After we are gone, then what?

Imagine that you have died. There you are at your own funeral, your loved ones are there surrounding you… or not! What are they saying about you and what you have accomplished during this lifetime? Is it positive or negative. Are you happy with what you are seeing and hearing, or are you saddened by it. Have you finished all that you have started in this life and is your life complete? Why are we not planning our death like we plan everything else in our lives. What things should we be focusing on to prepare for our time? Listen to the next podcast in the series on death and dying.

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After we are gone, then what?

4 thoughts on “After we are gone, then what?

  1. I am having difficulty reconciling this topic with other things I have learned from this podcast, and other sources, about the importance of staying in the present moment and being fully present to life.

    If I am an electron operating inside a black box, my only concern is operating within the constraints of what that black box is designed for, for example, to produce images on a screen, transmit data, whatever.

    Similarly, inside the ‘black box’ of physical existence there are limitations on what we can do and what we are responsible for. If I am on one side of the veil, is it fruitful to be concerned about what happens on the other side? While I am in non-physical existence, am I using my awareness to imagine what my next physical existence will be like? Or am I fully present to the experience of the realm I am in? I believe some seers have said we may look things over and pick our place of birth, parents, and circumstances of our next lives, but I don’t think spending a lot of energy on that would be useful for gathering the lessons of the non-physical realm.

    I realize these questions are probably unanswerable, but I do have to question the value of an exercise that seems to take us away from fully participating in the present.

  2. I just listened to the series on the fear of death. One thing that I think Robert didn’t make very clear is that I think there are two fears associated with death. There’s the fear of dying and the fear of death. I think it was Woody Allen who said “I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” Personally, my fear of death lies mainly in the process of dying, not so much a fear of the state of being dead.

    I think the exercise of projecting yourself being at your own funeral can be useful regarding how we stay present in the moment. It can help us focus on those things that are truly important. So often, we neglect the important (family, relationships, helping others, etc.) because the urgent (job, material things) squeeze them out. Reminding ourselves that, for most people, on their deathbeds what they reflect on are relationships, not money or status can help us not have regrets when our time of passing comes and can keep us focused on the path of mindfulness to make sure we are getting the most out of the life we have now.

    As a Christian who is just beginning to study Buddhism, I do find one its most appealing aspects is mindfulness. I’ve spent enough of my life worrying about the after-life.

  3. Hi Brian and Michael,

    Thanks so much for discussing your feelings about the last podcast here on the blog. It makes me feel so good to see the dialog open up here on a very touchy subject. I think that the next podcast will answer many of the question that you have both put out there for me to ponder. Thanks again for your valuable input.



  4. My wife and i listened to this one together. She has a real problem with fear and anxiety on a daily basis. It has become a stumbling block in our relationship and is sometimes very frustrating. For the 1st time, she listened to a podcast with me and it really seemed to break through to her. next we will move on to the series on self honesty. That is some of your best ‘albeit unsettling” work to date. Please keep up the good work and know that you are extending positivity to more people than you can imagine.

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