Last year we learned that our bodies glow with lights we can't see, and this is what I have been thinking about lately. In my head are these continents populated with soft lights--dim moving trails from people pacing, sleepless and wandering, billions of softly breathing people emitting a low glow just like everyone else, not knowing about their light and, for a time, not caring. Animals, too, raccoons glowing and stealing your trash, birds shining softly in their sleep in a tree branch, fluffy bunnies bouncing brightly like a child's toy.
At the end of things, I imagine, that glow slowly fades until in the dark we match our background. Surrounded by all of those lights but no longer one of them.
Our molecules are always around, somewhere, even when they're not in our shapes. We've talked about this before, about how it takes a decade for the molecules of each breath to completely disperse around the world. I've always found this comforting, the idea that my parts are made up of your parts and the parts of everyone that was before. My grandma's molecules are still there, some of them still together, traveling around the world, never really gone.
I'm going back in a couple of weeks, to leave what's left of my grandparents somewhere beautiful. I've never had any feelings about this sort of things before, but now I find myself solaced some by the idea that they will sink into the ground together and eventually become part of the glow from something else. That they may have left us, but they're never really going to be gone.