Where Do Dead People Go? by John Cali


One of our readers asked us what life after death is like. Death is a subject many of us avoid if at all possible. Why do you suppose that is? Probably because we fear it more than anything. And why do you suppose that is?

My personal opinion is we fear death because we often consider it the end of us. Even many who say they believe in the afterlife are scared of death. I think that’s because we do not know what death really is. We have this dark dreary definition, often rooted in the mass consciousness, that death is punishment, the end, the abyss.

Here’s our reader’s question (which I’ve slightly edited):

Where do we go after death? Do we know who we are when get there? Will we know others or will they know us? Are we just assimilated into the great unknown? Are we nothing?”


Let us begin by answering our reader’s questions.

  • Where do we go after death?
    You do not go anywhere. Certainly not to those places many of you imagine and talk about—heaven, hell, limbo, purgatory. Those places do not exist, at least in the way the popular imagination views them.
  • Do we know who we are when get there?
    Absolutely! You not only do not lose your identity, but have a much clearer and more powerful knowing of who you are than you had in physical life.
  • Will we know others or will they know us?
    Again, absolutely yes. It will be like a joyous, happy family reunion. You will recognize everyone you’ve ever known in all your lifetimes. And they will know you.
  • Are we just assimilated into the great unknown?
    No. There is no “great unknown.” There is only pure consciousness in all its many forms, spiritual and physical.
  • Are we nothing?
    You are never nothing. You never have been nor will you ever be nothing.

This subject of death is such a misunderstood thing. And because you don’t understand it you fear it.

We’ve said all this many times before. But it bears repeating.

You are all eternal beings of love and light. It’s that simple. There never has been a time when you did not exist. Nor will there ever be such a time. You are God. God is eternal. You are eternal.

Yes, you don the costume of a physical body. You’ve been doing that for centuries. But your physical body is not you. It is only, and almost literally, simply a costume you’ve decided to play in for awhile. We emphasize “play” because that’s what your spirit intended before it took on its latest costume.

Play is supposed to be fun. Life is supposed to be fun. When you miss the play and the fun your life becomes hard.

Dying is the easiest thing you will ever do. You’ve done it so many times, and your spirit knows you can move through the birth-death cycle easily and effortlessly.

When you arrive “on the other side” you will not have left “this side.” You are still here in the physical world. You just don’t have a body.

Unencumbered by a body, you are now freer and happier than you can imagine. You will enjoy your visits to the physical world, and to your loved ones still in physical form. It will be great fun.

Also, you can easily communicate with your loved ones still in physical form. It will be an even clearer communication than when you were all in physical form.

The only problem is when your loved ones still “alive” don’t believe in this communication. But if they are open to it and believe in it as much as you will when you’re on the other side, then you can have a joyous time romping and playing with each other—with them in the physical and you in spirit.

Everything we’re saying here applies not only to your human loved ones but also to your animal loved ones.

We trust our words here today will take some of the heaviness and dread of death from your minds and hearts. Simply enjoy who you are. Be joyful and loving. Have fun. Play. That’s all life or death is supposed to be—fun and play.

All is well.


Are you afraid of death, either your own or that of a loved one? What is the best thing you can do to prepare for it?

We welcome your comments and thoughtful opinions, whether you agree or disagree with us. Please keep your comments polite and relevant to the topic of this article. If needed, we’ll edit for clarity. Also, we’ll delete anything we consider inappropriate.

Related posts:

Death Revisited
Farewell to Rosie
The Far Side of the Rainbow Bridge
Heart to Heart


33 Responses

  1. Nelson

    If we do not go anywhere, the family reunion you are talking about, where does happen? From your answer I can imply that there is a place where they are, a place where we will go when we die. Is that a nameless place? could you explain. Thank you.

    • John Cali

      It’s not a place in the physical sense. It’s a place of pure consciousness — that place where Spirit — God — divine energy lives. Instead of thinking of it as a place, think of it as a state of being. It’s a state of full awareness, and of knowing who you are, which is spirit.

  2. Flosie


    My father died suddenly due to heart attack. Do u believe in reincarnation? If so, would he have forgotten me and gone to the next life? Wont I meet him when I die?

    • John Cali

      Yes, we believe in reincarnation. You will meet your father again, and you will know each other.

      • Flosie

        But reincarnation is rebirth. His soul would have taken another life, na? Then how can I meet him? Please explain.

