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A human being has different life stages, birth, coming of age, and death. Death is one moment people fear, because it is the end of their life. Death brings opposite feelings different than the birth. When a birth occurs, people are become happy, but when a death happens, sadness prevails. Many persons have beliefs that there is another life after death, while other people argue death means closing door on life. I believe death is a transition from the mortal life to the spirit living in an afterlife. The structure of the law and the moral traditions of a culture determine their views on afterlife. When I was a child, my beliefs were that death was the last stage of the life. My parents never believed people go to another life after they die. My mother told me I could have only one life. If a person dies, he would not have another life. My father agreed with my mother arguing that people should enjoy their lives because when the death comes, life stops. When I was in elementary school, the Science teacher taught me about life forms (Animal and Plant) have life stages, birth, growing up, coming to age, and death. The human body has a biological clock that starts to run at the beginning of the life, and stops working when it comes to the end of the life. Also, I've heard many people speaking that death is the worst nightmare and no one can escape. One of my friends told me he did not want to become old because he was afraid to die. An old person is close to death because the elder years are the last stage of life. When I was a teenager, I began to understand what death would mean for me. I learned death was not only an end of the life for elder people. It also became an unwanted moment for others. Three years ago, I met and talked to a man in the early morning that died that afternoon. I felt badly when I heard the news about that person. I was confused about it, "How could it be possible for the man I was talking to in the early morning to be now dead?" Unfortunately, those words I said did not revive him because he was dead. Also, I figured out that all humans are vulnerable to die; a little accident could end the life of a person. One day my neighbor went with his friends to the river. The day passed, and the neighbor never returned. The neighbor's parents were worried about their son, and they predicted the worst had happened to him. At nine `o clock, the neighbor `s friends returned with sad news, that their friend had died when he jumped into the river. According to the group, the boy wanted to impress everybody with his skill of being an expert swimmer. He jumped to the river and fell on a big rock. This accident, tragic and unnecessary, gives evidence that we do not know the day or the hour when God will take our life. When I was seventeen, I read an article from a magazine about persons who were near to death; they had experiences of some of what death might be like. One of these people wrote this description of death. When he was shoot by a thief; the man saw his own body covered with blood. Then, he was falling into a black hole. After that, the man saw a long walk-in that ends with an entrance. The person went through the entrance and saw his grandfather. The grandfather told the man he was not prepared to enter into the New World. While the person heard grandfather's message, he woke up in the hospital emergency room. As soon as I read that article, my beliefs of death changed because this stories was not a plot of a science fiction movie. It was a real experience told by a real person.When I started to go to the church, my beliefs of death continued to change. By the time I started to study the bible, I found the passing away was not the end of life. The New Testament says when a person is demised the soul is freed from the body and goes to another life. Also, the bible explained that on judgment day people would be reborn on the day of the Second Coming of Jesus to pass judgment on each. At the mass ceremony in church, I heard the resurrection mentioned at the next passage after death into a new life. Today, I still think that humans have another life after they die. I also understand there is no way for people to avoid death. It can happen to anybody. It is the truth people believe death is the doom of the person, but also there are persons like me who believe the afterlife is the next stage of life after death. I know I will die someday, but I have a hope my life will a long and happy one.
Juan A. Cardenes
This essay can be found at http://juancardenes.tripod.com/Afterlife.html