BRONZE

Where Do You Go When You Die?

My project is about where people go when you die. I have researched questions that are related to this topic. The questions range from how does the body decompose to if you are reborn? I will be asking medical people, funeral services, & forensics.
Ayla Au-Yeung
Grade 5

Problem

My question is where do people go when they die?

Method

Since this is a hard question to answer I asked a lot of experts, I watched videos, I researched the internet, and I looked at print resources.

 

Research

Does your body get reborn

I asked so many people this question and they replied that it depends on spiritual beliefs.  When I interviewed a number of Christian they believed that the body stays in the ground and the spirit goes to heaven.

Do you disintegrate?

Most people indicated that  a body disintegrates, that means you turn into dirt and decompose. When you decompose the body breaks down into its basic elements like carbon.  At which point, animals will eat the body's leftovers.  Then the animal poops and it cycles into the dirt for other organisms.  This causes the body to take a different form.

Where does your body go?

It really depends on your spiritual beliefs if the people think the body goes underground it will. Other beliefs are the body goes to heaven, it goes wherever the people want or it just goes underground.

Is there such a thing as heaven?

It depends on the belief people have, personally I think its real because the body is left behind and only your spirit is there. If there isn't such a thing as heaven then where does the people's spirit go? Christians believe that there is heaven.  When a person believes in God, the spirit will be saved and it will go to heaven.

Is there such a thing as the other space (hell)?

When asked about this topic they would usually say it depends on the belief people have. Personally I think it's real because the bad person's body is left behind and only your spirit is there. If there isn't such a thing as hell then where does the bad people's spirit go? In Christian and Catholic beliefs, there is no such thing as hell but the spirit just dies with the body.

What do you turn into?

Unless reborn or have any different beliefs, people will likely turn back into original elements which go back into the soil.  This is a tricky question as I don’t know if I have a belief or not.  After interviewing and researching, I think the body physically decomposes into organic material and mixes back into soil.  The spirit can change into something else.  It is unclear for most of the religions as it is more a spirit rather than a physical thing.

Do you go to space?

Well  in Among Us you do. In real life you don’t go to space because the body does not suddenly float up to space just like that. Although there are some people that died in space like: Georgy Dobrovolsky , Vladislav Volkov, Viktor Patsayev and several monkeys.

Does your brain explode?

The brain does not explode instead it slowly dies. It takes about 8 to 12 hours to die. Even though the brain dies at one point it is the last organ to shut down.  Just like the rest of the body, it decomposes into its basic elements.  

What are the thoughts that are in your mind when you die?

When the body dies it will probably be thinking about what mistakes they had made. If you get reborn they would fix those mistakes and would have to get used to the new rules.  Most individuals who are dying will likely be reviewing their life and thinking of the people or impacts around them.  Many people may think of how to stop the dying process.  However, when it is definitely happening, people tend to accept it and grieve.

Are the thoughts different when you're older or younger?

When you're older you have more experiences and when you are younger you have less.  The thoughts would be focused around their experiences and would likely be different.  For example, a little girl would think of her parents and an elder would think about what mistakes they would make.  Everyone may have different thoughts but it is related to their beliefs.

Do we float?

Floating in water right after death would be unlikely because the body is filled with your liquids.  When they come out the body, which can vary depending on the size of the person, the body may start floating.

In air, the body can float if a person dies in an airplane.

Do we move?

When the body starts to die, the muscles twitch and some last sigh of air comes out.  Otherwise, there is no movement of the body.

Does your spirit change?

This depends on the religious beliefs.  In Christianity, the spirit changes to be able to join in heaven.  However, in Buddhism,there is no spirit that comes out of the body.  Therefore, the spirit cannot change.

Why do different religions think different things to do with death?

The people thought about different things and soon enough they had a symbol. After they made religion people started to join soon they had 4,300 religions.  As people didn’t really know about death, each religion tried to answer it for their followers.

What happens to your body when you die?

The physical body starts breaking down and decomposes.  This is when the body turns into its natural elements and eventually turns to soil.  The tissue of the body breaks down first and then the bones are last.  Sometimes, there are teeth that remain.

Do you change gender if you get reborn?

This depends on the spiritual beliefs people have.  Some people who believe in spirit, have the idea that gender can change to the prefered state.  Other ideas indicate that the body turns into a different thing.

Do you turn into a ghost?

