Having long since entered my “senior years”, I have spent much time thinking of what, if anything, happens after departure from this life. I am hoping it is something like this:
Regardless of burial, cremation or means of disposal, our remains are somewhere on planet earth and will eventually degrade into “dust”. What happens on the earth becomes irrelevant and if, as I suspect, homo sapiens kills itself off and becomes extinct, our remains are still on, in or around the planet until something really dramatic happens. Such as; in a few millions of years, our beloved star; aka the sun, runs out of hydrogen and becomes a red dwarf star and the earth becomes a lifeless frozen rock, but our dust remains. Perhaps in the next few minutes or few billion years (time has become unimportant as the universe goes on forever), the planet previously known as “earth” is pulverized into dust by collision with a huge asteroid and a giant dust cloud containing “our dust” begins to float through space forever. Eventually, the dust cloud encounters a solar system containing a bright young star, around which several rocky planets orbit. Just as in the long-since forgotten solar system of our origin, one of these young planets is precisely the correct distance from it’s star for life to evolve. As the ancient earth’s dust cloud, settles on these virgin planets, the basic chemistry of life is “seeded” with our dust and as the star warms and water is formed evolution begins again and we are reborn far, far away.