Death from Both Sides
It was a gray, rainy day; truly gothic in nature. I was sitting in my office, listening to the steady patter of the drops mixed with occasional thunder. I started thinking about the people I have known in my life that are now gone from this world. I have a hard time visualizing “heaven” and I don’t think it exists; at least not as the whole clouds and folks walking around with harps vision we’re spoon fed. My thoughts on the afterlife tend to be more observational in nature. I believe that – somehow – the people live on in the memories of those left behind. While that was comforting to me from my perspective – the living perspective – I found I had a lot of questions of what that would mean from the other side. What would such an afterlife seem like to someone who had died?
For example, if they only existed in the memories of living people, what were they doing when no one was thinking about them? Were they in limbo? And when people were thinking about them, what did they experience? Did they have independent thought in that short time as their name was spread across the synapses of the brain? Or were they forced to act out a moment in their lives that the memory represented?
Was there any outside perception of the world changing after their deaths? Did they catch glimpses of their children as they grew up, grew old then died themselves? And what about famous people? Eventually most of us will be forgotten; maybe that’s for the best. I wondered about someone like Abraham Lincoln. Is he constantly being dragged from the ethereal plane by a world of schoolchildren who read about him in school, is stuck around his likeness in Washington DC and Springfield? Does he have any control or is he forever forced to free the slaves once more, expound on the hallowed ground of Gettysburg, or feel the searing heat of a bullet in the back of his head at his box at Ford’s Theater? If that’s the case, it gives a new definition to “Hell on Earth”.