          • Georgie Gorman

            the question is do we start life from birth . or have we being coming and going for hundreds thousands of years.if a man was born in 1970 .where was his soul before that his spirit .did he exist in another world. people die every day people are born every day.so when you think about it
            its the way its ment to be. so dying is just the same as living . and now sciencetists are saying their is molthy unevirses and we are living in every one of them .in otherwords there is alot more to us the soul the spirit then we understand.amagine we have the the power to be in a million places at once. it would make perfect sence then that death is only a shift from room into another.and if you think about it .the people on the other side might consider us as the ones who are passed on is death not a rebirth into another life. a baby at the time of birth would find the whole thing a bit crazy. coming from the mothers womb into a world where we fight wars and work for 65 years only to spend the rest of our days on earth dealing with illness.do we meet friends family on the other side. we do and we don’t just like here on earth we get on with some friends others we don’t that’s life or death ? which ever way uou want to look at it. the thing is from the day we are born we are dying we get 60 70 years on earth if we are lucky. but we don’t know till its to late. that’s why people say if only if I had a chance to do it all again.a child lives for 3 years every moment is counting down to the day he or she will leave the earth and time is a realy funny thing.when you need more you get less.when you want it to pass quiclly is takes its time .so you say come on come on? people say that time slows down when uou are in danger .your life passes before your eyes .in an instant you see the years go speeding by. so is this not a hint about what lies beond our lifes on earth .time does not exsist not in the way we understand it an hour here could be a year is the spirt world or a second could last a life time. their is so much we don’t understand about life. and less about death and lets say we changed that word. death to reborn your family member did not die their was no death .he was reborn into the rest of his life . the word scares us it has a sad lonely feeling about it where birth makes us feel joyus happy looking forward to what will come. their is nothing more holly then the birth of a new baby .its mind is pure a babys heart is clean of all things hear on earth like sins worries troubles. words mean nothing .a baby will react to feeling .the smell of the mother the touch just being in the same room when a baby is born you can feel the peace theirs something going on we don’t understand . and when that baby lives a life for 60 70 years or more .the time comes to leave . have you ever being in a room when a loved one passing on .right at that moment something happens .the quiet the peace the feeling of ease can fill the room. stop for a moment. think of this full stopdot I put here . look at it now amagine it smaller and smaller keep going its hard to do but when you can see the smallest dot in your mind then compare that to the unevirse we live in it is something the best educaited men that ever lived cant will never understand. its beond our understanding. but its so big 14 billion years or more. vast and if we are living in only one of these unevirses and their could be billions more. then living for a few years does not make sence .it would be like building a hatel for a million people with rooms to suit every walk of life then only having one person stay at the hotel whats the point? we exsist in the biggest hotel we can amagine and there are many many rooms and like a hotel people come and go all the time . Georgie Gorman

  3. Lynn

    I have been experiencing some great challenges. Thank goodness for my grandma and grandpa. They taught me about true love and joy.

    My birthday was a week a part from my grandma’s in the month of October. We had a very special bond. But was I surprised when my aunt gave me a bible of my grandma’s. In it were 10 letters she wrote to me as a young girl (between the ages of 7-12). She saved these letters for me to read after she died.

    The letters talked of being immortal through me, how she needed to tell me about the beauty of October, how much she loved me, how when she was near me she could hold me knowing nothing could hurt me, she talked about the importance of geese… These letters have given me the strength to get through some insane situations.

    These letters tell me, she is near me all the time, looking out for me, protecting me and guiding me.

    • Pat

      Lynn – I’d be interested in what your grandmother told you about the importance of geese in her letters.

      When my father-in-law died 5 years ago around Mother’s Day, we gathered around mom to comfort her and give her our love. She missed him so much especially on Mother’s Day when he always made her feel so special. As we were getting ready to go to mass for his memorial service, I heard a noise outside and asked mom about it. I walked outside on the front sidewalk and heard honking.

      I looked up and saw a Canadian goose walking back and forth across the peak of the roof honking at it’s mate. Mom laughed when I called up to it and said, “Dad, is that you?” Just as she got to the back sliding door she saw them both take off together soaring up above the tree line.

      She took that as a message from dad still making her feel special telling that he loved her and saw them as both still being together as always.

  4. Micki

    Thank you Spirit and John for once more confirming what I believe. Much love and hugs,

  5. karynn

    It’s interesting, isn’t it, that the one thing all of us will experience one day is culturally framed with so much trepidation? I loved this post, John. The more we can remember we are that which is called God, and the more we can appreciate that this earth experience is simply a part of a greater more expansive experience, the more at peace we will be.

    Many years ago my 2-year-old daughter chose to leave her earth life as my daughter. Though I experienced many years of grieving the loss of her physical presence, I always knew that there was nothing inherently wrong with her decision; that is, I knew that her life with our family was whole and complete as it was.

    What I now know is that while grieving, I was unable to be with her because my vibrational tone was not in resonance with who she’d become. It seemed appropriate to me at the time to feel the way I did, so I have no regret or sense that I’ve lost anything for it. Now, though, well on the other side of grief and living in moment to moment appreciation, I feel her in a deeply close and beautiful way.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Karynn, for your kind words and for sharing your experience with your daughter. We’ve had several deaths in our family the past couple of years. While I understand why people grieve, I totally agree with what you said — in that vibration of grief you cannot be with your loved one.

  6. Stacy Gaines

    I don’t know when it began in my family. But on all my relatives headstones that have passed on before is the inscription “Death is another Life”. My Mother put it on my father’s headstone, I will put it on her’s and I want it on mine. I remember when I was young and first saw this a sense of peace came over me and I never worried about death. I love my mother for teaching me something without saying a word. Death has never been an issue for me.

