It’s not fun to think about death. Or what happens after death. Are there pearly gates? Raging fires? Unending blackness? Our family and loved ones? Woof. Lots to think about, lots to freak out about. But in the face of so much unknown, I do know this: When I die, I’ll go into a stone box in Meridian, Idaho, just down the road from my childhood home.
I feel too young to have this solidified, but two years ago I bought the stone plot in a mausoleum where my cremated remains will someday go (hopefully MANY years from now). After my grandfather passed away, my parents and godparents elected to purchase their own columbariums (that’s what you call it, apparently?) next to his and my grandmother’s. With a box available next door, it felt like the right thing to do to invest early in the eternal neighborhood.
Which is weird! It’s really weird! I have a final destination on this Earth! My death has shape and form in a way like never before! It’s kind of terrifying, actually. (Although I was assured multiple times by the church secretary who sold me my plot that it was easily refundable should my plans change. Lol.)
Weirdness aside, having a definitive place where I know my body will go does offer some sort of comfort. There’s a plan in place for this side of the great beyond, which maybe opens the door to more easily consider the plan for the other side. What is really beyond? What happens? What does it look like? Will we know peace? God? Reunion with loved ones?
Death is weird. Death is scary. Death comes for us all. But maybe we can talk about it openly — with humor and curiosity — that what is unknown can be scaled and overcome. Above all, perhaps there is hope for a tangible place for us all after life.
In this month’s edition, we’ll be exploring the many stories and emotions that accompany the topic of death — from asking questions about the afterlife to grieving deaths of loved ones to facing our mortality. We don’t have all the answers, but we hope you join us in contemplating some of these big questions.