Dying and not dying

I don’t mean to take anything away from this beautiful film (22:21 minutes and closing in on ten million YouTube views) about the late Zach Sobiech. It’s a sweet video (have your hankies ready) and Zach is an inspiring presence, to be sure.

Yet I woke up this morning wondering why we as a society don’t produce (and demand to be produced via our viewing habits) more films like this that are not so cast in the subtext of the tragic flaw. In other words, how many Zachs of both genders are out there who are bright lights for society and for their loved ones — and who are not dying?

If Zach were not dead, would people care as much? Would people be curious about his life? Would as many people watch his video? Is it the story of his death we’re hung up on? Is it our fear of death we’re hung up on?

Let’s celebrate the lives of people making a difference, even if it is a quiet, behind-the-scenes difference. (I would nominate Zach’s girlfriend for starters.) We get far too many stories about the bullies and the thugs and far too few about those who make this a better world.


For me, the next interesting phase of the Zach Sobiech story would be where is Zach now?

Generally speaking, media doesn’t cover that. Media says, “Zach is gone.” Medical science says, “Zach is gone.” Religion says, “Zach is gone to heaven and we don’t disturb the dead.”

After hearing so many near-death experience stories, I would think that Zach might want to say hello from heaven to a few of those ten million YouTube viewers and especially to the people he loved so much. How would it change the story for the world if Zach broke through the sound barrier between the two planes?

“Made it safely. What a ride! In the words of Steve Jobs, ‘Oh, wow, oh wow.'”


If we ever reached the stage in our socio-emotional growth where we openly ponder what happens after death, videos like Zach’s might assume a different spin. In my own experience, the more I surrounded myself in person, in videos, in books, and in podcasts with people who’d had NDEs, the more I saw death as a transition not a termination. We die and go somewhere else. We may physically return to dust but we still consciously exist.

The average person gets bombarded much more by mortality consciousness and the fear-mongering that goes with it. Many don’t bother to investigate an afterlife because it sounds too weird, unbelievable, and hopeful. Ironically, even some religions pooh-pooh studying this topic up close and personal.

Yet there is a huge cache of media treasures available for anyone who wants to check out stories of people’s encounters with the next life.

I would be most enthralled to hear about Zach’s life now — the true inside story of his transition as told by the spirit Zach. What if his story as currently displayed in the media were not the end but just the beginning?


Anecdotal evidence for soul survival grows fruitful and multiplies, but we’re still stuck in a death-obsessed society that worships a good fear-mongering. If you’re interested in a visit outside this box, may I suggest you read The Last Frontier by Julia Assante, PhD. Or you can visit her website and be sure to check out her blog posts. She’s unique in that she is both an academic researcher and a practicing medium.

The point of Zach’s video was to glorify life and make each moment count because the clock is always ticking. It showed how he lived life to the fullest. He let his creativity flow. He let his love flow.

The video and the news about him also made a big deal about this being his end game, and maybe it wasn’t. I think that’s worth a look.

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