Thoughts About The Afterlife

Julie Ballantyne Brown
6 min readNov 3, 2020

What is actually on the other side?

Photo by Josh Marshall on Unsplash

My husband and I have a rather morbid running joke. We often ask each other if we are wearing good “ghost clothes”. Ghost clothes, of course, being the clothes that one wears when one dies and would wear forever as a ghost, haunting the living.

I don’t remember where we got that idea, online somewhere, probably, but it’s turned into one of our “things’. We like it. It suits us.

The subject of ghosts, and the afterlife in general, is one that people have many different ideas about due to their religion, lack thereof, paranormal experiences, or just about any other reasoning. The subject of ghosts is for another day.

So, what is the answer? What does happen to us when we die? That’s a topic that has boggled humankind since the very beginning, whenever that was.

The simple answer? None of us truly know, although plenty of people think they do. There are those Christians who believe that we go to Heaven if we are “saved” and to Hell if we are not, regardless of what we did in life. What entails being saved and how exactly that happens is something that no one can quite agree upon, but the more evangelical, the stricter the rules. Catholics have a whole other complicated set of rules that allow entry to Heaven. Other Christians take a more agnostic approach to what happens when we die.

There are different rules if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or just about any other religion you can think of, but that make sense doesn’t it? We all want to know what happens next. Everyone dies, some sooner than others, and that’s all we know.

There are those who believe in reincarnation, but even that has various beliefs. Some believe people escalate through life forms depending on their actions, others say that we stay human but work on our faults from previous lives.

Many, but not all, atheists believe that when we die, that’s it. We return to the dust from whence we came: no spirit, no soul, no Heaven, no Hell. Just... nothing. I understand that that may seem feasible if one doesn’t believe in a higher power, or any power, and I respect that belief, but I don’t share it. I believe that we have too much energy to just go gently into that good night.

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Julie Ballantyne Brown

Future London resident. Follow Julie on Twitter: @BrownBallantyne or on FB and Instagram: @JulieBallantyneBrown