I wanted to address something that simply has to be going through your mind as you look at this site. At least on the surface, I’m sure many readers will consider this to be self-absorbed, narcissistic or even egotism run amok.
Maybe, but here is what you are overlooking – and this is critical. This is to be the LAST AND ONLY CHANCE I will ever have to tell the world who I was. I would never have another opportunity to add to my story – not in a year, not in a thousand years.
You may live 10, 20 or 50 more years. You will have plenty of opportunities to make a mark and to leave a legacy. My legacy is over. If I were to simply stick a gun in my mouth and leave nothing to be seen, whatever legacy I had would have evaporated into nothingness in a very short period of time.
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...” ― Terry Pratchett
Since my entire life of 60 years is on this website along with SportsInReview.com, I didn’t think there was any reason why I should have felt ashamed of producing this material. If nothing else, think of it as an autobiography – and maybe the first of its kind, but hopefully not the last.
When I was in Florida in 2004 for two months, I got an idea being around all those old people. I thought about how they were going to die off and nobody would really remember them. And, the reason why is because they didn’t leave anything tangible about themselves to be remembered by. Not everyone is rich enough or famous enough to leave behind a building or a street with their name on it. Only a very few have a Wikipedia page.
I thought it might be an interesting business to do the kind of work for people that I’ve done on this site – before they are either too incapacitated to provide the information needed or before they die – whichever comes first. Old people with money seemed like a good opportunity for a business such as this because what’s left after a certain point in life besides just playing it out to the end? One thing that should be left is to make sure that whatever legacy one has is remembered – that whatever mark one makes is not forgotten.
Naturally, when I thought about this for others, I thought about it for myself. Since I did not have children, I did not have that legacy to leave – something that most people have. And, although it may well be true that the world didn’t need a bunch of little Martin Manleys running around, it also meant I couldn’t just fade into dust knowing my children would carry on some form of who I was, not to mention keeping my memory alive.
Frankly, the thought that my memory or legacy would come to an abrupt end was unacceptable to me – and in my opinion, it should be unacceptable to anyone in my situation.
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.” ― David Eagleman
I also thought that a clearing house should exist for all the “First Name Last Name Life And Death” sites such as this. It could be called something like Eulopedia.com. That domain name is still available as of August 15, 2013. If you want to read about someone’s life with this level of personal detail – no matter how famous they were, simply go to Eulopedia.com, look up the name and go to their “Name Life And Death” site.
It’s incredible what is lost to history. Even one generation back, so little is really known about the vast, vast majority of people. It’s a shame - especially considering existing technology has enabled us to store everything ever said, done or thought by every person on earth a thousand times over. There is no reason lives have to continue to be forever forgotten. Everyone can be remembered if they put in the effort to be remembered in some concrete form rather than simply being dependent upon fading memories of those who knew the deceased person.
I never claimed to have more to say about myself than millions of other people, it’s just that they either aren’t thinking about the end game or don’t care how they are remembered. And, of course, the reality is that I was highly motivated to do what I did because I started the clock on June 11, 2012 and... the clock was ticking – and really loud. Most people don’t hear the clock until it’s too late to produce something like this. And, that’s been one of the great rewards for planning my death 14 months in advance!
“The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective.” ― James Patterson
People write autobiographies all the time. Most are, of course, about someone famous. That’s the only way it could work up to this point. It takes a lot of time by some second party to work with them as well as the cost to produce it in paper form. To be justified financially, it must have a famous name attached. But, the cost to do this site was insignificant – even pre-paying for years in advance. The time is extensive, but I had it, so I used it.
The point of this is that with only a brother and sister, no children, no nieces or nephews, I will have been forgotten pretty fast unless I did something that was way outside the box. And, so would my parents have been forgotten. At least on this site, I also remembered them. As long as MartinManleyLifeAndDeath.com exists, so do their memories.
And, for that, I do not apologize.
I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, and something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget
I was here...
I lived, I loved
I was here...
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here...