**Warning: This blog talks about films Coco and Bohemian Rhapsody. If you have not watched Coco or don’t know who Queen is then maybe skip this blog.
I, as a human, am regularly faced with the chilling reality of my mortality. The uncertainty of death is something that I struggled with since childhood. Oftentimes, I am thrown into an existential crisis anytime something even sort of makes me think about it. I couldn’t sleep for weeks after the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman’s Chest because seeing OB* come face to face with Davey Jones reminded me that one day, I too will die except I probably wouldn’t be bound to (literally) a ship.
My mortality is a thought I regularly visit but it only begins to plague me when I’m convinced I have an ulcer or when it is being mildly addressed in popular culture. More recently, it’s become a thought due to the consideration of two films. Both sort of addressing the question “but who will remember me when I’m gone?”
The first, is Coco. A family animated film that is heartwarming and brings tears to my eyes. But the haunting moments come when you watch those in the afterlife beginning to deteriorate because memories of them have begun to fade in the land of the living.
The second, Bohemian Rhapsody – the story of the legend Freddie Mercury, the famous lead singer of Queen. If you know anything about Mr. Mercury, you know that he passed away from AIDS in 1991 – a disease that many had believed only affected homosexuals around this time.** Additionally, you know that neither his legacy nor did his band ended when he died. Albums were still released after Freddie had passed, from pushing himself to record so they still would have material. To this day, Queen is still active and more recently toured with Adam Lambert, who while not a replacement is still a worthy talent to do the music justice.
For me, though, I’ve never had any real desire for people to remember me. What I do want, however, is to create things that last. In the way that Freddie and Hector Rivera both created music that they were remembered for, I want to make something that has a lasting impression on my community. The difference is I don’t need my name to live on forever. I want it to be something creative for sure and something I made with my heart and soul. Something I made with the same intention Queen seems to have – something created with people in mind. This idea, at least, helps ease my mind when I’m grappling with the fears speeding through my brain. I can still do more until the day I won’t wake up again.
So what is my legacy going to be? I’m not sure yet. Hopefully, the definitive answer for what I’m remembered for isn’t going to be determined too soon.
* Orlando Bloom
** Side story: Of course, I was still confused when my dad told me “He died. He was a gay.” because it took a while (and a viewing of RENT) for me to get the correlation. Also disclaimer that Freddie Mercury never openly addressed his sexuality but many say he was bisexual.