All those zealots who promised you some sort of magical conception of afterlife were lying through their teeth.
Death isn't that bad. It's not too different from falling into anesthetic sleep. You end up not all that sure where life ceased and death began. It's inaccurate to say death begins though, because death, or at least the act of being dead, doesn't really begin or end or have any sort of middle. That's how I see it anyway and I should know, since I see everything.
When you die the happenings of the world go on permanent parallel hiatus, societies that had been lively and abuzz stand silent and frozen like photographs without photographs, an entire civilization stuck in a moment waiting for a flash.
You can wait. Wait for it all to start up again. Wait with bating pretense. It's not moving.
The farseeing throng of Earth's intellectuals couldn't foresee this. I imagined heaven or hell or reincarnation or a basement card game with my great-grandfathers. I got loneliness. I got the privilege to be privy to the personal split-seconds of six billion people. A sleeping policeman parked outside a convenience store. The brilliant geophysicist in his study reading Archie comics. An admirable lady hitting the bong.
When you die your senses disappear. You don't need them anymore. What you're left with is the ability to move throughout the world, perceiving things as a movie camera would, able to travel up and down and all around the Earth. I tried to go to space once but I guess there is an end of the universe and it's only miles above us. The Mariana Trench is far too dark to navigate.
Your body remains in hiatus. The first thing you see when you're dead is you. Dead. The final breath dancing above your head, ready to disperse into a vibrant world. That breath has been dancing above my former head for quite some time now in Room 345 of Glendon-Krantz Memorial Hospoital. It's never going to disperse.
I was never hypersensitive to the actions of others, but I have to admit that it kind of smarts that my brother was partying in Vegas when I died. And that my sister was on the beach in Santa Monica applying an extra layer of suntan lotion to her already burnt skin. My ex-wife was too busy fucking her boyfriend to ring me and see how I was doing.
I had hoped maybe I'd see Mom and Pop when I got here. Instead I'm just stuck with all the people I had already been sharing space with for 34 years. What's another eternity between friends?
It was interesting for a while to explore snapshots of the lives of top Hollywood celebrities or sports superstars or senators who all appear to be doing the political minimum up in Washington D.C. That feels like eons ago. It might just be, though who knows how long an eon is. I'd check but the books are all frozen in time. I can't measure my time here in days because days depend on the rotation of the Earth and this ball hasn't spun in ages.
It's been forever.