Upon my death, I willed my self to my friends.
By “my friends”, I mean a carefully selected number of friends I’d vetted whilst I was still alive.
I plan for everything.
Not my closest friends, nor my best, but the ones who could most easily handle me. The funniest, wittiest, most creative amongst them. These were the friends who I knew I could trust with my self, and thus they were the ones I willed it to.
By “my self”, I mean my online presence, and my work. They received my laptop, with careful instructions to delete the porn, nobody wants to see that, and the account details and passwords to my Twitter, Smashwords, email and flash fiction blog.
Using these things, and the detailed notes and story ideas contained within my laptop, they could continue to update my social media as though they were me, as well as writing and hopefully occasionally publishing stories based on ideas I’d had, under my own name.
They could not do this for ALL my social media, obviously. A novel based on my outline could be sent to publishers, or published in eBook through Smashwords, but a podcast novel on Podiobooks would give the game away without my actual voice narrating it. Facebook, similarly, would eventually find it suspicious that I updated my status regularly and continued posting amusing cat pictures without ever uploading any new photographs.
But really, who pays attention to Facebook anymore?
So they took my laptop, wrote the stories I’d never gotten around to writing, tweeted the sorts of jokes I’d tweet and, in doing so, gradually mastered my authorial voice to the point that they could create completely new content indistinguishable from what I would have created while I was alive.
And in doing so, I was alive.
I was immortal. Or at least as immortal as social media might be. My self, my true self, my work, would carry on uninterrupted, as though I’d never passed, and in doing so every part of me that mattered lived on.
People who actually lived in Calgary and had spent time with me in person knew better, of course, and they no doubt grieved me greatly, but so far as the wider, vaster web of connections I’d made around the world, the enormous, bizarre surrogate family of weirdoes and creative types I’d created for myself through words and ideas thrown out into the online ether, knew, I was still plugging away, writing with only the most modest of success and tweeting random references to Mr. T, Robocop and Centaurs when the mood struck me.
So far as any of them knew, and there was no way for them to learn otherwise, I had never succumbed to untreated pneumonia in December of 2013. I’d recovered, and was finally getting back into my writing. I had a NaNoWriMo novel to edit, after all, and any number of ideas for short stories rattling around my laptop waiting to be written.
And this polite fiction was maintained, because I have very good friends, to whom I had willed my self upon my death.
And they had received my self, and taken their responsibility to be me seriously.
Because they miss me.
And so long as we miss him, we’ll never let him go…