“What Do You Think Happens To Us When We Die?”
The universe seems to be on a Keanu Reeves binge at the moment.
Everything he does in his reel life is pretty much turning to gold. (OK - maybe not everything, but enough that it matters.) Meanwhile, his actions in real life show him to be the kind of person we probably all want to be.
Keanu Reeves’ Philosophy even seems to be a thing, and we caught a glimpse of it in a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. At the end of an otherwise routine celebrity interview scheduled to promote his new hit, John Wick 3: Parabellum, Colbert asked him, “What do you think happens to us when we die, Keanu Reeves?” The audience laughed, partly at the unexpectedness of the question, partly at the absurdity of it, and partly, I’m sure, in bemusement as to how Reeves would respond. That response, as it happens, was pure gold:
“I know that the ones who love us, will miss us.”
I love that. No bullshit. No grandstanding. No pretending to have a sense of understanding beyond what we as humans can possibly expect to have. In the words of Naomi Fry in her piece on him in The New Yorker:
“It was a response so wise, so genuinely thoughtful, that it seemed like a rebuke to the usual canned blather of late-night television. The clip was retweeted more than a hundred thousand times, but, when I watched it, I felt like I was standing alone in a rock garden, having a koan whispered into my ear. “
And perhaps I’m reading more into it than Reeves even intended, but his response seemed to come with far deeper meaning than maybe even Keanu himself intended.
Did he just mean it superficially, that they would simply miss us because we were gone?
Did he mean we should strive to live a life where we loved and were loved back so deeply?
Did he mean that we should aspire to give of ourselves to such an extent that we would be missed to that deep a level?
Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. But those are words worth remembering and learning from.
“I know that those who love us, will miss us.”