After death what is next?

  • Thread starter teq
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teq

I know this is a question that is discussed time after time... but I really need to talk about it right now and hope someone can listen. :) I have read over many posts here and I feel thankful for your thoughts and concepts which have seeped into my mind already.

I did not grow up as a religious person. You could say I just live by what E.T. said, albeit accidentally: Beee good. (And although I am good and giving, very unlucky things have happened to me in recent months. So karma is truly out the window.) Other than that, I am nearly 27 and in the past few years I have moved completely into "if you can't prove it, then I don't believe it" mode.

My 6-month old dobe puppy died on Saturday. It hit me like a ton of bricks. He was happy in the morning, but by afternoon he could not breathe normally. After only a few short hours at the emergency clinic, he got worse and worse. They tried to revive him but he would not come back. How I wished I could have just stayed there so he would have not been alone in a strange place. Maybe he would have made it through one night. And then another.

All of my energy spent crying. All of my energy spent rubbing his head and saying goodbyes into his soft ears. Feeling the last bit of warmth from his chest. Feeling his paw, and then wishing I hadn't because it was already so cold.

The only energy left is from the candles we have burning for him.

I question our paths in life. I question if somehow, somewhere, he can feel that I cared and that he was so loved. Or was that only possible when he was alive, and that is it? I cringe.

It can really be depressing to admit to yourself on a constant basis that we will never see our loved ones, or pets, ever again. I do not believe that we carry on our memories. I do not believe we are ever physically alive again. I hear the rustle of the leaves, the bugs chirping outside, and the coolness of the breeze, and I feel that is where our energy disappears to when we die.

While sad, this makes sense to me. Does it to you?
 

teq

Just found this.. and going through them now..

http://oyc.yale.edu/philosophy/death/content/class-sessions [Broken]
 
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Whats after death?

A nice well deserved rest.
 
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I honestly don't understand the human fascination with needing 'something' after death.

Are we so deluded we need to believe there is more, whether to justify us being here now or simply to convince ourselves it all doesn't just end.

Nothing. Nowt. Zilch. Sweet F-A.

That's my opinion on it. An opinion rather strongly backed up by fact - we die, our bodies 'stop', we have no reason to think anything else happens.

That is unless you want to go into the realms of the 'paranormal' and 'spiritual' worlds, in which case reality breaks down and you can speculate all you like.

As sad as death can be, I'd rather know those left are celebrating my life and having a good time (I'm going to request large amounts of alcohol and a party for my own funeral). Don't focus on the bad.
 
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Taxes, and health insurance.
 
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No, we have no reason to believe or think that anything at all "happens" after we die. But there's also no reason to be so whack-you-over-head with someone who obviously is very sad.

teq, I'm very sorry for your loss. It's difficult to live through and we all do it, repeatedly, during out lifetimes, and it really doesn't get any better each time. It just has varying degrees based on how close you were to the person to dies. You lost a dear animal and that's hard. The only advice I can give you is to try not to focus on the unknowable and blank concepts of "what next"? and concentrate on the love the joy you two shared while he was around. That's the stuff that counts.

I hope you feel better.
 

FlexGunship

Gold Member
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After death begins decay.

Sorry if it's pragmatic, but it's okay to be sad about that stuff; it's kind of a bummer. We all get a brief chance at life (like your puppy, some chances are briefer than others). But think about all of the possible combinations of genetic profiles and unformed neural pathways that will never exist; not even for a nanosecond.

Your puppy was lucky to experience 6-moths of existence with such a good friend; if only we could all be so lucky as to die with a friend at our sides who will go on remembering us and sharing stories about us long after we can't do it for ourselves.

Is it sad that your dog died? Definitely. But compared to living on the street and starving to death, or never existing at all, living in a nice home seems better. And living with a friend by your side is better still. And dying with that friend there is about the best anyone could hope for. You should feel good that, of all the possible lives he could've lived, you gave him the best.

If you really want to celebrate his memory, then find another puppy in need of the same type of love. We all get a tiny glimpse of existence. Making it the best glimpse possible should be everyone's goal.
 
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We really don't know what happens spiritually after death. We know what happens physically. If you come to this forum, most will say there is nothing spiritual after death. If you go to the church and ask the same question, they will say there is paradise after death, although, many of them will say there is no place for dogs in heaven. Still others with tell you that you will meet your puppy again. Ask the people who will tell you the answer you want to hear, or just accept your own gut feeling. It all amounts to the same thing. Nobody really knows.

Since you can't know, all you can do is live this life as best you can and appreciate those you love as much as possible. You cared for your little puppy as best you could, and he knew that while he lived. Unfortunately it wasn't in the cards for him to have a long life. Had he lived to 15 years and if you had to put him down to prevent his final suffering, then your pain would be worse. That is the nature of our life. The longer you have your loved ones, the more it hurts to lose them. You just have to accept things you can't control and do your best on the things you can control.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
 
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There was nothing for you before life, so it's reasonable to assume there's nothing for you after death.
In the year 3000, I'll have the same thoughts and feelings as I did in the year 1000.
 

