I think about death sometimes
I don’t consider myself a morbid person, but I have come to realize my life will not go on forever. I think about my death — mostly my own death.
What is dying like? Will I be in pain? Will I know I’m dying? Will I die alone, or will there be people there with me? Will I die before my husband?
I don’t wonder so much about the afterlife
Religiously, I tend to be an agnostic universalist. If there’s a heaven, I imagine, all of us will find it eventually under our own gods. (Those who believe in reincarnation may take a while.) Sometimes I believe our souls become part of the universe in a great gestalt, and maybe someday we get reincarnated. I don’t believe in “my god’s better than your god” that passes for much of Christianity today. Why would ours be better?
But what I mostly believe is that once I’m dead, I’m dead. I believe there will be a white light and a life review as my brain cells die. But after that, permanent loss of consciousness. No new life, no reward for having been good or punishment for being bad. I, in other words, won’t know I’m dead because I won’t know anything.
But I will live on
I have come to find that our lives live on in stories told about us, in the legacy we have left to our workplaces, our families, our hobbies. Someone will have an idea for a class that I have seeded. My friends will tell my stories. My books might finally be read. It’s really comforting, and that’s what we look for when we think of death, comfort in the face of a gaping maw of the unknown.