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Lives After Death
When you are dead you might wonder how did I die? What am I? What’s happening? But above all of these you ask you mindless, bodiless self what’s next? Do I go to Heaven to meet my savior? Or was that all a lie? Am I condemned into an eternal life of despair and nothingness? Or am I to haunt the living as a ghost until the end of the Earth?
Incase you haven’t experienced death yet, these are only some of the questions that are forced into your non-existent mind as you wait in the ultimate anticipation in the void after death. Surprisingly I found I wasn’t able to ask myself all the questions I had in what seemed to be only a few minutes, or was it years? Anyway, time didn’t really exist there. I was confused. It was pointless to try to move. When you can’t see yourself let alone feel yourself because you don’t exactly have a body it’s a little difficult to make your “nothing” go anywhere. It was dizzying trying to look around; there wasn’t any light, but it surely wasn’t just black or any color. The sight was difficult to describe. What does a blind man see? I grew sad and alone. There was nothing to do, nothing to see, nothing to think about. I could only wait.
I was on my way to school when…Hold up, wasn’t I just dead? Wasn’t I just going on about depression and despair? Actually, my conscious self wasn’t aware at all of what just happened. It just assumed its position in this life and continued walking to well…school.
A sense of amnesia took over me. Where did I come from? And what was I doing? I thought. Who am I?
“Hey Devon!” someone yelled from behind. I looked back startled although I’m not sure why. Natural reaction I suppose. Was that my name? It sounded familiar. Behind me was a dark skinned, curly black haired, somewhat tall and athletic boy running towards me.
“Travis,” I replied “ ‘sup?” I was baffled. I’ve never even heard of or seen this guy, yet I suddenly knew his name like he was my best friend.
“Hello?” he said sarcastically. “Did you forget that we were running to school together today?”
“Oh. Umm…” I just stared at him, which must’ve looked really weird since he was in high cut running shorts. “…Yeah.”
“Well we’re together now. Hurry up; lets try not to be late to literature again. Mrs. Easton would kill us!” he said running past me, so I followed just trying to look like I knew what the heck this guy was talking about.
When we reached Arthur Academy Junior High (which I have no memory of, but apparently have been going to all my life) several decent girls came up to Travis and I and said hello, which was comforting. It’s somewhat reassuring when you have no memory of your own life at all to know that girls still like you. So I felt a little more confident throughout the day, but still very confused.
Fortunately Travis and I had all the same classes together, so I continued looking like I knew what to do or where to go. I suffered through literature with Mrs. Easton who was a bore, and then to science, and physical education. I discovered that in athletics I was of the best in the entire class of the eighth grade, and I did “A” quality class work. Hey, I might not know who, where, or when the heck I am, but at least I’m not dumb. Besides, I was desperate to learn more about myself in an attempt to understand why all this was happening.
On our lunch break I began to learn who my friends were, which in turn gave me more of a clue as to what kind of person I was before. After conversing, I went exploring around campus. It’s strange re-learning your life. You feel overwhelmingly weak and frightened, but I assume that’s the way you should feel whenever you try or do something new. I came up to a tree in a courtyard in the center of the school. Below the tree a plaque read: In loving memory of Taylor Mason. 1982-1996. – With a picture encased under thick glass. 14 years ago I thought. I cold have sworn I knew that name, but not nearly as much as when I saw the picture because it was me. My body went numb, and my life flashed before my eyes, but not the life I was currently living. It was definitely me, but at the same time…it wasn’t. Is that possible? I choked back tears of severe disbelief, which to others might’ve looked like I was suffocating. Stumbling back I tripped over a root of the tree, and ran as well as I could while hiding my distraught face with my hands. The most unnerving thought was that I looked completely different in the picture than I do now. In the picture what I saw was white, and, unless I’m colorblind, I’m as black as the night sky. Did I have a family before as my other self? I thought. Do I even have a mother as myself now? After all, I’ve only been conscious of this life since the morning! How would I know! The thought of not even know either of my mothers made me cry more. Am I technically twenty-eight, or does the fact that I died mean nothing? So many questions burned through me like a flamethrower on gasoline. And I felt alone, very alone, even more so than waiting in the limbo of the nothingness after death. What do I do now?
“Just go live your life!” a shriveled, frail old man nearly screamed at me. I jumped. I hadn’t seen him there before.
“What? Where did you come from?” I said still holding back snot and tears.
“What? Speak up son!” he said fumbling with his cane.
“I said where did you come from?” this time yelling at the top of my lungs.
It may have sounded a little rude, but I wasn’t exactly trying to come across as nice to anyone then.
“Hmm? Where are you?” He appeared to be blind.
This man is wasting my time I thought.
“Ah! There you are!” he exclaimed, and turned right towards me though I hadn’t actually said anything. “Wasting your time you say? No! You are like I once was, confused and alone.”
I looked around to see if there was anyone else this crazy man was talking to. I doubted it. Then a scarier thought came to me. Is he reading my mind?
“Ah!” I yelled with sheer terror in my voice. I must have thought it to because the old man jumped at my fear. How are you doing that? I thought.
After regaining his week composure he finally calmly replied “Son, I’ve been around much longer than you would think at first glance, but many of those years were not lived in this crippled body.”
What do you mean? I thought assuming that was the only way I could communicate to him.
“I think you know what I mean. Like you my physical self has died, but far more times than you could have imagined. You see, all energy is only borrowed, and when you die you give it back. As you do this, your soul moves on to find a new host body for energy, one that has just been born. Unfortunately our souls can wander aimlessly for ages trying to find a new body leaving us trapped inside the void between death and life. The special thing about you and I is that after our physical bodies have passed on, we take our memories from each life with us. So in each life we learn more and more. I’ve acquired such a vast amount of knowledge in my long years that I have trained myself to listen to the minds I’m speaking to when my body has become old and can no longer see or hear.”
I was awestruck. This man was definitely not crazy, in fact I thought of him more like a Yoda. But why can’t I remember anything?
“You will.” he replied even weaker sounding than before.
But what do I do now? I thought. I was persistent with wanting to know what to do.
“Don’t you listen? Live your new life! You are a young soul! Have fun and learn!” And in that last breath the man collapsed to the floor. Awkwardly, I just left him there and walked away. I wasn’t worried. I would see him in another life, and so I let my new one begin…