Life Passing by in the Blink of an Eye, but What Happens After that Eye Is Shut?

Emma Gonzalez

There are so many possibilities as to what to expect after death or in the afterlife, so many people are reliant upon their religious beliefs to determine what happens next.

The mentality for why people in different religions believe what they do can vary, but some beliefs can be reincarnated into a different person, seeing Allah, or even believing that nothing will happen next.

Junior Justine Nguyen was raised to have a Buddhist religious background and believes that she will reincarnate into another person or living creature and will go through different lives in order to conquer enlightenment. Nguyen discusses an experience where her mom believed that Nguyen’s grandmother was a spider.

“Ẅhen my grandma died there we went to go visit her resting place and when we went, there was a spider that was hanging on her headstone,” said Nguyen. “And there is a little spider there that was just hanging just on that one. It could have moved to another one but it kept swinging all over my grandma’s, so my mom would just [say] that’s her mom.”

In the Muslim religion, it is believed that there were will be a judgment day where humans will either go to Hell or Paradise. Judgement Day is represented through a passage going above Hell on a bridge that leads to Paradise. Everyone who falls off the bridge is overruled by the bad that they did in life and they will be in Hell for eternity. The Islamic religion believes that their soul will be physical in the afterlife.

Junior Jake Preston talks about how his Muslim beliefs have shaped his mind into believing that after death, he will be with Allah and will reach his own Paradise. Preston believes that the only one that knows how everyone will die is Allah and that it is nothing unexpected from Allah.

“Well, in the Muslim faith, we believe that all deaths are planned out from the start and only Allah knows when everyone will die, and it’s all planned out from the moment you’re born, and that’s a good thing,” Preston said. “It’s more focused on whatever Paradise is to you, that’s where you will be when you die. So, there was one prepared for this one person, it was a beautiful garden, the flowing rivers, abundant flowers.”

A group of Christians were interviewed and asked questions regarding the afterlife. 46% of Christians in this group said that they believed in the afterlife and 8% claimed that they are unsure or don’t know. Another 46% of Christians said that they don’t believe in the afterlife. 

Sophomore Kamryn Washington was born into the Christian religion, but she has an open mindset about the afterlife. Washington is not only limited to believing what her Christian background thinks will happen in the afterlife. 

“Recently I kind of stepped away from Christianity a little bit…it’s in a box like I said it’s just really heaven and hell and I think there are way more possibilities,” Washington said. “I think I’ve always had faith in the afterlife because I feel like sometimes I’ve been able to feel spiritual energy or something or I’ve seen like loved ones in a dream, like after they passed away.”

George Yancy, a professor of philosophy at Emory University interviewed an atheist named Todd May. In the interview, May says that he doesn’t believe that humans have a specific purpose in life. May thinks that humans were made to live their lives then die when the time comes. Despite not believing in the afterlife, Todd still cares deeply about life. 

Junior John Morales is currently unknown as to what his religion is right now even though he was born as a Catholic. Morales does not believe in the afterlife, but he imagined that it would be completely white in his mind.

“So, the afterlife for me…I got it from like cartoons and stuff where kind of like Looney Tunes things, and someone’s just like someone gets crushed by something they get a little like white robe and halo and a harp, and then you go to heaven,” said Morales. “It’s like an all-white, and everybody’s playing on clouds and stuff, that’s what that’s what I imagined it.”

In Religious Beliefs on Afterlife, 10 out of 15 people claimed that their religion believes they will either go to heaven or hell in the afterlife. The majority of the people surveyed said they believe that the afterlife will be determined through faith and the life choices they make.

Sophomore Leilani Willard is a Catholic that explains the process behind what she believes will be determined in order to go to heaven or hell. Willard explains the actions and type of person you are will be reflected to decide where you will go in the afterlife.

“I feel like every kind of thing has like a certain value to it… you’re a doctor, you save lives every day, but then, like, you know, you’re a murder…then that’s gonna get you put into hell,” Willard said. “But then when you’re a doctor, you’ve been saving lives all your life, then you’re probably going to get to some type of level of heaven. Yes, it’s not just Heaven and Hell, I think that there’s multiple levels to it.”

Although there are many different views when it comes to the afterlife and what may or may not happen, it is key that people do not get angered or judge for someone else’s ideas. 

“I have like Muslim friends and they tell me about their beliefs and have Jewish friends and I mean I think it’s interesting for people to spread beliefs because it like widens it widens what you think instead of just staying in one box and believing in one thing,” Washington said.