Every day 2,600 people die in the United States alone (“FAST & EASY”). Even with the large amount of deaths every day our culture still manages to push death aside. Belief systems are often used as a coping mechanism for death. Religion often helps explain away the finality of death by prescribing an afterlife to it. However, after asking people in my family about their views on death I have come to the conclusion that with our secular culture a majority of my family has no concept of an afterlife, and I am included in that majority.
When my mother was young she went to church every Sunday, and even considered herself a strong believer in God. Over the years, as she stopped attending church, she started to question her own beliefs. Now she hopes that their is an afterlife, but overall, she is not sure. She says since she does not have a religious denomination, it does not affect how she lives her life. She tries to live everyday to the fullest, and she treats everyone fairly, not because she wants to go to heaven, but because she is a good person. Her views on death and the afterlife keep me open-minded. If she is older, and therefore arguably wiser than I am, and she does not have a concrete understanding of death, then I cannot be completely sure either.
My younger brother who is twelve years old, and he does not have any solid religious affiliations. He has never been to Sunday school, or a church service that was not for a funeral. When asked about what he thought of death, he answered that he thought death was sad. He also wishes for an afterlife, but he is not entirely sure if one exists. He explained to me that he tries to be nice to everyone for two reasons- He wants to go to heaven, if there is one, and he wants t...
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...om after class and cried. Where did the consciousness inside the chick go? What had I done? I still do not know because my concept of the afterlife is not concrete.
Not believing in an afterlife does make death a lot harder to take. Although I love the idea of getting to transcend the human form and be with loved ones after death, still cannot be entirely sure about what happens after death. At first I became horribly depressed by this fact, and I did not like to think of death at all. That is one of the reasons I took this course - I wanted to force myself to explore the reality and the finality of death. Overall it has become easier for me to resolve that death is inevitable and the afterlife is almost unexplainable. I still do not have a concrete explanation for what happens after death, but I suppose I will just live until I am forced to find out.
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