A Writing Prompt from “The Philosopher’s Notebook
A question that I frequently ponder over, mostly during my lunch break walks. I find myself thankful that, at this point in my life, I don’t associate death with sadness. I think the reason why so many people have such difficulty discussing or even just acknowledging it is that it is the most absolute thing we can comprehend, but at the same time can’t comprehend. I enjoy trying to comprehend the final moments and understand that it is better to keep my enjoyment of the subject to myself.
Over the years I have thought of multiple scenarios, most of what the afterlife will entail. Pretty much trying to break down the idea of heaven and what forms heaven might be in on the other side. Very recently, maybe two or three weeks ago, I began thinking of the stages of life. Childhood, grade school, junior high, high school, college, post-college, early professionalism, professional life, wife search life, wife life, early family life, early parent, childhood parent thru college parent, post parent, retirement preparation, retirement, health decline, post self-independence, and the final days; obviously, there are many more stages that I could have listed and we don’t experience all of them or in that same order. With each stage, however, especially the major ones which most of us do get to experience, the transition is a simple night’s sleep. We go from being a child and wake up a student in kindergarten, we go to bed a minor and wake up an adult, we go to the hospital as husband and wife and come out as parents, such change happens in one night that we can never reverse thereafter.
With each change from one stage of life to the next there are things we look forward to being able to do, but also things we are sad to leave behind, and for the most part, never return to. I believe that after we die our spirit or conscience leaves our body and we move to the next stage of life. Being confined to the physical reality we inhabit currently we are unable to see what the next stage is, which is what makes death so horrifying. However, just the same as when we transition from all other life stages there will be positives and negatives. A negative example, knowing we will never again experience anything physically, but a positive example, being at peace and leaving behind any pain or discomfort we knew while being a limited human being.
In short, I believe that when we die our spirit moves on to the next stage. I believe there will either be another reality, a state of peace and freedom, or simply nothing but you and your memories. The question I ponder most is not; What do I think it will be like after you die?, but instead; Which possible version would I be able to find peace with?