At first, there was really very little difference between being alive and being dead. I could still see, hear, smell and feel. I still felt as if I were firmly in the world. I still felt as if I were very much myself.
It was a change in colours that I first noticed. It was very subtle, differences so nuanced I thought I was imaging it. They were the greens and blues and reds I recognised, but also… they weren’t? They bled in to each other; the outlines that had seemed so rigid in life didn’t exist here. None of them were still. They had more life, more agency and they vibrated in a slightly different way for each slightly different colour.
Then I picked up on a change in sound. The vibrations caused a gentle hum, different pitches from different colours. It was a quiet, soothing baseline to the sounds of the rest of the world. It was so subtle that I could not pinpoint it starting and I wondered if it had always been there. Perhaps in life I had never taken the time to listen for it.
The smells were the last of the small changes. They had a colour to them now. Not in the curling wisps that followed freshly baked pies in children’s cartoons, but in a way that ever so slightly permeated the air around a scent.
I began to feel less firm. Like the colours, the lines around me became less rigid. I was no longer solid and for a while I struggled to hold my shape. The different colours of my soul, or being, or consciousness or whatever you want to call it vibrated and for the first time since my heart stopped I was afraid. I felt as if I might blow away on a breeze. I did not want to lose myself.
As I stood at the edge of my grave the vibrations inside me grew stronger and the hum of the colours grew louder. Parts of me hummed with it. This was the sound of the Universe. I heard every laugh, every cry, every shout, every whisper. And the vibrations meant I felt it too- every first love, every last heartbreak, every birth… every death. I was a part of it all and all of it was a part of me. It was heart wrenching and beautiful all at once.
I let go of my rigid lines. My definitions.
I let go of my shape, but did not blow away with the breeze. I spread out through everything. All of the elements that formed me had been forged in the heart of a star. Since then we had been many things in many places. Sometimes together, sometimes not, but always in different combinations. Perhaps one day, if we were lucky, we would get to be a star again. If we were even luckier we might just get another chance at being mortal. Until then we would keep changing. Infinitely.