Contemplations about Life, Love, & the Pursuit of Meaningful Existence…

The Fear of Being Forgotten



From the moment you utter your first sentence, people want to know what you’re going to do with your life. You grow up doing your best to carve a respectable path and make those who raised you proud. Year after year, you carefully construct your life. And then, one day, you feel a prickle tingling up the base of your neck. Just as success begins to reward you with the faintest salute, a thought wiggles its way into your brain:  What legacy will you leave?

Why is the possibility of being forgotten such a deep-seated fear that it is an actual phobia (Athazagoraphobia)?

Choose me

Invite me

Call me

Befriend me

Hire me

Love me

Marry me                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 MISS ME

Like a drug — the need for continuous acknowledgment lures us into worlds we may not even wish to inhabit — because no one wants to be that overlooked person who causes others to scratch their heads and exclaim (with eyes glazing over), “I don’t think I recall him/her…”

So what will it be? A grandiose discovery or invention? A prosperous corporation? Champion of some life-altering cause? A fascinating work of art? A popular compilation of songs or books? Honorable service to your country?

Maybe not. Perhaps you will accomplish something that garners less notoriety but is equally significant. An incredible parent, mentor, teacher, coach, neighbor, preacher, spouse — friend??

I wonder who is more content in the end — the person who swung ruthlessly from ring to brass ring, trampling any obstruction along the way? Or the one, without all the plaques and accolades lining their walls, who served as an upstanding citizen and role model, trustworthy friend (no matter the hour), and tireless caregiver reaching out, time and again, with a reassuring smile to aid the wavering gait of another?

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12 thoughts on “The Fear of Being Forgotten

  1. What is the name of the fear of being remembered for the wrong things? 😉

  2. alarmingman on said:

    Going through your posts I realised that this is the latest in a continuing flow of deep and compassionate insights into the world around you. Thank you…

  3. So glad to find you! We all have the “search for significance” built in, wired and ready, but we seem to plug into the wrong outlets for power. : ) Great post!

  4. Perfectly captured…Thank you so much!!

  5. You’re absolutely right. Amid the barrage of glitz and glamour, its easy to lose sight of what really matters in everyday life.


    Thank you for introducing yourself, by “liking” my blog.

    ~ Michael

  6. I can’t wait to read more of your blog…

  7. Wow. I cannot believe I found this post today–when I so badly need the reminder. I hadn’t realized there is a name for this fear, although I know the fear all too well. Thank you for your usual thoughtful, insightful and sensitive post written so beautifully. Inspiring. xoxo

  8. Wow, this is a wonderful post that speaks to me and my inner dialog about whether my life means anything. Hopefully my writing is one of those little things that impact in small or unknown ways. I would agree about the deep and compassionate, as well as poetic insights on life. So glad that we met online!

  9. Aww, such a pleasure to have you visit my “archives!” 😉 I can tell you that your presence in my little world has made a very happy difference! Just seeing your smiling face brightens my spirits — add your uplifting/informative life perspective and I’m over the moon! Please don’t take my absence from the blogging world personally. I’ll keep popping back whenever I can. So appreciate YOU!

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