What waits after death?

He’s lying down on a velvet cushion. His body is rigid and somebody fastened under his folded hands a beaded rosary and a crucifix. I look at the man in front of me, scrutinizing his face. “Does he look like your grandfather?” my mom whispers. I nod, noting how the slope of his nose and the wrinkle of his brow is an uncanny resemblance to that of my grandfather. Under the incandescent light, I notice how this person’s face has turned rubbery. The flesh where blood once flowed is now stiff and decaying despite the chemicals injected in its veins. This person looks so different from the man in the framed picture on the casket. An elderly woman who I assume to be his wife cries softly behind me.  I remain quiet, respectful.  Death is not something I am familiar with and the emotions that come with it. One would be sad, desperate even, if a loved one has passed away. I have attended a fair amount of funerals at my age. But they’re always of someone I barely knew. This one, in particular, were of my grandfather’s brother. There were no emotions attached, just sympathy out of respect. With this, I wonder how I would react if someone that I dearly love would pass away. Would I cry? Or would I bottle it up, appearing stoic but a mess inside? Would I even be ready? Then again, death is never something you could prepare for. Even those expecting death would waver until their last breath. It’s a question even Hamlet has pondered on. What waits after death? Heaven? Reincarnation? Or simply nothing at all?


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