People Describe What They Really Believe Happens When We Die
Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

One of the greatest mysteries that continues to elude us is what happens when we die.

Because there is absolutely no way of knowing until the moment we take our last breath arrives, mankind has speculated what happens in the afterlife since our existence.
But what is that exactly? Existing. It's a concept as vague as death itself, yet is a balanced dualism.

Many religions and spiritual belief systems believe in life after death–that one's passing is merely but a transition into the next realm of existence.

But we, as human beings, also like to imagine–if only just to bring us a sense of comfort–that something wonderful awaits us.

Are we immediately reborn? Do we go to TheGood Place?

People shared their various thoughts and ideas when Redditor throwawayacctlmaooo asked:

"What do you legitimately believe happens after we die?"

Not having a clue what happens was a common response, and some quoted literature or movies to convey what they thought did the concept justice.


"I don't know and that's mostly okay by me. Sometimes I stress about it because I enjoy my life right now and I'd like to keep it, but other times I realize there's a lot we don't know about existence. It's kind of weird to see living things blip in and out of existence for what is, ultimately, such a short time."

"People have long since said that children tend to reference memories that couldn't be theirs. There are countless stories of older people seeing people before their passing. Many people cite having dreams or waking nightmares about loved ones passing suddenly even though they had no idea death was imminent."

"In my humble opinion, if there's more to life than our current, we'll find out when we get there. If not, I suppose it won't hurt us either way. We just need to remember to enjoy the good times as much as we can so when the time comes, there's no regrets."

– tehnutmeg

A Quote Describes It Best

"No idea, but there is this quote from the TV show 'The Good Place' that I really like and have found comfort in."

'Picture a wave. In the ocean. You can see it, measure it, its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through. And it's there. And you can see it, you know what it is. It's a wave.'

'And then it crashes in the shore and it's gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be, for a little while. You know it's one conception of death for Buddhists: the wave returns to the ocean, where it came from and where it's supposed to be.'

– AlexEvenstar

Words Of Wisdom From LOTR

"Gandalf to Pipin:"

"PIPPIN: I didn't think it would end this way."

"GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it."

"PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?"

"GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise."

"PIPPIN: Well, that isn't so bad."

"GANDALF: No. No, it isn't."

– DiabeticDave1

A Poignant Novel

"I was forced to read a book called 'Tuesday's with Morrie' in my english class. I hated it, because I was forced to read it, despite it being a great book."

"Anyway, somewhere in the book that i forgot, there's this quote, a joke I guess."

"The story is about a little wave, bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air-until henotices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore. 'My God, this is terrible,' the wave says. 'Look what's going to happen to me!'"

"Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?' The first wave says, 'You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't it terrible?'"

"The second wave says, 'No, you don't understand. You're not a wave, you're part of the ocean.'”

"Anyway, I thought it related. And read 'Tuesday's with Morrie', it's good!"


People found peace in accepting non-existence.

State Of Not Being

"Just like before you were born. Not good, not bad, just non existence."

– SniffCheck

"In the great words of Mark Twain:"

'I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.'

– Eva__Unit__02

Not Dreaming

"It’s basically being unconscious and not dreaming. I find it comforting."

– UncleRooku87

Life Goes On Without Us

"Almost everything continues like it did before we died. It’s not that the party is going to end, it’s that we must leave and the party will go on without us."

"But your question is probably about what will we personally experience after death..There will simply be no more me to experience anything, just like there was no me before I was born."

– Bilbo_Fraggins

A perpetual existence through transformation or rebirth was another idea that brought comfort.


"Our energy — just like that of every living thing before us — will go on and become new things. Soil. Plants. Lions. Toilet paper. Space ship wheel arches. Dragon fly toes. We're all just part of the same system. Neither manufactured nor destroyed. We're just transferring that bestowed upon us from all those before. Death is life."

– four__beasts

A Father's Poem

"My dad wrote a poem a few days before he died that basically said this - i don't have it with me and it was much more poetic, but it basically said 'i died a star and was born a planet, I died a bird and was born a seed, why should I be scared of dying rather than excited to be born again?'"

"At some point I want to get it tattooed (he died in 2020)"

– ermagerditssuperman


"I like how Thich Nhat Hanh taught it (paraphrasing here): We have our human ancestors. We also have vegetable ancestors, mineral ancestors, animal ancestors. All of these things exist within each other, the philosophy of interbeing."

"The vegetables you eat don't cease to exist, they become part of you."

"Just yesterday I laid my 4-legged best friend to rest. Instead of cremation or burial, he was laid down surrounded by flowers (he was a squirrel I had raised, so a small animal). Another creature likely already came along, whether a coyote, vulture, hawk, or any other such animals we have around here. He will live on in another form."

– SuperflyX13

A Fresh Start

"i'd like to think we reset like a game and we could choose weather we get reborn or go to some sort of heaven or something."

– No_But_Yes_

According To Calculations...

"I'm under the impression that death is a separate experience we can't comprehend. Like someone with vision will never truly know the concept of blindness or someone with hearing will never know the concept of deafness."

"You only experience it while you're doing it and I am currently experiencing being alive as a human. You don't know what it was like before you were born because you're obviously alive. Just like you don't know deafness because your ears work."

"Beyond that, I believe the universe is in endless million-trillion year long cycles of growth and collapse and the fact that I exist at all means, throughout infinity, I am a guaranteed mathematic outcome and must repeat again."

"If you have infinite space, infinite time, and infinite possibilities, everything will repeat eventually. If you have infinite space, infinite time, but limited possibilities, what currently exists is a possibility and must repeat eventually. If you have limited space, but infinite time, and limited possibilities, what currently exists is a possibility and must repeat eventually. I don't believe a combination of limited space, limited time, and limited possibilities even exists but if it does I believe that means the limited time, space, and possibilities is contained within something and must always exist, meaning this world always exists as if a point on a graph."

"In the time between I think it's possible for atoms and particles that once made my brain to periodically reunite for small periods of time meaning that my memories will echo for eternity. Potentially, if mixed with other memories, or reuniting in someone else's brain, fragments of me exist for all time in varying degrees of sentience and lucidity."

"I find something as simple as 'God' or even 'Nothing' to be too limiting to be accurate. I feel like 'nothing' is just one out of an unimaginable number of possibilities. To claim to know one single answer out of infinity is ridiculous - and that extends to people who thoroughly believe in any religion. 'Religion' and 'Nothing' are two explanations out of infinity and neither are likely to be true by that ratio."

"I also think it's a little silly to suggest that there're no elements at play in regards to the universe, consciousness, and sentience that might escape human comprehension or scientific observable measurement. We're limited by our technology and our own minds and to think that humans have (or even can) unlock the secrets to everything is foolish. I absolutely believe that the universe works in ways which can't, and never can, be measured."

– bermudalily

The length of our journeys on this planet varies, but we all inevitably wind up making a departure towards the unknown.

The idea is frightening to some, while others accept the unknown and find peace in what lies ahead on the other side.

Wherever that may be, I hope it's a place where our energies reunite with the memories of those with whom we traveled closely as passengers on planet earth.

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