  7. Elizabeth Salmon

    Two weeks ago today my husband, Tom, and I had to put our dearly loved golden retriever, Tessa, to sleep. We had been dreading this but had talked about it and decided that we would focus on gratitude for all the joy she had given us and all that we had shared with her. We have not brought her dead body home but enjoy our memories of her as living memories. We have wept copious tears when our earlier animal members of the family have had to depart, but this time has been utterly different. There is no trauma in our hearts and minds as a result of the way we are thinking and feeling. We know she is ‘alive’ in spirit form and talk to her as such, giving her our love. It has been a wonderful time.
    Early in the morning after Tessa ‘died’ I woke and was unable to get back to sleep. I went to our sitting room and read for a while, then meditated and was close to Tessa in love. Perhaps I went to sleep. It didn’t seem like it because suddenly there was a rush of energy and Tess leapt on to my lap and lay there smiling at me, looking so happy and youthful again. I felt the weight of her and stroked her tummy for what seemed like some time. When I opened my eyes to see if she was really there she just faded quickly. It was the most wonderful experience and has been an enormous comfort. A dream? A visitation? I really don’t know but it seemed so much like the latter. So what Spirit has told us in this newsletter has been my experience and I am grateful for it.
    I hope this may be of help for those who grieve for their ‘lost’ loved ones. They are not lost – only if we allow ourselves to ‘lose’ them.

    • John Cali

      Thank you very much, Elizabeth, for sharing your experiences and your beautiful perspective on life and death. As you said, we never lose our loved ones. They are always with us. God bless you and your husband!

    • Barbara

      What a beautiful story, Elizabeth, thank you for sharing it with us.

      My experience with my beautiful Rosie earlier this year was very similar. Shortly after she passed over, I was sitting outside and thought I heard her paw on the concrete. I wondered if it was my imagination until she said “it’s me, you just can’t hear me so well now because I am so light now”.

      It was beautiful and I know for sure, she is not lost, none of our loved ones are ever lost to us. Love never dies.



  8. Silvy

    Ah! I can’t stop crying of happiness!! This answers so many questions I HAD … so touching and profound. THANK YOU John and Spirit!

  9. jerry

    I’ve had the honor of seeing some of my relatives and spouse cross over (and was able to assist her at the hospital). Each has been a chance to observe and touch the stiff body that once housed a spirit that I used to hug and interact with. Each passing is easier to understand and I can now connect much easier with them.
    Over the many times I have seen the deceased body laying there, I began to realize that the spirit just manipulated this body so that we can interact at a more solid level with each other that cannot be done as a spirit.
    So, for me, this existence is just another way for god to experience itself. It’s still a feeling of loss but I now know we all will go through this but I want to experience it this time as a choice and not deteriorating health. The biblical term, “In the twinkling of an eye” sounds nice to me!


    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Jerry, for your beautifully touching comments.

      Hugs back to you,

    • Elizabeth Salmon

      This has been my experience, too, Jerry. My husband is a lot older than I am and has high grade prostate cancer. I know that he will leave his body before me and am grateful for preparation time. We have decided that there will be no funeral but some sort of gathering of family and close friends a little later to share memories. The reason for this is that it is my strong desire to be in communion with his living soul as it leaves the body and not to be tied to grieving for the loss of his physical life. Certainly I will miss him – massively – but I know that acceptance is tremendously important and so veyr helpful. We have put this into practice recently when we had to put our beloved golden retriever to sleep. This experience has been quite special and has served to reinforce our decision. The issue really is one’s understanding of ‘life’ and life – physical and spiritual. Quantum physics makes this very simple, I find. Everything created is energy. Energy can never be destroyed – just transmuted. That means us as well.

      • jerry

        Many blessings to you and your husband, Elizabeth. It’s interesting how ‘duality’ really puts us through our paces from one extreme to another. I also, did not have a funeral for my wife, she did not want one, she just wanted to be remembered with friends coming over and pictures of good times.

        Preparing for this can make your relationship much closer and deeper.


  10. rainbowolf~bridge

    Beautiful & touching message from Spirit John, and the timing couldn’t be better. There were 3 deaths in my circle yesterday & i am sharing with the loved ones who are coping with their greif & loss. Thank you Beloveds for such a joyous & wonderful glimpse of “coming home!”
    Love & Bright Blessings! :>)di

  11. Patience

    Needed to hear this…again. 🙂
    Communications…fascinating. Any hints on how to become open to them and how to discern them from something you are making up in your head due to wishful thinking? But then if all of reality is ‘made up’ by me then those may be just as real? I need to rest my brain I think. (grin)

    • John Cali

      That sounds good — resting your brain, that is. 🙂

      For me personally, my daily meditation practice has helped me to connect easily with spirit.

      • Chuck

        Thanks for the amazing Post.
        Seems like a hard concept to grasp, that we are eternal. That we are Gods. We are all One. etc
        I have also read so many many spiritual masters saying we are eternal and am in many ways convinced that it got to be true when so many are saying it and also i can feel the truth or something intuitively telling me that thats right message.
        i do different variants of meditation but not as regularly. Hoping to get it more and more in my gut belief soon.

        Thanks John for letting us know your tool to connect to Spirit.

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