“Sharing tales of those we’ve lost is how we keep from really losing them.”
— Mitch Albom, For One More Day
On a number of occasions in the past I have read about how a person dies three times. Sometimes there may be only two deaths and be variously identified as an old Spanish saying, a tradition in Mexico, a proverb, a legend, or simply “it is said.” This is my interpretation of the message expressed.
The first death is the time when our breath ceases and our heart stops, never to beat again.
The second death occurs when our body is laid to the eternal rest of a grave, never to be seen again.
The third death, sometime in the future, is when our name is said the last time, never to be spoken again.
When the last person who remembers us dies, it is then that we are finally gone.
The more I become involved with genealogy and family history, I begin to realize that those who preserve the memories of their families and ancestors may be preventing a third death for them. Our loved ones live on as long as someone remembers them.