Conquering the Reaper

A researcher has launched a project to make simulations of the dead a reality. In future, he postulates you could be having breakfast with your spouse then leave for work. However you would not, in fact be eating with your partner but rather a simulation of the dear departed. This, the researcher hopes will enable those left behind to cope better with grief. Ultimately, as the technology improves the line between the living and the dead will become increasingly indistinct.
The article does touch on the dangers of such simulations, the main ones identified being the people left behind finding it easier to converse with the departed (or rather their simulation) rather than connecting with those in the living world. To my mind another risk with simulations of this nature is that rather than assisting the bereaved to move on, they become trapped in a cycle of interactions with the simulated departed spouse or friend. Of course this already happens to some extent, for example the bereaved may keep a photograph of the loved one who has died on a locket and/or a bedside table where it acts as a reminder of former times. However photographs and recordings don’t constitute full emmersion in the personality of the departed, for one is always aware that one is looking at a picture or listening to a recording. How easy to lose one’s grip on reality and come to believe the simulation is, in fact your friend or loved one and to quite literally lose the plot.
For details of the research please visit, (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3935362/Would-bring-dead-spouse-life-VR-Researchers-say-simulations-evolution-bereavement.html).
In my poem “Death is Dead” I imagine a world in which the Grim Reaper has finally been conquered. Is this the world to which we are slowly moving?

Death is Dead

“Funeral orations are no longer spoken.
Death’s scythe is broken.
His tread echoes not
And the graveyard plot
No longer inspires dread,
For death is dead!

The ageless sit.
Some wit
Cracks a joke, but there is no laughter
As after
Countless repetitions, humour palls.

Lothario calls
On his latest conquest.
Going through the motions, he longs for rest,
For all passion has long since gone,
And women’s faces have merged and become as one.
Yet he must carry on and on …

The celebrity’s aplomb
Is frayed.
No longer is attention payed
To her.
People can only stare
Or listen to the same old song
For so long.

Death is no more.
Even the bore
Tires of his own voice
But he has no choice
Other than to bore on
For the reaper has gone
And tedium eternal is in store
For the noble and the whore”.

(https://newauthoronline.com/2016/05/06/death-is-dead/).

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7 thoughts on “Conquering the Reaper

  1. Lucy Brazier

    I think simulations of departed loved ones is a dangerous idea. Ever since the dawn of life, death has been a certainty. Grief is an awful, horrific thing but none of us are spared it and dealing with it is a huge part of being human. I agree with you in that they will not allow the bereaved to move on and will cause no end of emotional problems for those left behind. Perfectly awful. Your poem, however, is brilliant!

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Many thanks for your comment and your extremely kind words about my poem Lucy. We are singing from the same hymn sheet as regards this potential development. I am reminded of Icarus who, flying too close to the sun crashed into the ocean. Man has a tendency to play with fire and get burned. Having said that, in a free society I think preventing such developments is a non-starter. If the technology does develop (as it almost certainly will) its better to have it legal and regulated than offered on the black market with no controls over it’s standards or use. Perhaps it will take the sight of people being burned by the technology to put off most (but not all) from utilising it. Kevin

      Reply
      1. Lucy Brazier

        I agree, it would be wrong to try to restrict this type of thing because, as you say, it would only continue in an underground, unregulated format. One must hope that most people would see the inherent danger in such a thing and make the wise choice. Hope being the operative word! The world is certainly a funny old place these days. Thank goodness for poems and such!

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Many thanks for your kind words as regards my poem, I’m delighted you like it. You raise a very profound question, “IF we were to lose death, then will we really be living?” To which my honest answer is, I dont know. Kevin

      Reply

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