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20 People Reveal What They Think Happens After Death

20 People Reveal What They Think Happens After Death

August 12, 2015

SerGiO FäNjUL
SerGiO FäNjUL

We have all pondered the afterlife—or lack thereof. However, these thoughts and views are not usually material we share with others beyond the context of religion or non-belief. The devout and the skeptics are often the loudest voices on the subject, leaving everyday folks unheard. Suppositions are commonplace, as this topic does not long escape any person’s notice; still, the hushed tones in the backdrop of humanity may provide us greater insight than the booming noises overpowering them. The twenty responses below reveal individual analyses shaped by unique experiences and thinking processes.

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1. “I strongly believe you go to Heaven, but Heaven is a realm that is an aside to our earthly lives. You don’t leave the people here on Earth, but you are here and free from worry; you have a great understanding of how insignificant your earthly presence really is…That’s kind of what I want.”

—Mary, boomer

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2. “I think you become another living organism…I would like to choose what happens to me, so I can wait for my loved ones to die, or become an animal that can check up on loved ones, or reincarnate whenever I decide (there is) something else I really want to experience.”

—Daniela, millennial

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3. “I don’t think anything happens… but I’d love to freely roam the Universe.”

—Michael, millennial

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4. “DKH (Dead Kitty Heaven).”

—Ann, millennial

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5. “I sort of believe in reincarnation and Karma…I would wish to come back with my same mindset and knowledge as a baby.”

—Jason, millennial

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6. “Heaven.”

—Lorraine, boomer

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7. “I think you would be instantly reborn… Maybe reunite with loved ones.”

— Dawan, gen x

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8. “I think the soul is ever-living, and so it can never die. Once the body dies, the soul moves to a higher place of existence, and from there you choose to either stay in that higher place or go at life again with a veteran soul.”

—Danny, millennial

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9. “Since I was dead for fifteen minutes back in December, I know exactly what happens: nothing. It’s just like a light switch: off.”

—Jeff, boomer

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10. “You go to a place with peace and harmony…After Death, I would like to keep my family safe and happy.”

—Maureen, boomer

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11.“Nothing would happen.”

— Andrew, millennial

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12. “I think the idea of Life after Death is something that a lot of people need to keep from fearing Death every second of their lives. That said, I don’t really know what happens once you die; I just hope it’s something… As far as what I would choose? I’m torn between being reunited with those you love and starting completely anew via reincarnation. If I were forced to choose, I would hope to see everyone I’ve loved who has passed—at their happiest moment. For me, the ideal Afterlife is reuniting with the ones you loved most, but at your best self.”

—Courtney, millennial

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13. “It kind of does scare me to think that there’s nothing waiting for anyone after Life. It puts me in a place where I want to believe the choices we make in Life lead us down a path that gives us the opportunity to pave the way to what happens afterward. For example, in my past I wanted a chance to live differently. I believe if I had been cut down before my time, I would have been reincarnated and given that second chance. However, I’ve gotten to that second chance in this life, and now my passion is helping others. I believe if I died today, my soul would go on and carry out my passion, in a way I’m uncertain of and excited by. I look at Life like a college education; you pick your own major for the next chapter.”

—Paul, millennial

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14. “…If I could pick one to fantasize about, it would be like the image of the Afterlife in the movie The Lovely Bones. Just like that.”

—Carrie, boomer

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15. “You come back from the dead, at least for a while, not like a zombie, though.”

— Bob, boomer

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16. “Since no one sends letters or information after Death, I believe that’s it. Over and out… But I would rather believe that it’s so inexplicably awesome that no one can describe it. I’d like to spend the rest of eternity without pain, stress, worry, greed, jealousy, hate—and just all be the same enjoying every moment equally. The feeling of standing in warm sunshine with your eyes closed and a smile on your face without a care in the world. Yep. That’s what I hope to have on the other side.”

—Jennie, gen x

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17. “I could write a book because I have been investigating this for a very long time. We are energy, and energy never dies; it just changes form. Many people have died and been brought back to life, yet can’t talk about it because they are made fun of or called crazy. I think it’s another dimension and I think one day we’ll know what that dimension is.”

— Joan, boomer

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18. “I don’t think it is in my human peabrain’s capacity to ever understand it, and I believe it’s pretty self-righteous of the human race to believe they could understand. Neal Degrasse Tyson says the Universe isn’t obligated to give me any answers and that pretty much sums it up… But, what do I want to happen? I want to believe in reincarnation the most, I guess. I don’t want to continue as myself, whether I’m aware of it or not. Of course, I’d prefer a supernatural phenomenon but I think it’s probably much simpler than that. Sorry, I can be pretentious.”

— Sydney, millennial

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19. “As Louis CK says, ‘Lots of things happen after you die, just none of them happen to you.’ I imagine it’s like shutting off a television, or as some philosophers have said, it will ‘feel’ or ‘look’ just as things did before you were born. That is, nothing. Would I like there to be an Afterlife? Sure, that’s a lovely thought. Unlikely, and I shudder to think of the implications — that the supernatural exists, that there is some sort of system of divine justice, etc. That said, the idea of some sort of good/evil dichotomy is both a paradox, as something I noticed in my first few months of training in the church. If ‘heaven’ is a place free from pain or suffering, and there exists some place that is its opposite, how could you be in this ‘heaven,’ knowing there are people suffering (in ‘hell,’ or back on Earth) and still be, yourself, free from pain? To be honest, the idea of an Afterlife opens up so many questions, and I’m not sure there are acceptable answers for most of them.”

—John, millennial

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20. “I believe that energy can’t be created, nor destroyed. I believe Life and Death work in symmetry. I see this as two circles: one represents ‘Life’ and one represents ‘Death.’ Once a person dies, that person is no longer in the physical world—the circle ‘Life.’ That person is instead expelled into another dimension, that is, circle ‘Death.’ If a person dies feeling he/she left something unfinished in Life, that person’s spirit is trapped in both worlds, like the space between two circles in a Venn diagram. However, if the spirit of that person can leave that place of limbo, it can find either enlightenment or darkness, depending on the inclination of its energy. There’s a twist: the circle of ‘Death’ can move into the world of the living, and the spirit may have to occupy another vessel, like reincarnation.”

— Manny, millennial TC mark


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