Friday, June 3, 2011

Return what you borrowed

A month ago today, our son Derek died. His ashes will be dispersed in a couple of places on Earth which he considered to be some of the most beautiful.

We are all made of "star stuff"- the original hydrogen, and most of the other atoms generated eons ago in some stupendous explosion of a supernova. Our existence may be considered to be an assembly of these various atoms into the molecules which constitute you, me, Earth, and all the animals and things that surround us. When we die, these are all returned to some place in this universe - perhaps to become part of some other intelligent entity eons from now.

It is possible to say, then, that we only "borrow" the building blocks of which we are made. Derek's molecules are therefore in the process of being returned to where they came from. This resonates with me.

(pictured by the Hubble Space Telescope)

As some of you know, I've had a life-long interest in astronomy. New stars, nebulae, and planets are constantly being formed somewhere in the universe. One of those places is the Orion Nebula, pictured above. From now on, I'll forever look at the heavens with the thought in my mind that some of these future objects will incorporate some of the same atoms and molecules which were once a part of Derek.

We'll all return what we borrowed.


  1. Love you Karl and Hilkka

  2. Thinking of you and your family. - aebell

  3. What beautiful words! I'll look at the sky with different eyes from now on, thank you.

  4. I'm just getting to "know" you today, after reading Derek's blog so many times.

    Looks like an amazing son had an amazing father as well.