What happens when we die?
This is a question I am asked often, and while I have my own ideas and thoughts on this, I honestly have no idea what happens. I do believe that we each have our own thoughts about it and we are in no position to tell someone else what to think or feel.
I believe people with a strong faith have a deep sense of confidence in what happens and where they will go. I believe people who do not have a strong faith practice have more curiosity and uncertainty. I also believe that there are people who feel that when their last breath is taken, life is over, and nothing else happens, and you don’t go anywhere or see anyone.
I cannot tell someone else what to think or feel, and I never will.
I would like to believe that wherever I go, if I am to go somewhere, it will be where the people I love who have died will be, and we can meet again. I often say, “where I go, they will be.” This comforts me. I would also like to believe that I will see my favorite pets again, who I continue to grieve for.
One thing I am absolutely certain of, because of what I have witnessed at the bedside… moments before the last breath is taken, there is this sense of peace that comes over them, a calmness, perhaps relief, and the complete removal of pain, or suffering… but also everything else they have carried with them that causes struggle… fear, regret, guilt, anger, and sadness. It goes with the last breath and all suffering physically, emotionally, or mentally, is gone.
I do not believe that we will be punished for things we have said or done after death, because I believe that when the last breath is taken, all of that is gone. I think we do enough of that to ourselves when we are alive. It is why I am working so hard to let things go… I do not want to spend the rest of my life dragging that weight around with me. I have made mistakes. I am human. But I am learning from them and will do differently and better moving forward.
I believe that when I die, I will be at peace. And I will take with me the feeling that I lived my life well, that I did the best that I could, and those who were in my life know how deeply loved they were by me. And if I happen to go somewhere and see the people I love who have died, or even my dog Jack, that is a bonus. And if not… that’s okay too, because I was gifted them when I was alive.
I think I would rather focus on my life now; being alive, appreciating all my blessings, finding joy in every single thing, feeling love, experiencing new things, savoring each moment, and even one day falling in love. For me, it is not “what happens when we die?” For me… it is, “How will I appreciate each day I am alive?”