There is nothing more unknown than life after death.
We know what happens to the bodies, of course. The skin turns pale and clammy, ice cold to the touch. The flesh decays and releases a foul odor – universally sickening, I’m sure. The body will naturally decompose, rotting and rotting until all that’s left of the person are the bones that once held them together.
The corpse is put lovingly into a coffin or cremated for the deceased that are lucky, while others are simply buried under the dirt or left at the mercy of nature, but either way, they’re dead. That part’s no surprise.
What’s fascinating is the unknown that comes after.
There are so many theories. Some believe that a dead person’s soul is weighed by its good and bad deeds and sent to heaven or hell accordingly. Others would find that ridiculous, a human construct that shows an inability to accept the fact that when people die, they are simply gone forever, ceasing to exist, like they were never here in the first place.
Then there’s the idea of reincarnation, the idea that people lose their memories from their past life (or don’t, depending on who you ask) and are reborn as a new person, fresh out of the womb and ready to navigate the trials of life with a pair of fresh eyes. Some like to add karmic cycles into the mix, stating that depending on how good or bad a person was in their past life, they will have the appropriate rewards or punishments doled out to them in their reborn states.
Now, we can’t forget about the ghosts. We view ghosts in a variety of different ways as well. Perhaps they are lost souls who did not fulfill an ultimate purpose while down on earth, and so therefore their undead forms are stuck roaming the land, trying to find that peace and satisfaction. Maybe the only ghosts are those who were wronged when they were full of life, and now they are out seeking revenge, desperate to spill the blood of their enemies. Or maybe we’re all ghosts when we die, just wandering around the earth aimlessly because there is no sky palace or underground realm or really anywhere for us to go after our hearts stop beating.
Or maybe it’s something that we’ve never thought of. Something that will never be conceivable to the human mind, something that is way out of our depth that we could not begin to understand.
Maybe it’s something we’ll discover one day. Or maybe it is better if we do not know.