If we completely cease to exist when we die, and our energy simply dissipates, we would be the only thing in nature that does that. It makes more sense to believe in some kind of afterlife than it does to disbelieve. At least that’s what I’ve always thought.
I think your young son has it going on! When my mother was a small child, she repeatedly and seriously told her own mother, “you’ll get little again and I’ll be big, then I’ll get little, too.” Then she’d laugh delightedly like a baby Buddha.
My grandson spontaneously told his mother, a troubled person in a bad situation he did not know about, “don’t worry, I came back here to help you and daddy.” He was three and had just walked up to her while she was standing in the kitchen, tapped her on the leg, and told her that with an earnest look on his little face. Then he took off to play.
He said many strange things until he was almost four. He doesn’t remember it now that he’s 16.
There’s so much we don’t know!