I mentioned on Monday that a member of my family passed away. While she and I weren't particularly close and we hadn't seen each other in 18 months or so, I felt sad. I still do. She was a genuinely goodwilled person. I had never seen her say or do anything malevolent to anyone.
She was gentle and laughing. She was 91 when she died. Towards the end of her life, she was trouble understanding me over the phone. She always sent me a birthday card and a Christmas card - safe for last Christmas when she didn't. I reckoned it was because she was sick but felt a little hurt anyway.
Once we were both attending a birthday party for which I had cooked and baked all the food. She asked if I had made the cinnamon rolls - the only dish I wasn't proud of, they turned out too dry - and told me they were "quite fine". She either didn't know me very well ("quite fine" is literally the worst thing you can say to me), or she had thought everything else was from the confectionery and that the rolls were the only thing she could compliment me about. Perhaps it was both. But I like to focus on the latter - that she found all the other dishes so amazing that they had had to be made by a professional.
Now she's gone. I wonder where she went. Perhaps she's in heaven with her husband. Perhaps her consciousness dissolved into the ether. Perhaps there was no soul to dispose of.
Or, and this is what I find most comforting, perhaps the memory space that was allotted to the functioning of her code is now freed up or being used for the functioning of another piece of code. She isn't lost. Her soul isn't levitating around aimlessly in the air.
There's a record of her existence, and now, her memory space is being reallotted.