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What Happens When You Die? My Perspective as a Genealogist

Article by tmacentee

[This article was republished here at Family Tree Circles from GeneaBloggers.com with permission of the author: http://www.geneabloggers.com/die-genealogists-perspective/]

Many of you may have heard recently that former FGS Treasurer, FGS Director and ISGS board member Kim Kasprzyk passed away this week after a brief illness. I had the pleasure of working with Kim at both FGS and ISGS and I admired not only her commitment to both organizations through her volunteer work, but also her intense passion for genealogy.

Having now witnessed the passing of two different FGS board members in less than 18 months, naturally I begin to think not only of my own mortality, but also theres a natural curiosity as to what that journey out of life must be like and what can be expected on the other side.

Do you think that place beyond life is different for genealogists than it is for most people? I think it is. Heres what I believe Ill find over there.

- There wont be any genealogy research on my family lines. Not one bit. Because it will already be done.

- Ill get to meet all my ancestors, Ill learn about their lives, Ill hear their stories, Ill have all the time I need to become acquainted with them and enjoy their company.

- In an instant Ill understand how that crazy puzzle I worked on for oh-so-many years fits together. And Ill realize which parts of my research were accurate or inaccurate.

- I and my genea-buddies will haunt and harass legislators and others who continue to block access to records and data important to genealogists.

- Did I say no research? I mean none of my own research. I know Ill be guiding my nieces and nephews and other descendants in their own journey to understand their roots.

- And not just guiding my own family. I intend to push along all my genealogy friends as well. There will be Random Acts of Genealogical Serendipity and I hope to be the cause of quite a few of them. Someone has to make sure that book falls off a library shelf as you walk by, right?

On a personal note, the ancestor I most want to see again is my great-grandmother who inspired me to get involved with genealogy. Perhaps Ill be able to tug the sleeve of her favorite cotton dress, catch a whiff of her favorite perfume Emeraude and maybe even try to scrounge in her purse for a butterscotch candy like I did as a child. Ill hold her close and tell her, Thank you for what you did for me and how you changed my life.

And mostly Ill be at peace and so will all my genealogy friends already over there on the other side. No worries. No concerns. Well have at our disposal the biggest library you could ever imagine. Well have a big genealogy party without end. Well laugh and we may cry, but well continue to be reunited by our driving passion.

Genealogy doesnt end. It just keeps getting better.

So what is your vision of a genealogy afterlife? Id love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Photo: Into the light., digital image by Somebody_ via Flickr. Used via Creative Commons License 3.0.

© 2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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by tmacentee Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-08-07 14:19:16

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogy research and as a way to connect with others in the family history community.

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Comments

by TheSandlapper on 2012-08-07 17:40:29

I think in the end heaven will be all your ancestors their to meet you.Ready to share all those treasures left unfolded .Their will be love galore and no more sorrows no more pain .

by Scott_J on 2012-08-08 08:43:07

When I read the subject line, I thought this was going to be a practical post about making sure your research is all in order so that it can continue after you are gone, and not locked behind some passwords, or hidden away to never be found.

On the contrary, this was a bit of a curveball. I admit that I don't share your optimism of what lies on the other side, but it's fun to think about (and I'll be happy to be wrong).

by wyn on 2012-08-08 18:42:05

Please read Journey of souls...destiny of souls.....Life between lives.....By Michael Newton, PH.D.
This will have one thinking there is something more after we depart this life....I love the books.....Wyn

by janilye on 2012-08-09 23:15:41

Oh dear, what kind of reception will I get since I've revealed their closely guarded secrets. I doubt they'll leave a key under the mat for me.

by desertweller64 on 2012-08-19 16:37:04

I love the idea and firmly believe our ancestors wait for us! I will be soooo excited to meet Abias Avis Harmon, his mother and father. I imagine he was finally happy to meet his parents too! To finally find out whom our ancestors truly are!! Heinrich Harman/Harmon/Hermann expect me soon(your time).

by desertweller64 on 2012-08-19 16:37:23

I love the idea and firmly believe our ancestors wait for us! I will be soooo excited to meet Abias Avis Harmon, his mother and father. I imagine he was finally happy to meet his parents too! To finally find out whom our ancestors truly are!! Heinrich Harman/Harmon/Hermann expect me soon(your time).

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