The Death Letter Project
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Raphael Mhashilkar | Jewellery Designer

What is death?

No matter in what stage, or circumstances one’s life is in, and even if one beats death at times, in the end death has its winning powers and last crucial say. It ultimately defeats life whether it’s a beautiful life worth living or not. Death is the end result of one’s living being where the body has no life movements, awareness of any sort, consciousness or so called spirit (if there is such thing). These are no longer present in the fleshed body, which end up dissolved to just bare bones. In simple terms death results with your existence reduced to just bare bones.

We are taught to love life and fear death. In my opinion we should love both, because we are life and death that both exist and don’t exist.

Which brings me to the next question…what happens when we die?

Apart from the fact that your body is either being consumed by nature into the earth, putrefied in a coffin, ashed by fire, or in some cultures being fed to the scavengers (all legitimate of course depending on where you come from), the end results comes down to your bare bones.

But still, even after all the rituals of relieving your body, you still happen to be alive in a way. Of course not in a visible way, but in people’s minds, thoughts, or in a way they love you (or hate you, for that matter). 

Our evolutionary thinking still struggles to accept that one is no longer after one’s physical existence. For some reason we have evolved to think that there is life after death, disputing the law of nature that you once were but now you are gone - just like that. It may be too emotionally complex to accept that simple fact, but necessary for the living being to make peace with death.

It’s hard to say what happens when we die, we won’t know until we are there and able to experience the other side.

Life and death, we only know one side of the story. Whatever our living form, we have no clue what is on the other side. No point in disputing or fearing the other side, because it just is.

When we die, we stay well alive in the cloud of memories of those who still remain, we live on, in a different form, a form of no existence, in the memories of those who are left behind.

Raphael Mhashilkar

Editor's note: Originally from Israel, Raphael is a Sydney-based designer and creator of unique jewellery and objects using a variety of materials, with a passion for reinvigorating vintage and antique pieces. For further information visit his website at :

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  • This letter caught my interest as it contains something different to my beliefs. I love to read new ways of seeing things. - Luna Louise Harrison (Facebook)
  • Love what Raphael had to say about death. Thanks. - Helen Dunne (Facebook)
  • Wonderful perspective! - Jessica Molly Rockwell (Facebook)