It’s nearly Halloween, or Samhain, and a good day to write about the subject we all think about even though it makes us uncomfortable. Death.
Nowadays I often think about death. Although I’m still clinging to middle-age, I can clearly see old age coming closer. And right behind it, grinning at me, is Death. I’m healthy and both my parents are still alive, but they are old. — 87 and 91. 87 doesn’t seem as far away as it used to be. Thirty years is nothing, a mere blip. I remember thirty years ago easily. I wasn’t so different then.
Death is the ultimate unknown. We don’t know what comes after death, even though many people tell themselves pretty stories about what comes next. According to religions, Heaven for the good guys, and Hell for the bad. Or we reach nirvana, where everything is perfect, but only after we’ve been reincarnated several times. Or reincarnation that never stops, just on and on forever. Even many non-religious folks talk about a vague “force” or “energy” that may survive after death. And then there are those who see or talk to ghosts, and believe that some poor souls wander the earth forever as themselves.
Even those scientists who study “near-death experiences” which seem to suggest something is happening after death, cannot prove anything is. And the atheists say that there’s nothing happening after death – when you’re gone, you’re gone, and that’s it.
Really, these are all just guesses. Although we all know what happens to dead bodies (and it’s nothing good) nobody knows for certain what if anything happens to our “soul” or “essence” or “energy” after we die. We all have to sit tight and wait to find out. But we’re such an impatient species, so we had to invent stories to make the waiting easier to take.