I'm in the process of reading Babylon's Ashes, book six of the Expanse series. In it someone important, one of the main characters, dies. Now, part of me is thinking, ugh, I don't want to give away any of the plot, but really, come on, of COURSE someone dies, a billion people died in the previous few books. That, and the George R.R. Martin effect: every author has to kill off a main character these days.
After the character dies, different parts of the solar system (yes, read that correctly, the Expanse series is a space opera after all) react in different ways. The side that liked the deceased mourn the loss. The friends of the deceased mourn the death. The side that was against the deceased celebrated the death.
Party and joy at the death of a person trying to make the human-known (fictional, of course) universe a better place.
I sat with the thought for a bit. The authors tell the story in a biased way, of course. You're rooting for the good guy, for Holden, and his people. That's who you met first, so of course he's on the correct side. And really, the other side killed a few billion people, on the way to destroying all of human-kind with their actions, so, we really can't say they are the good guys even if their motivations of throwing off oppressors seems legitimate. Because of the bias, though, the celebrating is, uh, uncomfortable?, dishonorable?, wrong?
I continued to sit with the the thoughts, though.
If I die and there are people cheering, could that mean I did something right? Sure, yes, it could mean I did something very right, if the cheering comes for those who fought against doing the right thing for reasons of greed and desire for power and dominance over others, but it could also mean I did something very very wrong, thinking the case of people who are fundamentally evil.
If I die and people mourn, more that just my friends, I have to believe that was the end of a life worth living.
If I die and no one notices, wouldn't that be the worst kind of life lived?
Still sitting with the thoughts and the discomfort.
Should a death ever really be celebrated? A life yes. But a death?