Anne thank you for also sharing your personal experience with death.
Death, like birth is something all living creatures will go through, so why live in fear of it? I found some comfort in the Mark Twain quote for my loss, and as a way to look at death. I do not claim to know the answers, but I guess I will find out in the end.
I've never been too worried about the afterlife. Who knows what happens after people die? Time will show, for each.
I think it'd make sense to recycle the souls, it would be way more economical than living once and throwing the soul/whatever away after. That would be such waste. ;)
Ever thought about the logistical problems about afterlife? When a christian, jew, or muslim dies, they die, and either go to hell/paradise/whatever, or to hell. But when a hindu dies, his soul is recycled and he is born again as a human, animal, plant or a stone. So... is a hindu always born in the next life as a hindu if he happens to live his next life as a human? Or what if a hindu happens to be born as a christian? Will they be born again as something else, or be defined to whatever his christian religion offers him? Or what if lets say a christian could find the reincarnation more appealing, or a hindu would want to go to heaven or paradise? Wondering that around the religious folks usually gets them confused - how could I possibly consider any other afterlife alternative than what they subscribe to?