The conventional wisdom that warns us against living in the future or past and urges us instead to live in the present is unclear, confused and potentially misleading.
The present is essentially the dialogue of memory and anticipation. A present that excludes memory as past and anticipation as future is nonsensical.
To live in the present means to allow the past to be memory and to allow the future to be anticipation.
What we should avoid is a sense of past dominated by disappointed anticipations and a sense of future consumed with hope for happier memories of now.
We memorialize a person by preserving his tangible forms: his name, his image, the historical facts of this life.
We immortalize a person by living his spirit: his meaning, his way of seeing and loving.
An immortalized person will pull along his memory in his wake, because his memory will be loved.
An unloved memory will fade into oblivion. Nobody loves names, images and facts for their own sake.