I asked my beloved brother Norman to read this at my Memorial Service. (Crossed out, probably by Norman, since it became incorrect: "And the Reverend Roger Prescott also kindly consented to say a few words of farewell on this occasion, in keeping with the credo to which I subscribe." (Perhaps he wasn't able to make it.)) I am grateful to him [them] for acceding to my request, and to those of you who came here today to honor me by your presence or to offer your sympathies to the surviving members of my family.
My ashes have now been buried in the grave where, in 1995, I bid good-bye to the girl with whom I fell in love at age 15 and worshipped throughout our almost 56 years of marriage. It would be comforting to think that our deaths were not an ending but only an intermission, and that my cherished wife is waiting to welcome me on some distant show where I will also be greeted by my parents and grandparents. And by the host of old friends with whom I wined and dined and golfed and fished and hunted during the Golden Days of our youth.
How I envy those of you who hold this conviction! As an Agnostic, however, longing has always clashed with logic when I took this concept off the emotional level and subjected it to rational analysis. Although granting that Someone or Something fashioned the Universe and all the living creatures inhabiting it, I have never been able to accept the Biblical promise of a life-after-death.
I asked myself in what form I would find my loved ones were we to meet again? At what age...and where amidst the multitudes who have drunk their cup a round or two before and log ago crept silently to rest. Or why, after passing that Door of Darkness through, not one returns to tell us of the road which, to discover, we must travel too! But those questions remained unanswered.
Cooped beneath this inverted bowl we call The Sky, how little we really know of whence we came of where we go or the realms that lie beyond!
And what monstrous conceit to smugly believe that the species Homo Sapiens on the Planet Terra is the highest order of Life that Evolution can squeeze form the muck and mire of Time! The dinosaur came and went. Likewise Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon man. Surely the human race, with all its fruits and frailties, is not the final experiment to emerge from Creation's laboratory!
The mantle of night reveals but a handful of those twinkling stars whose myriad is sprinkled throughout the heavens. The nearest is 26 trillion miles away; its countless companions scattered, unseen, across the stellar gulfs. Each is Mother to a solar system, as is the Sun to ours. By every law of probability, hundreds of thousands of those distant planets must be inhabited by beings as far superior to us as we are to the birds and beasts. And far more worthy of meriting immortality!
We are but minnows swimming in the far reaches of Space; Each just a grain of sand in the Cosmic Sea; our galaxy only a pebble on the endless beaches of an infinite Universe.
All this is blasphemy, you say? There is only one world...only one God...and we are the Chosen Ones, created in His image? I cannot accept it! Why would all of mankind have been sentenced to atone for the sins of Adam and Eve after they were evicted from the Garden of Eden for transgressions over which neither you nor I had any control? And why, if justly punished then, would we now be deserving of life-everlasting when still eating forbidden fruit?
Even the least of Mother Nature's children follows the Ten Commandments more faithfully than do we. Only "civilized man" wages senseless war against his neighbors; pollutes his environment; rapes his natural resources and is so intent on self-destruction. Why would the Potter, after fashioning us from such common clay, wish to immortalize the ungainly vessels whose imperfections attest to his clumsy craftsmanship?
It is not my intent to dissuade you from whatever belief sustains you as you travel through this vale of tears. And I hope, with all my heart, that I have arrived at the wrong conclusion; that there is a merciful God and something beyond the grave---whether it be in the form of reincarnation of a Shangri-La where old friends and loved ones will meet again.
But I cannot recant, even now, the drumbeat to which I marched while residing among you. Influenced by neither the hope of Heaven nor the threat of Hell, I followed the Golden Rule as best I could while attempting to make the most of my split second of eternity spent on one small island in a stream where cast adrift by I knew not What or Whom.
Thank you again for attending this Memorial Service...and for wishing me Bon Voyage, whatever my destination.
NOTE: Many more examples of this kind will emerge in the next few decades, I (we) must be prepared for it. I cannot decide whether a case like this is more tragic, or the many that have heard about Cryonics and have not been able to make the rational choice to preserve themselves and give themselves at least a chance to live. The conditioning of humanity to accept death, as the author of this eulogy had resigned himself to, seeing no other alternative, seems so deeply trained that even a clear chance at life is ignored more often than not.
Anyone reading this, do not wait! Begin the process to give yourself a chance at life! If there is an afterlife, it will wait for you to be finished here in this corporeal existence that you know is real enough. You can find several ogranizations out there on the web. I am signed up at Alcor Life-Extension Foundation. Consider making the choice for life. As stated previously Suspension Makes economic sense and is not unafordable to most.