I'd like to lighten the mood with some introspectives on what some cultures choose to believe about death. Sure, the word itself can bring profound sadness to most of us (hey, we're only human!), but we as individuals choose to look at what death means. Is it the end, or the beginning, or just a continuation? My beliefs undoubtedly seep into my stories, and so far, my characters usually agree with me...unless it's part of their journey. Either way, they end up agreeing with me in the end.
To Buddhists, death leads to rebirth. To Hindus, who also believe in rebirth, people are reincarnated into creatures that reflect the nature of their souls. Evil people die and come back over and over as insignificant creatures like fleas and roaches, while good souls continue to do good in order to gain ultimate Self-knowledge.
In Norse mythology, reincarnation is mentioned as well, though death can be a complex topic this blog isn't long enough to accommodate. While Christians believe in heaven and hell, they also believe they can speak to those who've passed and that they may be watched-over by their loved ones from high above. Atheists don't believe in continuation after death at all...mighty depressing!
I believe we're all part of the same energy, we all come from the same source. Each life we lead teaches us to become wiser and knowledgeable about the meaning of life itself. Our consciousness expands, whether we're in physical or non-physical form. The person who passed just exists somewhere else.
It's those of us who are left behind in this physical realm that have a hard time because we miss the companionship or love or friendship--something that was unmistakeable and easy to see/hear/feel while they were in our physical world. In my writing, because I'm fascinated with war and the experiences men and women have while in life-threatening and demanding situations, I'm also fascinated by how people deal with surviving: survivor's guilt, battle fatigue, PTSD. The list goes on.
So while death and taxes usually are cause for different levels of sadness/anxiety/depression, never forget that unless you're a true atheist, there's something to grasp in terms of death not being the end of a person. Death frees our souls in more ways than not. And it puts a definite end to taxes. Well, after the death tax, of course.