Does it matter if you die if you’ve been photocopied first?

My friend H died last week.  She was around 85 (at least, the way she tells it, she could be anything from 44 to 2044, but I’m guessing 85 is about right).

There will never be another H.  In a way, it’s like the extinction of a species.  Like any being, H (though similar to other female homo sapiens) is also completely unique, and, well, that’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed her, cause you’re never going to see her like again.

Is it this that we humans find so hard to take – the fact that death means something has disappeared, changed irrevocably?  In the same way that people take to the streets in defence of a ‘heritage’ home which surely is going to fall down anyway sometime in the next ten thousand years – or the furry white-tailed wombat, which, well, same really, unfortunately.  We don’t want anything to be ‘gone’ forever.  Like old people everywhere say, ‘we liked it the way it WAS!’.

It’s ok if we’ve got a photograph, though.  When I was in Slovenia I went to these caves and there were hundreds of dwarfish Europeans filing through not so much LOOKING at anything as taking pictures and videos of it (despite express instructions not to).  If we could take a photocopy of a person’s ‘being’ and file it somewhere, would we care so much if the actual person died?

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