Georgia Voice readers react: What happens to you after you die?

Whether you are a person of faith or not, most of us have an opinion about whether or not there is an afterlife. So for Georgia Voice’s Religion and Spirituality issue, we reached out to our followers (social media followers, that is) to see what you think happens after you die. A simple fade to black/nothing? An afterlife of some sort? Reincarnation? Your responses were at different times passionate, humorous and profound.

“In my spiritual practices, we have many lifetimes. This is why there is a consistent connection between the ancestors and the physical plane. When you die, you have completed your soul’s contract in this lifetime. You become ancestors to those who remain on this plane and then you move on and are born again to start your new lifetime.”
-Kenyette Tisha Barnes

“When you die that’s it. Game over. No need to suffer while alive for a ‘reward’ that will never happen.”
-Peter Ent

“As a Christian (Episcopalian/Anglican), I believe that I will go to an individual judgment before a loving God who will review and judge my life. He will forgive my shortcomings and sins through the salvific action of Jesus Christ and draw me into loving relationship with Him. All of those so lovingly judged will then live with God in spiritual form, waiting for the resurrection of perfected physical bodies at the General Resurrection on the Last Day.”
-Ken Cribbs

“My sincere belief is that after death, we go back to the state we were in before life. That is, there is no individual consciousness, no ‘I,’ no ego, id or superego. What we remember from before we were born is what we will experience when life is done. The atoms within us will continue to cycle through space and time, they were once formed in the belly of stars and when our planet is gone, they will continue on their journey. That is the true meaning of everlasting life and is a huge comfort to me. I like to imagine atoms that once formed parts of me composing other forms of life or inanimate objects, millions and billions of years from now, on other planets and riding asteroids through space. As for the sentience that animates us, it continues as well, but it is anyone’s best guess as to where it goes when our bodies cease to function. I do not feel we have found the right answer, but we will continue to strive for it because we are curious beings. Philosophers will continue to bend their minds to the question, scientists will continue to try to define it and find its source. Religion is a red herring invented to keep the people in line, and until we can learn to behave in ethical ways without the scare tactics, religion will continue. Hopefully it will help more souls than it harms overall until we can learn to act with love and compassion towards each other in this one glorious moment in time in which we are sentient and experience the amazing opportunity of being alive.”
-Jenny Royal

“As a Christian, I believe in the afterlife, where we are either joined back to God or separated from him. This is not really on the same subject, but I also believe our pets go to heaven. Why would God create something without bringing it back to himself? I don’t necessarily believe pets have an option in that, but humans certainly do get to make the choice.”
-Mark Thomas Broomfield-Ranney

“We are each a unique spirit energy. We transition (return) to another plane where we can evaluate the physical plane life just ended and choose whether to return to the physical plane in a new life, what lessons we have to learn and how to experience those lesson-learning opportunities. We can choose to stay on the spiritual plane until and if we want to come back and experience more for the creator who cannot experience the physical plane except through us.”
-Jacquie Bogle Ackerman

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. I’ve lived a good, honest life, have loved and been loved. Have created a bit of beauty and joy, and hopefully only a tiny bit of sorrow. If there’s something to come, great! If there’s not, I won’t know it, so why worry about it? This life and the present moment is all we really can be sure of.”
-Brenda J. Gannam

“I am a lapsed Catholic, dust to dust. No going to a better place. The resurrection will come and we will be made anew to live again.”
-Camilla Barnett

“I feel that life is everlasting, and while I don’t know how we continue on, as spirit or as energy through other forms of matter even or as reincarnates, the belief resonates within my heart.”
-Gre Chanda

“After you die, you are gone. Please, leave others good memories of you.”
-Lori Clark

“Spark travels from one body to the blank of another right as it’s passing out of the womb, possibly not even on this planet. Keeps going and going from being to being until you end up becoming one with the universe. From the universe you started and to the universe you shall return.”
-Tony Firenze

“I believe you return, but not in a Shirley MacLaine sorta way. Energy is neither created or destroyed, only transferred.”
-Mark Cline

“Here lies an atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.”
-Andrew Martz

“There’s definitely a Heaven and a Hell! Things that won’t get you into Heaven: heterosexuality, baptism, church, Sunday school, communion, charity, good works, money, political affiliation and thoughts and prayers. Things that will get you into Heaven: Jesus Christ. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16.”
-Jamie Ensley

“I just become deactivated.”
-Arthur W. Graves