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What happens after we die?


Do you believe “life” (insert your preferred word here: consciousness/spirit/soul, etc) goes on in some altered form after death? We probably won’t ever know the full details, but there is significant evidence to confirm that in fact, energy cannot be destroyed, instead it merely changes form. Your religious belief system might have given you some structure around this idea. But even within the same faith tradition, each believer typically has their own specifics for how to interpret ancient wisdom about death.


Have you been watching the documentary series Surviving Death on Netflix? A client mentioned it to me a few weeks ago, so I quickly watched all six episodes. The information was so compelling that now I'm re-watching the series, this time with my husband. The topics cover psychic mediums, near-death experiences, reincarnation, and examples of “signs” received from deceased loved ones.


red cardinal on snowy background
Cardinals are often considered a sign from a loved one! Photo by Chris Chow via Unsplash

My skeptical self typically questions unexplained coincidences, but some “signs” are just too obvious to deny. I have worked with many bereaved families who have clearly received remarkable “messages” from a deceased loved one.


From my point of view as a lifelong skeptic, much of this series (based on a book of the same title) could be categorized as investigation into paranormal phenomena and/or pseudoscience. However, I encourage you to keep an open mind, and then reconsider what you think you “know for sure.”


The death of a loved one causes us to question our own mortality. We can’t help but wonder: "exactly where are they now?" Many grievers feel comforted by the knowledge that their loved one is “in heaven” or have been reunited with other deceased loved ones. The stories in Surviving Death are more anecdotal than hard science, but the shared experiences will give you food for thought.


The most important takeaway question: what do you believe will happen at the time of your death? Exploring that idea in depth can feel challenging, but thinking about it will likely remove some of your own fears about death.


More common than you think: Up to 20% of resuscitated patients report a near-death-experience. Photo by Mat Reding via Unsplash

The four most commonly reported near-death experiences include: an out-of-body experience, seeing or moving through a tunnel-like formation, seeing a bright light or multicolored lights, and an overwhelming feeling of peace or love.


Of course, we probably won’t have a chance to choose the one we most prefer when the time comes! Just by imagining the options, we can reduce our universal anxiety about the unknown.


What do you believe will happen

at the moment of your death,

and then what happens after that?


If you are struggling with grief, or other issues related to death, I can help!


Brought to you by:

Pam Kuras, MSW, LCSW, GC-C

Johnston Integrative Counseling, PLLC

58 Old Roberts Rd, Benson NC 27504

919-912-5736