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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Heaven

I started reading a book this morning called The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin Malarkey. I'm about a 1/4 of the way into it. It was hard for me to keep myself from crying in the vanpool as I read it. It is about a 6 year old who was in a bad car accident and his accounts from being in heaven.

There is a line in there about when the mother found out about the boy's accident and she talks about if God brought him into Heaven, she would be o.k. but God would have to give her the strength to be o.k. with that. And I thought - how does one ever have the strength for something like that? I just think of when my grandfather passed away in 2004. I remember thinking and saying that I just wasn't ready for him to die. He would be my first relative to pass away that I had ever really known (my great grandmother died in the late 80s shortly before we moved back to Spokane, but I don't know if I ever really knew her like I did my grandfather). It was really hard for me to experience death and more so, for it to be my grandfather who died. I cannot imagine the amount of strength one would need if it was one's child that was dying.

However, I keep thinking about things that I had heard after my aunt and grandmother died this year and I can only imagine hearing stories like this and having our beliefs is where the strength comes from. My other aunts and my cousin (whose mom it was that passed) told me of things that my aunt had said before she passed. She said that she saw her dad (who died before I was born) walking toward her and that there were a lot of people with him. She said it again some time later and said their dad was even closer this time and so she knew she was about to die and would be going to heaven. When I heard that, I kept thinking, how can one not believe in something after this life? Some may say it is the pain meds causing delusions, but I believe that she was catching her first glimpses of heaven and it made me feel good to know she was going somewhere good - somewhere without pain, but love (this may sound cheesy to some people reading it but feeling like this is what gets me through the days sometimes). It made me feel better with losing my grandfather 6 years prior, my grandmother in March of this year and now my aunt. An aunt I felt closer to than any others since she lived over here in Seattle before moving back to Spokane about 5 years ago. Not only that, but my cousin said that shortly after she passed, he said out loud "mom, if there is anything after this life, please give me a sign" and I believe she did. He went on to say that a hummingbird kept coming up to the window multiple times and just staring into the room at him. While another cousin was outside, this same hummingbird even flew straight at my other cousin in between one of these window times. Both of them felt it was their mom giving them a sign and I believe so too.

I'm thinking that this book is just the right book for me right now after losing 2 family members in one year. It is a hard book to read because it involves a small child and the father blames himself for the accident, but so far, it is a good book. Another book that I enjoyed that dealt with the afterlife is a fiction book called Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zeven. That book was also a bit of a feel good story (though some parts were a little annoying).

(Just a little note - there was one part of the Heaven book that I cannot believe someone actually said to a mother grieving for her child - a paramedic said that he had prayed for her son while on board the helicopter and that she must continue to do so and not let the doctors steer away from her child recovering or else he would die. Who says that? Do this or your child is going to die and it will be your fault. He might not have meant it that way, but that is the way it came across to me.)

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