‘So, how about living forever, Dad?’
At first, I thought it was a hypothetical question. Immortality was an idea I‘d often contemplated as a child; my naivety leading me to believe a life lived without the fear of death would be a life spent carefree.
But as I grew older I became wise to the world and her cruelties.
When I was told that the cancer was untreatable and that I had a matter of weeks to live, I realised that I had taken time for granted. I anguished over hours that could have been better spent in the company of loved ones; time wasted and never to return.
The anxiety of my misspent past devoured much of what little time I had left, so, when my daughter showed me the Eternal Connection website and explained my options; either upload my consciousness to cyberspace (where, theoretically, I could remain in contact with my family and generations thereof until the end of time), or rot in the ground and exist only in finite memory: the choice was obvious.
I signed the forms and paid the upload fee that same day.
I remember my death as a brutally invigorating. If there was any pain, it passed quickly, and I felt an enormous sense of release best described as an o****m of the soul. I saw the clichéd bright light, but as I tried to steer my essence towards it, feeling no fear, I felt myself removed forcefully from one plane of existence to another.
Before the novelty wore thin, I’d hear from my wife and my daughter often. The passing of time was hard to gauge here, in this artificially constructed purgatory. There are no days, nor nights. You are either online and engaged in conversation with whoever has requested your company, or you are offline, isolated in a darkness that permeates your essence, with only your memories for comfort, and the fading hope that death will release you from the clutches of this electronic Hell.