There's not a human on earth who doesn't have his or her opinion about what happens after death. Those who say we can't know what happens still have theories about it, believe me. It's too important a question not to consider now and then.
And of course, the truth is that we can't know what will happen after we die. We're only puny humans and we can't see very far.
Recently, I had the good fortune to work with a renowned Quebecois medium. She spoke only French but when she allowed the dead spirits of my parents to flow through her, I could understand her words as if she was speaking English or I was hearing my parents' voices myself. They spoke in characteristic ways, and referred to things that the medium could not possibly know, things that were critically important to me. It shook up my understanding of the afterlife.
Many traditional animist societies included ancestors, those who had recently or long ago died and whose spirits remained local to the community and interested in its welfare. In some cultures, the ancestors were revered or worshipped. In others, the ancestors would intervene to help relatives or harm enemies. Contemporary animists I have met, however, are concerned with our relationship to living nonhumans, and don't think too much about our relationship to gods or the human dead.
Although I am a follower of gods and other greater-than-human beings, I had never considered that the soul, that expression of spirit that is me, could survive death. I imagined that the spirit would dissipate, as the flesh dissipated, and would be scattered among new material forms. In other words, I did not believe in a soul or spiritual personhood that existed beyond a particular material form. Jack, on the other hand, has long believed in reincarnation, and I know other people I respect, my belle-mère not least of these, who believe in the survival and reincarnation of the soul.
What do you think? I sure would like to know because I'm not sure what to think about life after death. Please leave your ideas as a comment here. I appreciate your input.