Life After Death
Of course, nobody knows for sure, because nobody has experienced life after death and come back to tell us about it - or have they?
There are quite a number of reports about reincarnation. Usually it is a young child who 'remembers' things from a past life. It may be a place, people, or even things, but they have too much knowledge for it to be made up. When taken to the place they describe, or to meet the people they claim to have known, such facts usually are proven to be accurate, even though the child would have had no way to know this information.
There are also reports about people having near-death-experiences who 'see' things while dead, then are resuscitated. Some of these things would have been impossible to make up, as they were seen and remembered while the person was clinically dead. An example of this is a woman who was declared deceased while in the E.R. of a hospital. The medical staff pronounced her dead and the body was wheeled away to a room on a different floor of the hospital, awaiting the coroner. Her belongings were placed in a locker in that room. But after several hours, she opened her eyes, and when they wheeled her to the morgue, she spoke to the person moving her. They made sure she was stable and brought her to a room and then prepared to discharge her, as she was in good health. Her belongings were in the room they had moved her to. But she shocked everyone when she said her purse was still in the locker on the third floor. She knew the room number and even the name-tag on the person wheeling her there after she had been pronounced dead. She explained that she had floated above her body, and was seeing everything.
Many other accounts of people who passed out of life, then back in again, have similar stories. One man saw his crumpled car on the highway and looked at his broken and bleeding body behind the wheel. He was standing at the side of the road and realized he was dead. Yet, his consciousness hadn't changed. He watched his body being loaded into an ambulance, and was able to float above it as it sped to the hospital. When they were able to revive him, he felt himself being drawn back into his body again. While out of the body, many people share a very similar experience with light at the end of a tunnel, and a sense of peace and love, regardless of religion or lack of one.
So to me, these are as close to first-hand-accounts as we have, and I believe this is what awaits us - a passage into a loving place where we may be sent back or given a choice to return - just as leaves die and fall from trees, only to be alive again the following year.