I tend to consider myself long dead, my own life so far gone it’s no longer part of the equation. The metaphor when I was younger was ‘imaginary’ -that I didn’t really exist, but you were just imagining me- but I’ve slipped into somewhat darker territory since then, and the new metaphor is that I’m long since dead. The dead, you see, have no needs of their own. The money, time, expense, energies et cetera spent in the name of the dead are not to serve the needs of the dead, but to serve the living. Coffins, gravestones, funerals and wakes and murder trials and crime scene investigations and embalming — it’s all to serve the needs and desires of the living. The dead would be just as satisfied without these things as with them, but seem content enough to go along with whatever it is the living wish to do with and around them – they bend gracefully, completely, finally to the wishes of those around them. As time passes, the living think less and less about those who have gone before, until finally the long dead are all but forgotten, replaced by … all the details of each persons’ lives, jobs, living loved ones… and then the dead are there for the living when they are needed, and equally there when they are forgotten. Out of sight. Subservient. Just as you need them to be.
A wonderful metaphor, you see?