When I sign in to my yahoo email account, there’s always an ad to the right side of the screen, a tall skyscraper ad, for Yahoo! Answers. Each rendition of the ad shows an animated character posing a question. It seems like for the last, oh, every time I’ve signed in, the question in the thought bubble above his head is, “What do you think happens to your soul when you die?”

This bothers me. In my life, I’ve answered this question in many different ways.

As a little girl, dying meant heaven. You donned a white robe and floated amongst the angels, playing gilded string instruments and singing in tune (this was very important, as it was something I could not do here on earth).

Then I went through a phase when I tried not to believe in God. I was skeptical. I naively thought, How could so many bad things happen on earth if there were a God? What was he doing up there? So I adopted the attitude that there is no soul. You die, you decompose, you fertilize the ground.

Then several people very close to me died. And yet they were still there. Not really there, but there in spirit. They would come to me in dreams. I would feel their presence. I would feel their guidance. Made me reconsider the whole fertilizer argument.

Now. Now I don’t know. I’ve gone from being very “everything must be black and white” to everything in my world being a thousand shades of gray. What I do know is that I don’t like being reminded of death every time I log into email.

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