From the Buddhist perspective, death is not the end, and it is nothing to be feared. It is just one of the steps in the continuous cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. These steps are called bardos: states of consciousness, which include life, death, and everything in-between. These in-between, or intermediate, states include the state of meditation and the dream state. Most commonly when the word bardo is used, it refers to the time between one life and the next, the intermediate state between the moment of the final breath, when the body and consciousness separate, and the moment when consciousness enters its next incarnation.
This period of bardo is a time for consciousness to try to let go of attachments of the previous life and an opportunity for consciousness to become aware of and recognize its own true nature. This opportunity is provided by consciousness itself in the form of visions of both deities and demons, or wrathful ones. These visions are projections of one’s own mind, and if they are recognized as such, liberation is achieved. Consciousness becomes one with the luminous, pure white light.
However, most of us do not reach luminosity or enlightenment, and we are reborn. This state of consciousness after death of the physical body is an opportunity to see that the wrathful ones (our fear, anger, and attachments) are products of our own minds, but we can also strive to achieve this awareness in the state of bardo called life. As consciousness becomes more and more aware of itself, as we become more and more aware of what is our ego (fear, anger, and attachments) and what is our true consciousness, we can open up towards compassion. With more and more clarity our true consciousness can guide us to favorable rebirths so that we can continue on our journey towards greater self-awareness, a life of compassion, and eventually luminosity.
Life, death, and everything in-between is a journey of consciousness through states of uncertainty. All states of consciousness, waking, dreaming, dying, etc., are impermanent. Consciousness will shift from one to the next in a continuous cycle until it lets go of all things uncertain and impermanent and becomes one with the permanence of the pure white light.