Ivan Seeking

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While sad, this makes sense to me. Does it to you?
I am sorry about your puppy. As a diehard animal lover, I can completely sympathize with your sadness.

It sounds to me like you came here for belief confirmation. This is a good place given that PF is probably >90% atheist - at least, this is true for the more outspoken members.

I agree with what has been said here with a qualifier. We have no scientific evidence that there is anything beyond death. To say there is no evidence of any kind is false. We have perhaps thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that says they may be more beyond the grave, so I don't limit the possibilities to only those things that we know with high confidence. History has shown that our expectations are usually wrong.

In practical terms, we have to live in the here and now. I don't think belief one way or the other matters to anyone but you. Since we can never know for sure, believe whatever makes you the happiest. In either case it becomes a leap of faith.
 
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I agree with what has been said here with a qualifier. We have no scientific evidence that there is anything beyond death. To say there is no evidence of any kind is false. We have perhaps thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that says they may be more beyond the grave, so I don't limit the possibilities to only those things that we know with high confidence. History has shown that our expectations are usually wrong.
I take some issue with this.

If you're talking about NDE's, there are plenty of explanations out there for them. Nothing magical and wonderous.

Aside from that you're left with ghosts and the like, again, so far all explainable.

I'd also add that misunderstanding of phenomena over the last few thousand years doesn't make it paranormal. Just because someone saw something and attributed it to an afterlife/ghosts/or otherwise, doesn't make it so and certainly doesn't make it evidence for.

We have no evidence for there being an afterlife. We have no evidence for there being ghosts. We have no evidence for anything paranormal aside from what people claim. All of which have been disproven.

I'm not saying this proves it doesn't exist, but it certainly doesn't assert it does exist and there's no reason to assume it may exist until evidence for it comes to light.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I take some issue with this.

If you're talking about NDE's, there are plenty of explanations out there for them. Nothing magical and wonderous.
There are only explanations if we ignore the reports that lack explanations.

Aside from that you're left with ghosts and the like, again, so far all explainable.
A leap of faith and completely indefensible. We assume they are all explainable until faced with scientific evidence otherwise. However, an assumption is not necessarily a fact.

I'd also add that misunderstanding of phenomena over the last few thousand years doesn't make it paranormal. Just because someone saw something and attributed it to an afterlife/ghosts/or otherwise, doesn't make it so and certainly doesn't make it evidence for.

We have no evidence for there being an afterlife. We have no evidence for there being ghosts. We have no evidence for anything paranormal aside from what people claim. All of which have been disproven.
That statement is just plain false. We have no scientific evidence, but you can't infer that to mean that all other accounts are false. Scientific evidence is the highest form of evidence. You could prove the existence of ghosts in a court a law before you could in the court of science.

I'm not saying this proves it doesn't exist, but it certainly doesn't assert it does exist and there's no reason to assume it may exist until evidence for it comes to light.
That is a completely accurate statement for science. But I was talking about anecdotal evidence.

It is important to understand your definitions.
 
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I am sorry about your puppy. As a diehard animal lover, I can completely sympathize with your sadness.


We have perhaps thousands of years of anecdotal evidence that says they may be more beyond the grave, so I don't limit the possibilities to only those things that we know with high confidence. History has shown that our expectations are usually wrong.

In practical terms, we have to live in the here and now. I don't think belief one way or the other matters to anyone but you. Since we can never know for sure, believe whatever makes you the happiest. In either case it becomes a leap of faith.
I sympathize with OP for his loss, but i have to ask, in the thousands of years of anecdotal evidence did anyone ask - do animals (other than humans) may have more after death ? I think its just history - people asking philosophical questions of what comes after death and to them the obvious answer (without any evidence) at that time was soul or spirit or something.
 
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There are only explanations if we ignore the reports that lack explanations.
Lack of explanation does not imply anything mystical or magical. It just means we don't understand it.
A leap of faith and completely indefensible. We assume they are all explainable until faced with scientific evidence otherwise. However, an assumption is not necessarily a fact.
I assume nothing. Every ghost 'evidence' I've been shown so far has been explainable in a completely non-paranormal way. I dismiss ghosts until evidence for them comes to light. It's not that I believe they're all false, I'm dismissing they could ever be real. In the same way I dismiss the notion of a god.
That statement is just plain false. We have no scientific evidence, but you can't infer that to mean that all other accounts are false. Scientific evidence is the highest form of evidence. You could prove the existence of ghosts in a court a law before you could the court of science.
Being a physics forum and having very clear rules regarding mainstream science topics, speculation and the requirement of evidence, I would have thought it's clear where the stance should be (and why mine is) on anecdotal, speculative and non-mainstream science topics. Or are you implying that discussion of certain topics be allowed under special circumstances?
That is a completely accurate statement for science. But I was talking about anecdotal evidence.

