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Keanu Reeves Told Stephen Colbert What Happens When We Die And The Answer Is Simple Yet Profound

by Kim Wong-Shing
Kim Wong-Shing is a staff writer at LittleThings. Her work spans beauty, wellness, pop culture, identity, food, and other topics. She is a contributing writer at NaturallyCurly, and her work has also appeared in HelloGiggles, Lifehacker, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other outlets. She grew up in Philadelphia, attended Brown University, and is now based in New Orleans.

If there’s one question that most human beings struggle to answer, it’s what happens when we die. It’s one of the most central questions of human existence, along with the meaning of life.

And, um, Keanu Reeves just answered it. We can all pack up and go home. The mystery is solved!

The actor encountered the question during an appearance on The Late Show. Host Stephen Colbert casually asked Keanu: “What do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?”

The audience laughed at first, because why would Keanu know?!

But then Keanu sat there and thought for a minute, and he delivered a stunningly poignant answer:

“I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”

Again, the audience briefly chuckled before the truth of the statement hit them, after which they let out a collective awww.

Meanwhile, Stephen was speechless.

A clip of the moment made it onto Twitter, where people are having strong reactions.

Keanu Reeves’s newest movie, Bill & Ted Face the Music, will soon start filming, and it’s set for a 2020 theater release.

It’s the third film in the Bill & Ted franchise, and fans have been waiting for it for a looong time. Since 1991, to be precise.

So when Keanu showed up to The Late Show for a chat with Stephen Colbert, the movie naturally came up during their conversation.

Keanu explained that the new movie is about Bill and Ted trying to write a song to save the universe.

If they fail, “it’s the end of the universe,” Keanu told Stephen.

OK, it’s no Matrix, but pretty deep stuff there!

“You’re facing your own mortality and the mortality of all existence. Wow,” Stephen said.

Then the host asked Keanu an unanswerable question. Or, at least, a question that should have been unanswerable.

“What do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?” The Late Show host asked.

And somehow, Keanu managed to come back with a smart, honest reply.

He took a deep breath and paused. Then he said, “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”

OK, wow. Definitely not what ANYONE was expecting to hear, because it’s so straightforward and so true, and yet so unexpected.

It’s not often that you see Stephen Colbert at a loss for words, but he was speechless after Keanu’s reply. A full 10 seconds passed before he said anything at all.

He mouthed “Wow” and shook Keanu’s hand. Meanwhile, the audience was also in shock.

A Twitter user posted a clip of the moment, and it quickly went viral.

“Keanu Reeves gives the right answer to an impossible question,” the user wrote.

How did Keanu come up with that moving answer so fast?

Many people wondered the same thing, but others pointed out a likely answer: Keanu has experienced a lot of loss in his lifetime, so he’s probably thought about this question plenty.

In 1999, Keanu and his girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, had a stillborn baby. The couple broke up because of the grief, and the next year, Jennifer died in a car crash.

Stephen, too, has experienced more than his share of death. He lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash when he was only 10 years old.

“It seems they were both locked in a special moment,” one fan said of Keanu and Stephen’s silent handshake.

Many of us were locked in that moment with them, too. Keanu’s answer offers a lot to think about, to say the least!