Eastern Airlines Flight 401 was nearing Miami on December 29, 1972, an L-1011 Tristar known as a Whisperliner, for its quiet engines.It would never make it.The crew were distracted by a burnt-out landing gear indicator light. In doing so, they failed to notice that the autopilot had been disengaged.The plane would gradually lose altitude and crash in the Florida Everglades. Three of the four cockpit crew members, two of the 10 flight attendants, and 96 of the 163 passengers were killed.As the story goes, parts of that plane would be salvaged and be placed on other L-1011s in the fleet. And then, things started happening. Crewmen who died on the flight, suddenly began 'appearing' on Eastern Airlines Tristar flights.A flight attendant on a New York to Miami flight (the very route of the December 1972 crash) opened an overhead locker to find the face of Captain Robert ‘Bob’ Loft's face peering out at her.On another flight, a flight attendant is said to have seen flight engineer Don Repo's face on the oven door. She called two of her fellow crew members in to witness what she had seen. He reportedly then said, "Watch out for fire in this plane."On the returning flight, an engine failed and had to be shut down before it caught fire.And on and on it went.The vice-president of Eastern Air Lines once boarded a flight from New York and chatted with a pilot, who he assumed was in charge of that sector. Later, he recognized the pilot he'd been speaking to was, in fact, Bob.On another day, a crew was in the cockpit of an aircraft when they were said to have seen Don sitting with them. He warned them of a faulty electrical circuit, which was then found and replaced.It got so bad, some maintenance workers refused to go into L-1011s that carried the replacement parts from the doomed airliner.Eastern CEO Frank Borman, a former Apollo astronaut, didn’t want any of this to get out to the public. Something had to be done. All the parts from N310EA were removed and the visitations would stop.The story would spawn a 1976 book by John G. Fuller and a made-for-television movie in 1978 starring Ernest Borgnine.The idea of an after-life came to me recently, as I had to re-do my last will and testament. A chore but you have to keep it updated. It made me think, what will you do, after you die? What will I do?I think it would be kinda fun to haunt commercial airliners. Appearing next to passengers, chatting and then disappearing. Scaring the living hell out of them!But seriously? Are you planning on coming back, like the "Black" Donnellys?To even a score, possibly? Getting back at someone or some group who made your life miserable?I have no problem with that, whatsoever.The bigger question, I suppose, is what will happen to us, after the grim reaper comes to call.Is there even an afterlife? Or do we just fade away, a point of reality on a mysterious greater matrix of time and space.Still existing, but only in the past.Harry Houdini, the legendary escape artist and magician who died on Halloween, debunked mediums and proved most were frauds.He promised his wife, Bess, if it were possible to communicate with the dead, he would come back to her, should he die first. And he gave her a code to help prove it.But after 10 years with no success, Bess stopped trying to contact her husband. At that point she said, "Ten years was long enough to wait for any man."The great French writer Albert Camus rejected all religious conceptions of an afterlife or of the immortality of the soul, which he considered as illusory escapes from the absurdity of life and death.American novelist Ernest Hemingway was fascinated by death.He actively sought out experiences that would allow him to become intimate with death and dying, from his presence on every major warfront during his lifetime to his study of ritualized death in the bullring. For Hemingway, death was the absolute finality that heightened, sharpened and actualized his consciousness.Russian writer Leo Tolstoy believed that at death there is a transfer from this life to another (an afterlife). That if you obeyed God's will (Jesus' commandments), human life would continue from generation to generation.Physicist Stephen Hawking told the Guardian he believes the brain is like a computer that will simply shut off."There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," he would say.American writer and humorist Mark Twain would also have an interesting take on death.“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it,” he said.Reminds me of that great scene in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy, Annie Hall. Allen was a philosophically traumatized child, Alvy, who realized the universe was expanding.Alvy: (looking up at the doctor) “Well, the universe is everything and if it's expanding, someday it will break apart and that would be the end of everything.”Mother: (disgusted and angry) “He stopped doing his homework!”It’s a good question.Why continue living and striving, if it’s all for naught?I have personal reasons for continuing my existence on this godforsaken, dusty planet.I’m still hoping my Detroit Lions will make the playoffs and maybe win the Super Bowl.I know, it’s a big ask. But they are playing OK. As for an afterlife, if it happens, I hope I can still get a Harvey’s double cheeseburger. Otherwise, what’s the point?