You were careless. You didn't stop to think before you acted, and now you've got a brain full of bullet and a body bereft of its soul, which is currently being whisked away into the sky. While you are being pulled away, as if some giant, invisible waiter were gripping your arm and jerking you out of a restaurant for disturbing the peace, you blink in perplexity as you watch the pool of scarlet flow from beneath your body and you wonder, How on earth did that happen?
You have just died. Sadly, there is nothing you can do about it.
There's nothing you can do about the dark gray, raging waters that are swirling around you, either. Your bodyat least you think it's your body; your real body is lying down in the middle of your home, likely being raided for loot by the intruder in your homeis nothing more than a Hot Potato for the waves to toss back and forth.
And back and forth your body goes. More than a few times you are submerged only to break through the surface, coughing, gagging, and wondering what you did to deserve this. The waters are all-powerful, all-consuming, and you feel lost, confused, and incredibly uncomfortable.
It is only when you are thrust upon beach of soft, peppery sand and have cleared your throat of all that horrid seawater that you realize something.
You can't remember what your name is.
Everyone is the hero of their own story. Everyone has their own dragon to face.
Not everyone gets to conquer that dragon during the course of their life. In fact, many fall victims to their personal beast's scorching flames, and these heroes fall before they can reach their full potential.
Death is, for some, a second chance.
It is for all a challenge.
After all, we all know life isn't fair. Some are born into better conditions than others; some were simply at the right place at the right time; some have achieved glory whereas far worthier men and women fell into obscurity.
Death is different. It evens the playing grounds.
I think that heaven is a privilege to be earned. When we die, the slate is wiped cleanalmost. You begin death as you began life: not knowing anything except yourself. You don't know your namewhy would you? It matters little now. You don't even know you're dead. You simply are, and as you progress through the jungle, you are faced with numerous challenges that test who you are: an old man trapped beneath a barrel. A dying dog whose owner is about to kill it but who could be saved with a special elixir you can only find within the darkest corner of a dangerous swamp. A starving child chained to an apple tree.
Do you save the old man? Do you embark on the journey to find the elixir to save the dog? Will you even bother to climb the branches of the tree so you can pluck the apples off the branches and feed the tortured boy?
As you progress you begin to recall tiny tidbits from your former life: a thought here, a memory there. Gradually you become more and more self-aware, until at the near end of your trek across the jungle, you come across a man who looks quite content, resting in his hammock. He smiles at you when you ask him who he is.
Who are you? He asks you right back, and to your surprise you find your name tumbling out of your mouth. And just like that, your whole life comes flooding back to you: everything you did, every thought, feeling, memory and sound. It is all there again, everything you have ever done and been, and you realize you have been tested not just on your accomplishments in life, but on the very character of your soul. Your memory was wiped clean, but you weren't.
Only now you know you are dead.
From here you either fall through the sand and into the cold fires of Hell or you hold hands with God and float up onto Heaven. Either way, you reach the afterlife you deserve.
In Hell you will live under the same horrid conditions that you inflicted on others. For every person you chose to damage, every sin you committed, you will feel the agony you inflicted on others tenfold. Your evil soul will find its kin in the darkest corners of the universe, and it will not be happy among its comrades. For devils are a tormented, black-hearted folk, the absolute antithesis of the good-hearted angels who inhabit Heaven.
It is in Heaven where you receive eternal bliss. True fulfillment, so deep that you have never felt anything like it on your life on earth, will be yours. Heaven is different for everyone, but there is one aspect of heaven that every angel will find they share: pure bliss.