Hi Dave … just came across this post today and have to tell you just how much it meant to me. I just finished up a visit with a brother who didn’t pass away, but has been away for over 25 years. He’s come back into my life in a very strange way — I’ve now seen him twice in a span of 25 years. Your post pushes me further towards attempting to make sense of those new interactions. I know pieces of my own identity is tied up in all of it somehow.
On the other hand, the post itself raises amazing questions and makes me want to think more critically of the time we spend sharing things online. What all this means is so radically different than it did merely ten years ago — I am now able to preserve my words like “real” authors … perhaps they’ll be read by my children someday, perhaps not. Either way, the footsteps we leave in the snow are, at some level, being preserved like never before. I guess I’ve spent most of my time thinking about how all of our artifacts add up to something, when I shouldn’t really worry about that. One phrase, one tweet, one picture, or one movie may hold the hidden secret for someone looking for answers about my life someday — and I’ve become my own archivist and curator. Somehow all of our sharing and connecting online just got more important to me.
Again, thanks for a wonderfully insightful and touching post.