Doom on the Deeds and Final Worth
"Death" -- that which has been done -- and "Wyrd" -- that which has become -- are therefore coterminous (1), and what must be remarked here is that there is nothing morbid about the concept whatsoever. What is dead, in fact, in a sense lives more than the living, although not in as active a tense, but rather, in a way, transitively. It is not an undoing, but -- to use a somewhat grotesque image -- a swallowing by existence, in which one's unique pattern is assimilated by and into the whole, woven into the very fabric of the nature of things, which is why it is said that Wyrd weaves. We may say that the dead do not exist -- ek-sist, stand out -- but sub-sist, stand beneath and within, existence. As the subsistence, the standing-beneath, they form literally the ground of our understanding, and as subsistence, they have a felt connection to nutriment and the crops that grow from beneath the soil.
The present is but the integument of a vast organism, of which the dead form the blood and bones. They become part of the unconscious functioning of existence, although whether more unconscious from their side or our own side only seers know. They are not gone, therefore, but right here, even though their matter has been eaten up by the ongoing uptake of material by life itself. One's life lived becomes a hidden testament, a textual marrow, an infrastratum. We might contrast the living and the dead by speaking of the manifest and the unmanifest, but far better it would be to speak of the manifest and the inframanifest. These are only terms, inadequate but approximate.
Hence from this angle there is no escape --- neither a nowhere nor a somewhere else, but ever and only a multidimensional here, of whom we the living are but diminutive dimensional folds of the larger multiplex, around and through which larger dimensional currents may run circles around us, passing both "through" and "beyond", yet forever "here", in both the interstices, the macrostices, and the infrastices --- our barely four-dimensional subjective reality can hardly cope with such higher mathematics. Suffice it to say that some of the descriptions from the book Flatland are apropo in these considerations.
The dead are not "gone", they are interwoven, woven into the fabric of existence.
1 A proof in itself that Viktor Rydberg's suggestion that Wyrd was originally Hel, and that Snorri, ignorant after 200 years of conversion, mistakenly applied the term to Loki's daughter, is correct. Wyrd was the original Goddess of Death, in the sense we have developed it here, of setting dooms on all those whose Deeds of life are Done. Gylfaginning 15 says, Þriðja rót asksins stendr á himni, ok undir þeiri rót er brunnr sá er mjök er heilagr er heitir Urðarbrunnr. Þar eiga goðin dómstað sinn. Hvern dag ríða æsir þangat upp um Bifröst, "The third root of the Ash Tree leans towards heaven, and under that root is the well that is mightily holy and called "Urd's Well". There the gods have their Doomstead. Each day the Aesir ride thither upon Bifrost." What is clear here is that daily the gods conduct dooms at Wyrd's Well, which stands in the Underworld (Hel) beneath the third root of Yggdrasil, angled towards the heavens. This is a Court that meets daily, to pass dooms upon the dead. Odin says in Havamal 76 that everything dies except for the reputation of a man that has had a judgement or decree passed upon it (orðstírr, a law-verdict or decree passed upon one's renown or reputation), and then to clarify, in Havamal 77, says that what never dies is the dómr um dauðan hvern, "judgement/decree/sentence on every one of the dead." Havamal 76 and 77 obviously converge upon Gylfaginning 15 : the gods are assembled in Wyrd's court helping to pass judgement on each of the dead, as they come each day into Hel. That this is done right by Wyrd's Well proves that Wyrd has special jurisdiction when it comes to the dead ; since "dead" in heathenism means simply a done set of deeds awaiting dooming, this makes perfect sense, as Urd rules over that which has already become. It may be that this court, this dómstað meets in that "fair hall" that stands --Þar stendr salr einn fagr undir askinum við brunninn, ok ór þeim sal koma þrjár meyjar, þær er svá heita: Urðr, Verðandi, Skuld -- beneath the Ash near the Well, out of which the three Norns come. The Gods may sit on the court, but the court takes place on Urd's jurisdiction. We can guess who has the final word.