I have come to my own conclusion that once you have died, that is it. There is no heaven nor hell, no paradise, no waiting in purgatory, no becoming a ghost, no nothing. You lose all consciousness, your mind has finally stopped thinking. You are gone. And I wish I could say there was a place for your soul, that the person inside of you can never die, but I don't see any other way they can exist. Where would they go? The amount of dead people to live ones is much higher, and will continue to rise. Where does every single soul of every living person ever to walk on Earth disappear to?
Truthfully, this view of death I have recently formed absolutely terrifies me. As I'm sure it does the majority of the human population. I cannot, and will not, ever be able to imagine what it is like to not be anything anymore. I will always be me, thinking in my head, being conscious. I don't want myself to cease existence, I want to always be aware of the world. But something in me believes, knows, that one day I will not be.
I think it is why I have this desire for people to know who I am, what I think, what I mean because the only way I can ever picture an afterlife is through memory. And even that too will run out eventually. My name will not exist forever, which is why I feel I have to have people know me. I want to be remembered because that is afterlife. The imprint your soul leaves on the Earth for a while after you have gone.
I often wish I could believe, like I did when I was young, that there is a place in the clouds where you go when you are dead to be with all the loved ones that left before you. The place where everything you ever wanted and ever loved is, and you are completely content. That is what I used to imagine. I used to imagine meeting my great grandmother, whom my mother speaks of so fondly, because she seemed ever so magnificent and my heaven would be to live peacefully forever with my family.
I suppose, however, I have created the afterlife for my great-grandma with my name. I was named after her, and somehow I feel that means I have been given her soul to look after. Even though she may not ever be aware of me I can keep her memory for longer, we will have our afterlife in tandem. When I die I will not only bear the last impression of my soul but of hers as well. I hope.
I am not entirely sure that spirits of people do really go away. That sometimes wisps of souls turn up from nowhere and pass through you. When I was younger I was certain that I'd felt Mollie's presence in the room, and it was beautifully powerful. I will live with the hope that someday after I've gone someone feels my presence with them, just for a moment. As a breath of my past mixes with the present in this long line of time.
Someday that will comfort me completely, and I will be okay with losing myself for eternity and having my conscious end. For the moment, however, I believe I am still uncertain. Sometimes I feel okay with dying, and others I feel frightened even if it's most likely in the very, very far future.
Enough of death for now, for living is the only thing we can do and soon it will run out.