Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sobbing in the Kitchen

I am not very feeling very effective today. All I can manage to do is read blogs and sob in my kitchen. I did find a lovely piece from NPR about how you want a physicist to speak at your funeral. It prompted more sobbing, but it's so beautiful, it's really worth a read. I found it at the blog Lazy Seamstress

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. 

You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen.


  1. Years ago a fellow baby loss parent (and good friend) wrote about how dust never disappears, it just goes into the atmosphere as matter and ergo, her son would always be out there. It was also a rather (meta)physical concept, but comforting nonetheless.

    Here from LFCA: just wanted to let you know how sorry I am for your loss, and to say your child's name: Chiara. I know how important that is early on to hear that name, and validate that she was indeed here. Thinking of you all today.

  2. Hi Tash, thank you for your kind words and for saying her name. It makes me well up, but it feels so good. We went to a walk for remembrance this weekend and they read her name out loud. I have been hearing that in my head all week and it is like music. It is amazing how powerful it is.

    I do find the metaphysical thoughts very comforting. My brain keeps trying to make sense out of this senseless situation and the idea of Chiara's energy still existing around me is very healing.

    Thank you for reading and commenting.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am so sorry that you lost Chiara; her name is beautiful. And the meaning of her name is quite fitting with this post.

    I love the thought that our babies' energy is still out there; might have to put it up on my blog, but I'll give you credit. :-)

    Hope you are finding comfort and peace today.