Where Do We Go When We Die?

Each of us has our clock ticking down.

One click, one click, another.

Like sand leaking through the hourglass hole

with no possibility of return.

Like drops of water dripping from the faucet,

escaping down the dark black hole.

To where?

Never to return?

We become the grandmother buried beneath the giant Banyan,

or the stray dog carcass rotting in the ditch, among the sphagnum,

or the forest beast, fallen, consumed by scavengers, bugs and microbes.

Becoming nothing.

We are mortal, inevitable, terminal.

But when the clicks are done

and there is no more sound

we are done.

Are we done?

But where do we go when we die?

That thing that was us,

our personage?

Our body, our matter, returns to dust

our energy, goes back to the universe

to make new life.

But where do we go when we die?

That thing called spirit or soul.

As long as we are remembered

we remain alive in spirit,

we remain to some,

I suppose.

But when my body is gone

and that thing that was me

can no longer be seen or heard

you can still talk to me.

Can you still talk to me?

I will still talk to you.

Bone on bone, shed of light.

You will still be there

remembering me,

so I can still be there too,

for a while longer.

Until then,

we are mortal,

inevitable,

terminal.

So many believe and hope.

So many make deals with their God,

bargaining to a belief

that some afterlife reward awaits them.

But how cruel might be this honest lie

for the woman

who said she is not afraid,

that she is ready for the afterlife.

Is there one?

What difference does it make?

Does it make a difference?

What heartless stranger convinced her

there is something else?

After life.

Somewhere next?

Is there something else?

At least there is solace in belief,

for a while.

But for those that imagine there is no heaven,

where do we go?

I expect that when I’m gone

it will be the same as before I came.

But will those things that were me, that were you,

exist somewhere regardless of

what we want to believe deep in our heart and mind?

Like the universe, in the beginning,

we grow awake, alive.

And become.

And seek our purpose to

be awake, alive with

this life on earth.

And find it is to live at least one

of the true forms of love

and to share it.

And to tell the ones we love

that we love them

while we are still

awake.

Our purpose for

life on earth

is love.

Where do we go when we die?

Perhaps we simply no longer exist,

become no longer awake

except in memory.

If I were still there

I would miss you all.

For now,

everything that can kill me

makes me feel alive.

So I am still here, with you.

Wade Harold Johnson

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