counterweight, the act of binding and holding. As when men to keep from being swept overboard in the storm clutch at each other's hands to resist being torn apart, so our bodies fused a link in the human chain that kept us from being swept into nothing.""Finding out who I really am-the meaning of my total existence involves knowing the possibilities of my future as well as my pasts, where I’m going as well as where I've been. Although we know the end of the maze holds death (and it is something I have not always known-not long ago the adolescent in me thought death could happen only to other people), I see now that the path I choose through the maze makes me what I am. I am not only a thing, but also a way of being - one of many ways - and knowing the paths I have followed and the ones left to take will help me understand what I am becoming.""This was the way we loved, until the night became a silent day. And as I lay there with her I could see how important physical love was, how necessary it was for us to be in each other's arms, giving and taking. The universe was exploding, each particle away from the next, hurtling us into dark and lonely space, eternally tearing us away from each other - child out of the womb, friend away from friend, moving from each other, each through his own pathway toward the goal-box of solitary death."