Everyone becomes a ghost when they die. That is the afterlife. After death the mind/soul detaches from the brain, travels into the next universe over, and forms a new body out of ectoplasm. Since it’s a natural process, it isn’t perfect, so some memories or even identity can be lost. The ghost could end up with no real consciousness at all, or with the personality and mind completely intact, or somewhere in between. The more humanoid the ghost, the more likely he had a quick death and a good recovery. Someone like Skulker likely lost a good deal of himself, possibly after a drawn out death. Johnny on the other hand was probably fully conscious when an accident cracked his head open and splattered his brains, causing an immediate and complete detachment.
[Drawing of a purple ghost saying “Congrats on finishing your painting. You worked hard on it for a long time, and it shows. It looks amazing. You did a fantastic job.” in a green speech bubble on a blue background.]
Ghosts between us. You say this to mean immeasurable distance. Like miles. Like we’re worlds apart—even as we kiss. It’s physics. No matter how small the distance, there will always be ghosts between us.
Jennifer Met, section 9 of “A Mexican-American Ghost Story,” Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry (vol. 60, no. 1, Fall/Winter 2016)