One of my favourite books is Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" - in it, the protagonist, Charlie Asher, finds himself a grim reaper after a traumatic experience. A week later he gets a book in the mail explaining to him that he is now an agent of death and as such he has certain responsibilities. Responsibilities that if he chooses to ignore will result in unforeseen horrors and blah blah blah which will lead to an awesome climax shrouded with copious amounts of hilarity.
Anyways, as a grim reaper (not the Grim Reaper) he must collect the souls of the dearly departed. The thing is, souls leave the body once their vessels (our sexy, sexy bodies) go kaput and enter into inanimate objects. Figurines, paintings, pens, CD's, always something very near and dear to the person who just passed away (even if that person didn't realize it when they were alive).
He knows the objects contain the person's soul because they glow red. His job isn't just to collect them but to watch over them until the time where the new reincarnation of that person arrives to reclaim their soul (really trippy philosophical part - sometimes the new vessel has already been born after the old vessel meaning the new vessel wanders around without a soul until the old vessel dies); he owns a thrift store, so he just keeps the souls there until the new reincarnation, by chance, wanders in and picks up it's soul. Once that person touches the glowing object (they can't see the glow) their soul returns to their body and the object stops glowing. Now I'm pretty sure that soul can go into different objects after the new body passes away but the object it goes into is just temporary storage until it finds it's new reincarnation.
This awesome book got me thinking - where would my soul go, once I die (is it weird I first thought should I die?)? I never knew the answer while I was reading the book but it just hit me recently when my Dad asked if I would like the old lamp fixture for my ceiling from their room since they were redecorating and going to throw it away. Before thinking I said "No, don't even think about touching my Sesame Street Lamp" followed by my Dad laughing away because I'll be 25 soon and still the ceiling lamp fixture in my room as been the same since I moved into thise house (when I was 3) and will most likely follow me wherever I go.
It's been the constant in this house - everything has changed, relationships with my family, my brothers moving out, the colour of the walls, the wooden flooring, the gardens outside, the driveway, our basement getting remodeled - everything that's in my house now, is different since the first time I took my first step into it 22 years ago - everything except my ceiling lamp.
It's weird but I've just realized it's one of the first things I see when I wake up and one of the last things I see before I go to bed. It has the best of Sesame Street's characters on it - Big Bird and Cookie Monster and they're roller skating whilst holding hands! Hell if I have children this is going to be one of those things I pass down to them and if anyone would want to end a friendship with me all they would have to do is smash it to a brillion pieces. I have no idea where my parents got it and I really don't care - all I know is that it's mine and will be here after I'm gone.