Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How close is heaven?

You Tube has a posting about a little boy who says he's been to heaven. Authors have written books about being in heaven. Who am I to scoff? I have never been to heaven, but I've been close. Holding my newborn babies felt like receiving a gift from God. I was euphoric.

Being with my mom, my best friend, my seven year old niece and years later, her mother when they died made me aware that there is a power far greater than mine.

Rushing to the hospital when my son was in a serious motorcycle accident was a nightmare. All those Sunday School prayers and church rituals were forgotten. I was instantly reduced to my earliest level of negotiation, a child pleading with a parent. I prayed from my heart and I begged.

A few years ago hubby and I were power of attorney for his elderly aunt who was in a nursing home. She developed sepsis and became seriously ill. She was hospitalized and comatose for awhile. She awoke lucid, anxious to tell me something. She said she had gone away and had been on a trip. I explained that she was in a hospital.

She insisted, "No, I went away on a trip."

I asked where she had gone on her trip.

"I went to Heaven, and the colors are so brilliant. You wouldn't believe all of the flowers, they're everywhere. Heaven is so colorful.(She could not find words to describe the bright colors, like the little boy on You Tube). And I saw God. I did! He's not white; he has light brown skin, and he's very good looking, not at all like those church pictures; he's younger."

Yes, I chuckled.

I wanted her to keep talking, but an attendant walked in and she lost her train of thought. I tried to get her to focus again on her trip. She was trying so hard to get back to that place, but she was also trying hard to please me. I asked if she could tell me one more thing. She said, "Oh yes, the food is realy good there, and tell your mom I can get her a lunch plate for $2.50."

It was like pricking a balloon with a needle. We both emotionally deflated rapidly.
We were never able to recapture the moment.

Who am I to doubt that she went to heaven?

Flowers? YES!

Unbelievably brilliant colors everywhere? YES!

Food for two and a half bucks a plate?
Naw, that was her concious thoughts surfacing through unconciousness.

Scientists have a theory about the physical things that occur in our brains as we die. Theologians have a theory; atheists and agnostics and religious people have their opinions and beliefs. I have mine.

When my mother was on her death bed, my son's wife was expecting a baby girl. She would have been my mom's fourth great-grandchild. I said, "Mom, if you and Jason's unborn baby pass one another in heaven, kiss her on her tummy."

Nicole was born with a birthmark on her belly in the shape of lips. I call it her Maw-maw kiss.

I've never been to heaven, but I've been close ...

19 comments:

Susan said...

Awwww, that was a nice post, Linda. I believe some people have seen proof of life from the other side. I've been close to heaven and, sad to say, close to hell, too. ha! I prefer heaven, that's for sure. Take care.Susan

Sioux said...

What a wonderful post. The last line is amazingly powerful. (How about the oft-snubbed "dot dot dot" at the end instead of a period? Yes, I know, I am the Ellipsis Empress...

Bookie said...

Great post. I think we are so used to knowing things "for sure" we have trouble with dealing with faith based things...I'm willing to entertain the idea that anything is possible...

Terri Tiffany said...

You are right! This is a wonderful post! As a strong believer in heaven it is so sweet to hear that description:))

irishoma said...

Hi Linda,
You never cease to amaze me with the depth and emotion of your posts.
Love the image of your mom kissing your belly with your unborn child.
Your writing is pure heaven.
Donna

Julia Gordon-Bramer said...

I love it! And that birthmark story is too cool!

Linda O'Connell said...

Thank you, my friends. Someday, I may blog about a personal experience I had as my friend passed. There are many unexplainable things in life that some people prefer to label coincidence or imagination.

Odie Langley said...

A wonderful post Linda. I feel close to heaven when I sit holding my little puppy, Rocky. He is so full of love as we should be.

jabblog said...

Nicole has a permanent memento of her great grandmother - wonderful!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Great post. There is a local cardiologist, Michael Sabom, who has published a book about death/near death experiences based on his personal experience with patients over a 20 year period. He is not the only physician to write such a book. Interesting, huh?

Debora said...

You've brought tears to my eyes with the your account of your mother and little Nicole. Heaven is real. There are so many accounts of those who've been there; with astonishing similarities. I particularly love the store of Akiane, a little Russian girl who's seen heaven and is now painting it as best she can. You see, she's limited by the amount of colors available on earth. She can't seem to describe or create the spectrum of colors she saw in heaven...just like your husband's aunt.

tracboy2 said...

Mom...you made me cry once again with one of your heart-warming stories! I remember being in that room with Grandma when you asked her this. You are an awesome story-teller (Thanks to your dad)and I am proud of you :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

My aunt died briefly and returned. She went to heaven, and the Lord told her she needed to return. Her work wasn't finished yet. She's still with us. :)

It's interesting because Jesus told a story of a rich man, who died and went to hell. He begged Father Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers about that awful place. Father Abraham said people would not believe even if someone returned from the dead.

Jesus returned from the dead (permanently), while many others who returned (temporarily) have testified of heaven. Still people do not believe.

For me, I accept what Jesus said about both places. I don't need to know every detail, but I'm grateful that Jesus made a way for me to spend eternity with Him.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Tammy said...

I don't know, but I think $2.50 for a lunch plate sounds pretty good.... I'm sorry to hear you've had to be with so many when they passed. But what a toasty warm post you've made of it!

Linda O'Connell said...

Every time I see a comment I feel as though I have received an unexpected gift. Thank you.

Ms.Daisy said...

Linda,
I love the "birthmark on the baby's tummy in the shape of lips." Your writing is so easy to read - you tell a great story. Thank you for your very nice comments on my Book Blurb Friday - I appreciate you opinion.

~Jean

Cathy C. Hall said...

You do have a gift, telling your personal stories, Linda. And I, for one, am so glad you share 'em.

Sioux said...

Linda---Has this story been published? If not, why not? (Although after people read THIS story in a collection, no other story will move them as much.)

I had forgotten to include in my comment about Nicole's birthmark. Quite touching...

Peggy Frezon said...

What very special thoughts. And particularly appropriate for the Easter season. I don't know what Heaven is like, but I know it is there.