You are asking some really great questions today!
I would be interested to hear what your answer to this question is?
I personally think that it depends on our beliefs. After they die, some people will be confused and wonder what is going on. Others will realise immediately that they are dead.
I believe that our loved one's will be there to greet us and make the transition easier.
For a really determined Atheist it will be possible to remain trapped in between, unable to see, hear or feel their loved ones who are trying to communicate and help. I think that this refusal to acknowledge that you are dead could result in becoming an 'earthbound' spirit. Similar to when you are caught in a dream or nightmare, and can't wake up or work out what's happening.
Eventually, once we realise we are dead and accept it, the veil will be lifted.
For those who are more aware I think the afterlife will be much like this one except without pain, hardship or suffering. We will be a more loving and wiser version of ourselves, but won't necessarily have all the answers. Instead we will continue to learn and grow, including from mistakes that we have made on earth. Part of this will be hanging out with like minded people, and still doing many of the things that we enjoy here.
From time to time I think we can choose to return to 'the classroom' and live another life here until we have outgrown it. To me the spirit world is our true home, and this life is a dream that we will wake up from.
I do not believe in a 'hell', or that people who suicide or murder will be punished. Without the cloud of mental torment that these people experience here, they will see things more clearly.
I also think that fear of death (in one form or another) is at the root of many problems throughout the world. It impacts on the way that we live and is responsible for us struggling for survival, hurting others and destroying the earth.
If we learned to embrace death, we could relax a little and enjoy our lives and each other. Letting go of fear would enable us to make the most of every moment and live more authentically.