Life After Death


There are many different theories, but does anyone know what happens after death? Scientists have been studying this question for many years. Truth is, no one knows exactly knows what happens after someone dies.

What we do know is people have had a death experience. According to the article “What Can Science Tell Us About Death?” on The New York Academy of Sciences website  (, “People report a unique cognitive experience in relation to death. They may have a perception of seeing their body and the doctors and nurses trying to revive them yet feel very peaceful while observing. Some report a realization that they may have actually died.”

The Netflix show Surviving Death, displays stories of people who have had death experiences. One of the people who was interviewed in this show is orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mary Neal, who “died” by drowning in a 1999 kayaking accident. Neal was pinned underwater beneath her overturned boat for 30 minutes before friends rescued her. Neal claimed she looked down on her body from a vantage point above it and felt herself travel to a place that she describes as Heaven, where she encountered spirits of her departed ancestors and where time seemed to slow down. There, the “spirits” informed her that her son would die, although they did not say when or how.

In the article “Netflix’s ‘Surviving Death’ Explores Afterlife and Near-death Experiences”  from the New York Post (, Dr. Mary Neal compares studying the afterlife to studying love. “If you look at love, for example, we can study it scientifically and see the consequences of love, but we can’t ‘prove’ love. It’s a different axis and a different concept,” she said. “Science and spirituality coexist easily, because they address different parts of our existence,” Neal added.

Where do people go after death? Some people believe in a Heaven and a Hell, but there is no scientific evidence that they are real places. When asked about his thoughts on life after death, Ricky Guerra, a Student Success Coach (someone who helps students develop skills, behaviors, and habits that contribute to success in college), commented, “I think when you pass, those whose spirits are not at peace, stay here tied to Earth. For those that accept death and are ready to move on, they go to another dimension that is pure energy and love. A true Heaven, in both its biblical meaning and in a state of pure peace, happiness, and bliss. I like to hope that you also can perceive your new home in this world as places you’ve been and felt the most happiness and experiencing your life’s ‘greatest hits’ of memories, as well if you choose.”

Many people have experienced their loved ones who have passed trying to communicate with them. Naiya Stephans, a freshman, commented, “When I was younger, I used to play with dolls, and my great aunt and her husband passed away, but we didn’t talk about them because it was a sensitive topic in my family. So, one day I was having a tea party, and my mom walked in asking who I was playing with. I said Tom and Linda, the names of my great-aunt and her husband. After that, any time they would get brought up, things would start happening. For example, the things in my closet would start swaying.”

There are many other ways some say the deceased try to communicate. The article “Signs Your Loved Ones Might Be Trying to Contact You (From the Other Side)” by Rebecca Rosen on stated that dimes are another way spirits try to communicate: “Spirits can inspire coins to appear in random and unusual places as a way to get our attention—often as a message of prosperity or to encourage you to value your worth.” Certain scents like the smell of cigarettes may be another way of communication. “Have you ever noticed a strong odor or fragrance in the air around you, with no indication of where it was coming from? This could be your departed loved ones manifesting a specific scent that you associated with them in life, to let you know they are still with you,” wrote Rosen.

Freshman Asia Mahgoub commented on experiences she had with communication with others from beyond: “I have had many experiences where I have seen shadows move across the room or noises when there is no one in the house. When I was told about the ways the dead try to communicate to us through certain scents or coins, I started to realize it more.”

Although what occurs after death is unknown, there are many different theories.