“He died, and no one cried.” (2 Chron 21:20)
I cannot think of many epitaphs which bring more sadness than the ones revealing the stark reality that no one was sad. There is a real horror to contemplate dying and not being missed.
From one perspective, it seems to be no big deal. If this life is all there is; if all is nothing but an accident; if life and death are only two sides of the same insignificant coin; then it should not matter. I should not be sad when I think that one day I will die and no one will care. I should not feel an uneasiness in my conscience for living a live worthy of others hating me, or worse yet, ignoring me. It is what it is. There is life, and there is death, blessed be the name of materialistic nihilism.
But who can live that out consistently? Who among the angry horseman could close their mouth and stop their pen? Who could systematically begin to wipe of the face of the earth every remembrance of themselves? Who could find peace in the face of indifference? There is something that cries out within us. Is it only an evolutionary incentive for the further reproduction of genes? A wishful thinking of a false meaning so as to make a more stable society for my offspring? I think not.
But from another perspective, it is fearful. If life has meaning; if death is a door; if there really is a purpose behind all that I see and a Being over all there is; then living a life where no other divine image bearers take notice when I am gone is a serious business. For if I was created to reflect the love of the eternal Triune God, but no one ever saw that love, what was the point? If a watch cannot tell time or a pitcher hold water, what worth does it hold?
There is more to life and death than the fading memory in the mind of humanity, regardless of what the secular humanists may preach. They grip a vapor. They grasp at the wind. There is life and there is death, and then the Judgment. And perhaps one small step toward living a life in light of that judgement is considering those who ought to cry when I die.