How stories begin and end change the way we perceive what happens in between. A story’s order matters. “Once upon a time” sets our expectations for what will follow, just as “happily ever after” helps us understand what just took place.
The arrangement of a story – where it begins, where it ends, and what happens when in between – changes our perception of that story. [For a rather straightforward example of how order and arrangement change a story, watch this video.]
Imagine what happens, then, if our story doesn’t begin when we’re born or end when we die. Imagine what happens if we are born with a history and die with a future. This must change how we understand and perceive of our life in between.
The beginning and end of your story are not marked by your birth and death. How might this change your understanding and experience of life in between?