Ask Me Anything #8: Afterlife

(This “ask me anything” answer is in response to a class of young college students’ questions.)

Do you believe in an afterlife?

I’m not sure about an afterlife. I don’t believe in one absolutely, in that I’m not counting on it, but I do hope for one. There is much we don’t know about this universe, and I think it very possible that there are other dimensions where something like an afterlife might exist. I’m not sure that anything like my individual consciousness will continue in that dimension, but perhaps there will be some sort of connection. That’s what I like to imagine: a sense of connection to everything in the world.

It’s definitely painful to imagine not being connected to those I love, and I think it’s fine to take comfort in a belief that provides for those connections to be maintained in some way. That could be a traditional concept of heaven or angels or something else. Such a belief (as long as it’s not taken to any weird extremes) doesn’t do any harm and can provide real solace for loss in this life. And if it turns out not to be fact and death is just a void, we’ll never know anyway! I do know that others and I myself have experienced communications of a nature that defies explanation, so this kind of belief doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

I can’t claim to know anything about the afterlife, however. I don’t really think anyone can. We can imagine it, however. And we can have faith in what we or others imagine, if we so choose. That faith is a fine thing that can make our lives happier and soothe us in our grief — though it’s not for everyone.

What I do know –and this truly is not just belief– is that the gifts we give in this life are what confer immortality. Those are the things that live on and continue to affect the lives of others long after we’re gone. Love is the greatest of our immortal aspects. The more love we give, the more immortality! We have to be careful of how we live, since the bad things we put into the world also have a lasting effect. As my son has noted in his Ask Me Anything answers , everything we do in this life, however small, changes the world forever. Just a smile can go on creating positive change well beyond its original moment, for instance. Chances are the good things we do and give will be positive gifts, and the bad things will make the world worse. We have a lot of power to change the world!

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About susanbriscoe

English teacher, writer
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3 Responses to Ask Me Anything #8: Afterlife

  1. Jeff Lossau says:

    Susan, I think the “afterlife” question is the most important one being asked of you. And what a difficult question it is. I imagine you have given it quite a bit of thought during your “death project.” I commend you for being such a strong woman and openly sharing during what must be such a difficult time. I am confident there is a God who created each of us, in His image, who wants us to love Him and to spend eternity with Him. I encourage you to simply talk to Him and see what He might say to you in return. God Bless.

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  2. David says:

    He (God) is here right now. You don’t have to wait. Just believe (or have faith). Faith is a like a magician’s wand. Faith in the ultimate Power that drives and sustains the universe is like thrusting yourself into a massive “hurricane”, but this “hurricane” does not do havoc. This “hurricane” does infinite good in the same way the hurricane we know does “infinite” havoc.
    There is life here on earth and there is another kind of life – the indestructible life. Access is ” Just believe ” The works we do on earth is not what determines our access, however good works on this earth is not forgotten. It is rewarded. God owes no one, he pays and promptly according to the rules of “this life” not according to this world.
    I speak as one who has once experienced an OBE ( not of my own accord, and nothing to do with my belief at the time. It just happened.) however short. I speak as one who has tried ” Just believe” and have been catapulted into a “hurricane of goodwill” from a position of close to absolute despair and depression. We are sent out as messengers of His Word. A lot of us corrupt this Word before it reaches its recipients. But by His mercies, and for His Names’ sake, He still preserves His Word through us to reach those whom he loves ever so dearly to the very end.
    Never be appalled or despair over loved ones who die on this earth. How they die has absolutely nothing to do with their life on the other side. The love of God is present on the other side as it is present here. No one can predict whether a person goes to heaven or to hell based on the person’s works. Love trumps Justice, and God listens to our prayers about those we love, and Love covers a multitude of sins.

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  3. Pingback: No Shoes – Living In Eternity

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