The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt when anticipating death had their retinue pack up all their gear, furniture, clothing, food and anything that was considered a must-have in the afterlife. They took it all with them into their burial bunkers whether in the Valley of the Kings, Queens or their own personal pyramids. Assuring one’s quality of life in the next world was an obsession that most fledgling pharaohs learned early. With a lifespan of only 30-34 years, assuming they beat the very high infant mortality, they had to start building a tomb immediately upon ascending the throne sometimes as early as the age of 8 or 9! Since they were on terra firma only for a relatively short time compared to an eternity in the eternity, enormous effort and resources were committed to a assure a comfortable perpetuity.
Today many religions embrace the idea of an afterlife. To get there, one must pass a moral litmus test where failure promises a hellish detour. Generally though, today’s travelers have dropped the moving van and simplified their lives by accentuating the spiritual trip rather than physical one. There are exceptions. At a cemetery near Trenton, NJ, I snapped a photo of a grave with a new-looking microwave oven. A hot-pocket sandwich, pop-tart or even popcorn would be a treat for those with such cravings. In some ways, our needs haven’t evolved that much.