It is important to understand your definitions.
As above.
 

FlexGunship

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I sympathize with OP for his loss, but i have to ask, in the thousands of years of anecdotal evidence did anyone ask - do animals (other than humans) may have more after death ? I think its just history - people asking philosophical questions of what comes after death and to them the obvious answer (without any evidence) at that time was soul.
I would say that there's no reason to go down this road. The OP can be proud of the fact that he gave his puppy the best 6-months possible and was there with him until his last moment.

Even without speculating about the afterlife, the OP can be happy with the way things went. Sad about the loss? Absolutely. In grief? Sure. But with or without puppy heaven, the OP gave his puppy the best existence possible which is more than a lot of dogs (and humans) can say.
 
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I would say that there's no reason to go down this road. The OP can be proud of the fact that he gave his puppy the best 6-months possible and was there with him until his last moment.

Even without speculating about the afterlife, the OP can be happy with the way things went. Sad about the loss? Absolutely. In grief? Sure. But with or without puppy heaven, the OP gave his puppy the best existence possible which is more than a lot of dogs (and humans) can say.
I wasn't addressing the OP, I was addressing as suggested that there was some anecdotal evidence was present to suggest afterlife.
 

Chi Meson

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To the OP, most of the personality you perceived in the dog was your projection of a personality combined with the dog's conditioned response to you and your actions.

That's not to suggest it is any less real. Maybe that's all a personality is for anyone. The point is, you can have nearly the same dog again by getting another one. We almost seamlessly went from one dog to the next dog about 2 years ago. Nothing takes the heartache away like a puppy in the house.
 

drizzle

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If one would accept that the whole universe has emerged from nothing, then it won't be such a big deal to accept the possibility of the afterlife... IMO
 

FlexGunship

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If one would accept that the whole universe has emerged from nothing, then it won't be such a big deal to accept the possibility of the afterlife... IMO
Fundamental difference. Math and physics behind one, neither math nor physics behind the other.

(Not making claims to veracity of either!)
 

teq

Thank you everyone for responding. I really appreciate this opportunity to hear your opinions during this time.

@jarednjames
I don't understand the human fascination with needing something after death either. But when something happens to me personally, my need for something else becomes very big. Suddenly, my lifelong pokes at others for being so disillusioned with religion feels so cold. I am not religious and never will be, but I am a serious nurturer and so sensitive. My mind wanders on the possibilities of anything else. (P.S. Your idea for a funeral sounds very proper.)

@GeorginaS
Thank you very much, I am feeling better today. Mostly I feel terrible that his life was so short and wish I did more to prevent it. I had a feeling that something wasn't right with him but did not act on it fast enough. (Not letting that happen again.) I agree that joy and happiness needs to be experienced right now.

@FlexGunship
Thanks. "We all get a tiny glimpse of existence. Making it the best glimpse possible should be everyone's goal." That will stick with me.

@stevenb
Thank you. "You just have to accept things you can't control and do your best on the things you can control." Wise words.

@leroyjenkens
Well, Lerooooy... that is one of the most logical things I've ever heard. I'll remember that.

@Ivan Seeking
You are right, I was seeking a confirmation during this time. My husband feels the same way that I do, but I needed a little more from others who aren't currently sad. Sad really puts a spin on thoughts. Thank you and best wishes to your pets.

@Chi Meson
To me, dogs are the best possible pets and connect with you on a special level. During all of my spats of crying, my other dog stares at me and acts concerned. I can tell that if he could talk, he would want to ask me what is going on. Until they evolve (ha) he shows me concern with extra kisses and a paw on the lap. Then he will sit or lay very close to me. We will be getting another puppy as soon as possible. (Setting ourselves up for more losses since Dobermans have a short life and can face a mix of health issues during it. But I love them and have to deal with it.)

@drizzle
That is a good point and challenges the words of leroyjenkens.

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lisab

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Such a beautiful dog! I'm so sorry teq.

I know how you feel. I had a yellow lab, also 6 months, who I took to the vet because her mouth looked weird. He said it's just her teeth coming in, they do that sometimes, and it should fix itself.

So we took her on vacation with us, and she got worse and worse. We cut the trip short and brought her back to the vet who was very concerned, she looked terrible.

Long story short, she died - it was a tetanus infection! I felt so bad that I took her on vacation when she was so sick. I have that same feeling of not acting fast enough.

Her name was Zoe, she was such a great dog. This was over 10 years ago and I still feel bad about it.
 

Evo

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I'm so sorry for your loss teq. Don't blame yourself. It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you. Despite what someone said, he can never be replaced, dogs are as individual and have just as unique personalities as humans. But you can always give your love to another one. Is that the mother in the picture? Is she still with you?
 
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teq, maybe just never mind what philosophy has to say, just get another pup, love it, and think that perhaps your former puppy's spirit feels the joy that you and the new pup are sharing...

OF
 

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