What remains of the dead? What remains of every one of us? Tombstones sink in, moss covers them and after a few centuries the name can no longer be read. Every forgotten grave is designated a new corpse. As the generations passed, remembrance of the dead diminished until it was forgotten. What was called everlasting peace only lasted half a century. The bones were disturbed as the graveyards were mulched in to suburbs. The earth had become too small, for the living and the dead. In half a century a funeral had become a luxury that only few could afford who had died before judgment day. But who cares about a single body when the whole planet is dying.[...]Earlier the remains of humanity had only had the right to be there as long as the living remembered them. A human being remembers their relatives, their friends and colleagues. But his conscience only reached back three generations before it faded away. Just more then fifty years.With the same ease, you let the picture of our grandfather or your friend from school out of our conscience into absolute nothingness. The memories of a human can last longer than the bones, but as soon as the last one who remembered us has passed we dissolve with time.[...]Back then there was almost no more space in the thick family album for old and brown turned pictures, but almost nobody that looked through it could say for sure who was on the photos. The photographs of the passed can be interpreted as some kind of mask, but not as a print of their soul when they were living. And the photographs only decay as slow as the people that live inside themWhat remains?Our children?They can look like us. In their reflection we mirror ourselves in a mysterious way. United with those we had loved. In their gestures, in their mimics we happily find ourselves or with sorrow. Friends confirm that our sons and daughters are just like us. Maybe that gives us a certain extension of ourselves when we are no more. We ourselves weren’t the first. We have been made from countless copies that have been before us, just another chimera, always half from our fathers and mothers who are again the half of their parents. So is there nothing unique in us but are we just an endless mixture of small mosaic parts that never endingly exist in us? Have we been formed out of millions of small parts to a complete picture that has no own worth and has to fall into its parts again?Does it even matter to be happy if we found ourselves in our children, a certain line that has been traveling through our bodies for millions of years?What remains of me?[...]What kind of immortality was left for mankind?
Dmitry Glukhovsky