“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” — Banksy
While this quote was directly attributed to the graffiti artist Banksy, the sentiment is not his alone and appears all over the place, attributed to several different people.
“Some day soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That’s when I will be truly dead – when I exist in no one’s memory. I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies,too, vanishes from the living memory. I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”― David Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
I’ve read that ancient Egyptians believed that once your name vanished from people’s memories, you were truly dead. That this complete erasure was comparable to an eternity in hell.