What is death? Is the end of all life? Many cultures believe it is not, but rather it is a curtain we merely pass through on our longer journey. In North America, most of us are taught that there are two or three options awaiting us after death, Heaven, Hell and sometimes Purgatory. But millions more have another belief.

Could it be that we live forever, that we always were and always will be? Could it be that we are made of star-stuff, or spirit, a form of energy that can never be extinguished? Could it be that we give ourselves a challenge by coming to earth in human form and solve some puzzles until we return? Perhaps we choose our life's path ahead of time, but by being human, we forget for a time what we are made of, and have to face the puzzles of life without that knowledge. Perhaps when we follow the right path, we grow and advance our eternal nature. Maybe it's like a video game where we try to win, but sometimes fail and get another life and start again, this time a little more aware of the challenges.

There have been many cases of people recalling events from past lives, while others have 'deja vu' moments where they recall details about something they are seeing for the first time. Those who have had near-death experiences often talk about the journey to another place of peace and love, where they sometimes meet their loved ones. This is no fairy-tale of angels with wings playing on harps, it is a very real experience to those who have gone through it. Many have floated above their body while being rushed to a hospital, only to be drawn back into it once the 'dead' body is revived again. While clinically dead, many have provided details about the procedures done, the layout of the hospital, and other facts that they 'saw' while dead.

So do we really ever die? I don't believe we can, as the 'spark of life' in all living things is eternal in its nature. No matter how or where we are born, we are all given a path, one which we may have chosen before coming back to live another human life. This path will challenge us, sometimes shake us to the core, but it is of our choosing because it will make us a better and stronger soul. Do we fail and start over with a new life, or do we persevere and make the right choices, even if they are difficult? The choice is always ours to make. In many cultures, it is believed that we eventually reach perfection and don't need to return as another incarnation. But we're here, which means we can choose kind or harsh, honest or deceitful, brave or cowardly. Death itself is just a doorway, and we only visit the material world to face challenges of our own making, before returning to the other side. So live fully, without regrets, and die in peace when that day comes, knowing you are not really dying, just passing around a corner. And never forget those you love are just around that very corner.