If you’re reading this post, you, my friend, are dying.
I know this isn’t news to you. We’re all aware that the moment we’re born, we’ve begun the process of death. In the comforting light of day, it’s a concept of inevitability that easily rolls off the tongue, just like saying you have to pay your taxes or eat and drink to survive.
But when it’s nighttime, with everyone asleep and it’s just you, the darkened silence and the realization that you only get so many sunny mornings, it becomes the most important and terrifying reality in the world. And what makes it so frightening? It’s simple. Nobody truly knows what happens after you take your last breath. Other than Jesus, no one has ever truly come back from the dead, and he’s not around to interview. Near Death Experiences are too nebulous with too many differing tales of the other side to bring into the mix of hard fact.
Why am I focusing on something that will just make me, and you, uneasy? Because death is the single greatest mystery in the human experience. We all know someone who has died. No one exits stage left without having it touch their life, time and time again.
Pretty scary, right? Now here’s the twist.
I don’t feel we have to be so scared or uncertain at all. I say that because I see proof of an afterlife all the time. Hell, I once had it pay me a personal visit in a cramped hotel room in Barcelona and literally take hold of me.
Show of hands, who reading this has ever seen a ghost? OK, those of you who didn’t raise them, bring them up high if you know someone who says they did. I see a lot of hands.
Ghosts and their accompanying spooky stories didn’t start with Hollywood or Ghost Hunters on TV. They’ve been around for as long as people have been dying. Depending on the polls you read, anywhere from 18% to 40% of people across the globe have seen a ghost. It makes me wonder why we, as a society, don’t devote more serious study to the phenomena. For my money, if you can prove that they are in fact real and not a subconscious projection of the living, and that they were, at one time, alive and on earth, well, then you’ve just shattered the greatest fear and answered the greatest question known to man in one fell swoop.
No, we’d rather spend a million dollars in grant money to study the sex life of sea snails and leave the exploration of man’s eternal soul to new age folks and lay groups of people who gather to seek out the paranormal. It makes no sense. I can only assume that even scientists are too afraid to eyeball death.
Sure, I write about ghosts in a fictional way, but that’s my process of exploring the things I’ve experienced in a format that’s familiar to me. Ghost stories scare the piss out of us because they force us to face our own inevitable end, and wonder what made the floorboard creek at the foot of our bed. We’re scared because it’s a great unknown and we’ll have to face it, alone, some day.
I know that my gandparents still exist somewhere, in some form, because of what I’ve seen with an open mind. Death is not the end, but rather the beginning of the rest of our lives. Now let’s cast aside our fear, get serious and prove it to the rest of the world.
~Hunter Shea is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Forest of Shadows, available in print and e-book.
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