One of the best things about managing our community is having the opportunity to ask all of you your opinions about life after death. After all, despite what others may claim, no-one really knows what happens when we die. So, your guess is really as good as mine!

That said, I do believe that there are interesting things to learn from the way that each of us looks at life after death. After all, questioning our mortality is not just about what happens to us after we die – it is about how we choose to live.

So, to get dig into this issue a bit more, I asked the members of our community to describe what they thought the afterlife would look like in 3 just words.

Here’s what I learned from your responses.

We See the Afterlife in Comparison to Our Everyday Experiences

Almost every religious tradition talks about the inevitability, if not necessity, of suffering. This is not a purely philosophical problem. Every day, we are reminded that life is hard. Yes, there are moments of pure bliss, when we find a connection with the divine, make a new friend or watch our child laughing. But, for the most part, life is far from perfect.

So, perhaps it is no surprise that many of us think about the afterlife in terms of its contrast with our everyday experiences here on earth.

Several people described the afterlife in these terms – “no worries ever,” “no bills please,” and “no money issues,” were a few of my favorite 3-word responses.

We Want the Afterlife to Connect Us to God or the Divine

Many people see life after death as an opportunity to build a closer relationship with God. While we are here on earth, there is a feeling that we are disconnected from our creator. No matter how hard we listen, we can only catch glimpses of his (or her!) voice and see the results of his plan.

As a result, many of us see the afterlife as a place of reconnection with the spiritual side of ourselves. It is not only an opportunity to reconnect with God, but, also an opportunity to explore and understand the part of ourselves that is eternal. A few 3-word answers that represent this view of the afterlife include “seek for God,” “complete love God,” and “I’m with Jesus.”

We View the Life After Death as a Time of Peaceful Rest

Life is busy. Every day, we are bombarded by stresses of every kind. Is it any wonder then that, as we think about the afterlife, we long for a time when the noise just stops?

Of course, since most people view the afterlife as eternal, it is difficult to believe that rest and ultimate peace would be all they wanted to do there. But, at the same time, it is clear that freedom from worry is a part of what people expect after they die.

Perhaps these people also mean something more than simple separation from the everyday cares of life on earth. Perhaps “peace” in a cosmic sense transcends its traditional definition. After all, in order to find true peace, would we not need to understand ourselves on a truly profound level? And, would such an understanding not require us to explore, learn and interact with ourselves and the divine?

So, perhaps “peace” is a more complicated answer than it first appears. Some popular 3-word answers along these lines were “Peace at last,” “No more stress,” and “I’m at peace.”

We Want to See the People We Have Lost

Finally, several people in the community mentioned that they wanted to see people that they lost over the years. This is completely natural. Every time we lose someone, it is a tragedy. Even if we believe with all of our hearts that they have gone to a better place, we still miss their presence in our lives. We wonder about the life that they would have lived and the contribution that they could have made.

Other than God, I think that we can all agree that the people we would like to find waiting for us in the afterlife are the ones that we loved and lost. Some responses included, “I’m with Mum,” “Surrounded by friends,” and “Friends, family and God.”

Our Wishes for the Afterlife Reflect Our Reality Here on Earth

While no-one truly knows what happens to us after we die, the responses of our community show that we know what we want to find in the afterlife. We want life after death to be a place of freedom from every day worries.

Many of us want to connect with God and the divine within ourselves. We want to achieve true peace and experience lasting love. And, we want to do all of this, surrounded by the people that we love most!

How would you describe your view of the afterlife in 3 words?