Scientifically, the body does not turn into a ghost.

Do you get buried?

It depends on the choices of the people.  Some religions want the body to be buried as a whole.  Other beliefs want the body to be in a tomb.  As well, some bodies are cremated and put into a container which may be buried or spread on a special place.

Do you turn into a zombie?

Scientifically, the body does not turn into a zombie.  Instead, the body turns green at one point.

Do you turn into a different thing?

It depends on the spiritual beliefs where the body can turn into an animal or other things. Some beliefs do not think the body changes.

What happens when you put makeup on dead people?

When makeup is applied, the body does not move.  The makeup just makes the person look fancy for the funeral.  When makeup artists do this, they find the makeup is the same texture on a live person as it is on a dead body.  Usually, makeup helps the loved ones recognize the dead body.

 

Data

This is the overall research data I was able to find.  It is interesting how so many views are related to religion.

Death

Physical

Spiritual

Body

Decomposes

Spirit Leaves the body

Buried

In the ground or cremated

Only body is in the ground but spirit can go

Thoughts

End of life

Can go on

Afterlife

When you are dead that is it - nothing else happens

Most religions believe there is a spirit or the spirit goes somewhere.

 

Analysis 

Key Points

  • I learned that there are two categories of dying - the spiritual that depends on religion and the physical in which the body breaks down.
  • It was not easy to distinguish between the scientific explanation of death and the spiritual views.
  • It was difficult to find people that had both a scientific view and a spiritual view.  However, I was able to find one family that were connected to both perspectives.
  • There are lots of unknown theories as to what happens when one dies
  • I noticed there were many interesting questions that I could ask
  • The dying process is very detailed and can change depending on many factors such as age, gender, body.
  • I also know that dying is hard for people to come to terms with whether it is the actual dying individual or for the people connected to them.

 

Conclusion

Summary: Death is hard but overall there are many details around how the body physically breaks down.  As well, there are many religions and spiritual groups that have somewhat of an answer.  Almost all people agreed there is a physical death and a spiritual release.  I was able to find many interesting answers that I didn’t know.  At the end, I still didn’t find out if my hypothesis was accurate as I only confirmed the physical dying process and did not find a solid answer that indicates one would go to heaven.  

I have researched all these questions and I learned why death is hard.  Death is hard as there is no conclusive answer as to where people go after they die.  As a result, no one can visit the dead as easily.  It is most people’s wish, including mine, that the dead are settled as long as they die in peace.

Improvements 

This project could be improved if I had more time to ask more questions.  One of the questions that would be connected would be why death is so hard for people.  This would help me understand the emotions around death.  I really enjoyed speaking to different people about this topic.  Some people were unable to get back to me.  In the future, I would like to meet the people face to face, meet more religious leaders, and find out more print materials on this topic.

Future Applications

Some of the future applications can be speaking to people that are dying.  This would be a good start to therapy.  People can speak about their views on dying and maybe it will not be as scary.  Many people mentioned the details in a way that actually was less scary for me.  I think if I am able to share this information with kids my age, they may also be less scared.  I can also research all the viewpoints of death of different religions in the world and summarise it in a kid friendly way.

 

 

Citations

Calgary Crematorium and Funeral Services. (n.d.). https://calgarycrematorium.com/8/When-Death-Occurs.html

McKennett, H. (n.d.). Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About What Happens When You Die. https://allthatsinteresting.com/what-happens-when-you-die

What happens to Our Body after we Die? + more videos. (n.d.). https://youtu.be/ABLOAO2x4Fo

What Happens to Your Body After You Die? (n.d.). https://youtu.be/d9J9dSXHe40

What Happens When You Die? (n.d.). https://youtu.be/vLaErMfgJ8Q

 

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank the following people for helping me with my research questions:

  • Dr. Elaine Soong (Family doctor/Religious leader)
  • Dr. Adrian Sim (Anatomical Pathologist/Religious leader)
  • Dr. Jennifer Crawford (psychologist)
  • Mr. Scott Mark (Forensic Police Officer)
  • MRU Funeral Diploma classes
  • Dr. Chris Lee (Emergency doctor)
  • Ms. Unwin and Mr. Girouard (Canadian College of Funeral Services)
  • Dr. Anita Lai (Emergency doctor)
  • Mr. Herman Wan and Ms. Doris Lee (Christian/Catholic/Theology)
  • My parents for supporting me