I believe in the afterlife, Heaven, whatever you want to call it. I believe that there is more than just this life and time we live on earth. But fear of the unknown, the bane of all introverts times a million, has always tinged the notion of The Great Beyond with anxiety and dread for me, like a party where you haven’t seen the guest list and there isn’t a clear dress code.
So, when I read an article about Betty White recently, this excerpt gave me an excellent framework for upgrading the way I feel about continuing the journey.
“…her mother taught her to view dying as “the one secret that we don’t know. Whenever we would lose somebody… she would always say, ‘Well, now he knows the secret.’”*
I don’t want to go anytime soon, but thinking of death, both my own and those of my loved ones, as simply learning the secret of what comes next is not only comforting but makes me feel like it might just be a big adventure and maybe I should stop wondering/worrying about:
What form we take (our younger selves, angelic in flowing robes, amorphous with a form of eternal mind melding?)
Who will meet us when we get there (Grammy and Grampy? Blaze, my childhood dog?)
Will we need to atone for every dumb thing we ever said? Or the things we didn’t say?
Will we have to endure the irritating, boorish people we tried to avoid in life for all eternity?!
Is there a jazz club where I can meet Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald?
Do we eat and if so, are there calories involved?
Do I need a Pearly Gates Public Library card?
I’m happy to patiently wait 30 or 40 more years to discover the secret of What’s On The Other Side. Hey, people are living into triple digits every day and scientists believe that the first person to live to 150 has already been born!
I hope you get to wait a good, long time to find out, too!
*Closer Magazine excerpt