Philosophy is an Ambulance

His ashes curled through the water in a pattern that conjured nebulae and galaxies, a reassuring image that I keep pinned to my mind.

When I rejoined Facebook last month, its algorithms immediately encouraged me to befriend my father. There he is with seven mutual friends, wearing his fishing hat, sunglasses, and rugged grin — a snapshot I took on the bayou one Sunday afternoon when we ate sandwiches and puttered around Lake Salvador while he pretended to fish. Last week I clicked his name and saw strangers wishing him a happy birthday even though he’s been dead for nine months. His digital life continues, a ghost in the machine. For a moment I considered becoming friends with him, perhaps the most tragic of digital gestures. There are probably ways to alert Facebook to his death and shutter his account, but I do not want to remove the traces of him that remain.

Notes from the end of a world. Searching for faith in the digital age.

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