In an ancient age of the earth, the veil between life and afterlife was not so mysterious. There was no doubt that death was but a doorway leading to another realm where souls continued a journey that they began in the realm called life.
After death, some souls go to reward and some to punishment. Then there are the ones who just need to do some “community service” to atone for minor wrongs. The length and manner of service depends on the offense. The service is some task, usually tedious, that must be performed in the maintenance of the cosmos. Some service has nothing to do with the world of the living. Some service has everything to do with the world of the living.