Death and Afterlife

What happens after Death? Everybody wants to know, but no one wants to die to try and find out! So this remains a million dollar question. Here's what we like to imagine happens after Death, so enjoy this figment of our imagination ;)

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3. The Courtroom

I wonder whether I should feel sad ... or happy, or afraid, now that I realise I am dead. I am not sure how to react. It doesn't seem to be affecting me in any way ... maybe I don't have feelings anymore.

I walk ahead on the winding road which doesn't seem to have an end at all. I am unsure of what to do, where to go, how to think ... all I know for sure now is that I am dead, and this is probably afterlife. But why can't I see heaven, or hell or anything like that? All I can see is this ever-winding road, which goes on and on, holding no promises of answers, provided no assurance of delivering me to safety. I just walk and walk, dead to the world but alive alone to my senses. 

There is no measure of time in this strange world I am in, but if there was, I am sure I have been walking for hours now. There is nothing on this road - it's desolate, dark and cold. If I had feelings left in me, I think I would be tired and angry now. But those terms just sound so foreign to me, as though I am a creature superior than all that, detached from the working and moving universe. 

Finally, I see light ahead. A shimmering, warm, golden light. It attracts me, beckons me to approach. It does not look like a part of this strange road - instead, it looks somewhat like a fortress. A fortress of hope and joy. A fortress I can put my faith in. A fortress I can seek sanctuary in. I am met by a queer sensation - one that feels familiar but yet so strange. I feel hope.

Without second thoughts, I approach the fortress. It is still a shimmering, golden light but much more defined now that I'm closer. It stretches upwards like a skyscraper, only it looks more magnificent and majestic than anything I remember having ever seen in my mortal life. I can see a huge, open, oak-front door and for the first time, I am met by another feeling - foreboding. Must I enter this fortress after all? Is it really safe? it just looks so easy. 

But the appeal of the enormous structure is overwhelming and I find myself walking through the doors as if in a trance. The first thing I see inside is a long, long queue. A queue of people like me, translucent and silvery, waiting and waiting since who knows when. Something tells me I am supposed to join the queue. And so I do that. I join the endless line of lost souls, waiting and waiting for some reason.

Again, if there was a measure of time in this place, I would say I have been waiting in line for years. Decades. Maybe centuries. Or several millennia, there is no way to tell. But I wait and wait and the never-ending line moves on very sluggishly, but I feel nothing. No frustration. No anger. I just wait and wait as though my entire existence depends upon it.

Finally it's my turn. I have no idea what awaits me on this other end of the line, but all I see when I reach the front is a closed door. Tentatively, I push it open, and what I see is simply a treat for the eyes.

I'm in a courtroom the size of a cathedral, except this courtroom is not anything I would have ever expected to witness. It is colourful and vibrant, as though all the shades of all the existing colours in the universe have been splashed in this vast canvas. The bright room stretched on in all directions, and I see no walls at all. It is as though I have walked into a fairyland, a seven-year-old's fantasy. I walk down the aisle set between two rows of pews, like a church, and for the first time I see people sitting there. These are not marauding souls like me, these are solid people with mass. They all look at me in unison, a forced smiled plastered on their faces. I wonder who they are as I glide down the aisle and walk up to the front where I see a long table facing the gigantic courtroom, a tall and authoritative man sitting in the center of it. He looks down at me and smiles a pleasant smile, as though meeting me had been the sole purpose of his life. A weird feeling in my gut tells me who he is.

He is God. 

God is an overwhelming presence - just looking at Him causes a warm feeling to spread through my body. He is mesmerising, both in his charisma and character. He is wearing a formal grey suit, wire-rimmed glasses and a goatee; and also an ever-so-radiant smile that I return whole-heartedly. I know I can trust Him. I want to trust Him. He is God after all. Sitting beside him on the table are a huge set of golden scales, flanked on both sides by equally large golden bowls containing sparkling black and white jewels. I wonder what they are for. 

"Talia Jean McIntyre," God reads out from a scroll. "I trust you are Talia?"

I nod, as if in a trance. He smiles.

"Talia, the cause of your death was you being hit by a speeding car," he continues to read from him scroll, tutting sympathetically. "Only fourteen. Ah, that is sad. Very sad indeed. Talia, I believe you have already crossed the Road of Reverie?"

"I'm sorry?"

"The Road of Reverie, my child. Memories from your mortal life, I trust you have already seen them?"

"Oh ... yes, that. Yes, I have."

He nods patiently. "Then you must already know that your life on Earth has ended," he says. "And I am here to welcome you to afterlife. Now, what your afterlife is going to be like, you will decide."

I just stare at him. He smiles again, pointing at the scales beside him. "Talia, in these fourteen years of your life, you have performed various deeds. Some were good, some were bad. I will weigh them in these scales and decide whether you must be sent to Heaven as reward for a noble life, or whether you should be pushed into Hell as a punishment for a cruel life. So that means your former deeds will now decide your fate in afterlife."

I am met by another feeling all of a sudden - trepidation. What if my life on Earth was a cruel one? What if I am put in Hell? I don't want to go to Hell. I want to be in Heaven ...

God consults his scroll again. "Ah, Talia, you once helped you're injured brother with his school work, did you not?"

As He says these words I feel the flashback coming to me. My young brother, his right arm fractured, unable to write, helpless, a ten-year-old me doing his school work for him ... I nod vaguely. God picks up three sparkling white stone from the golden bowl and places them on one of the scales. He reads again.

"Hmm, did you once cheat in an examination?"

The flashback hits me. A class test in Year 8, the history test, a particularly difficult question about the French Revolution, a confused me furtively peering at the other kid's answer paper, hastily scribbling down the answer on mine ... I nod again. God picks up one black stone and places it on the other scale.

This goes on, as God reads out my deeds from his scroll and continues to place the right stones on the right scale, according to the magnitude of the goodness or badness of the particular deed, and I watch the scales balance out my karma, teetering on the brink of favouring the bad side. Please, please ... I don't want to go to Hell. Please don't send me to Hell.

God looks grim. "It looks like the bad side of the scales are standing out," he says. "But oh, there is one more deed I need to read out." He looks at his scroll. "Ah, ah yes. Talia, did you once save a puppy from drowning?

I get the flashback again. A stray puppy, whimpering from cold, drowning in a lake, a thirteen-year-old me wading through the murky waters to save it ... I nod absently. God smiles a bright smile and adds ten sparkling white jewels to the good side of the scales.

He then winks at me and says, "I would not send an innocent fourteen-year-old girl like you to Hell just for cheating in examinations, would I?" He smiled and addresses the jury. "Show of hands - those who object?"

Nobody raises their hands. God smiles again. "I see, so we are very clear, are we not?" He gestures to a small knot of people sitting in the front pews, and they stand up and walk towards me. "My angels will take you to Heaven from here. I wish you a merry afterlife Talia."

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