“Do you believe in life after death?” I was asked recently by a friend.

“Certainly,” I said. “Not only do I believe in it. I have proof.”

“Oh, really?” he said, an eyebrow raised sceptically.

So I told him the story of my mother’s ashes.

“And you imagine that proves something?” he said.

“It indicates she was still alive enough to drive those ashes into Miriam’s eyes.” He still looked doubtful. So I added one word, “Obviously.”

“So the old lady is still keeping an eye on you?”

I had not thought of that, and the idea was vaguely disturbing. “Well, perhaps,” I said.

“Judging by what you told me, I’d say it’s certainly so.” He looked smug at the thought.

I looked for a way of diverting the conversation into a new channel. “The incident means more than that,” I said. “It also indicates that, once in heaven, our personalities remain the same.”

“Oh really?” he said again with an annoying inflexion of superiority.

“Obviously,” I said. “She disliked Miriam in life, and after death she still disliked her. It seems clear that our personality defects will be unchanged in the hereafter.”

His eyes narrowed. Clearly he was thinking about his many personality defects that he would be dragging along with him throughout eternity. He was honest enough to know that, in his case, there were plenty of them. He opened his mouth to reply, but his thoughts overwhelmed him and his mouth closed again. Damn, that felt good.

Read the story about my mother’s ashes here.

Personality After Death