Home » Heaven


“I’m dying,” she whispered.

“I know,” I said.

The antiseptic walls of the hospital room sucked all the color out of the room. White, impersonal, easy to disinfect, an expanse of blankness broken by the chrome of the bed rails and an old tube style television in the corner tuned to Jeopardy, her husband’s favorite show. The show was muted.The questions were there, but the answers were lost in silence.

“I’m scared,” she said.

“I know,” I said. I reached out and held her cold hand in mine, willing the warmth and life to enter into her body, warming her blood and keeping her with us just a little bit longer.  “But you don’t have to be. We’ll be right here next to you, keeping you company the whole time. You’ll never be alone.”

“But you won’t be there with me when I go. None of you will. I’ll be alone then.”

A tear rolled down her cheek and I wiped it away with a fingertip.

“No,” I said. “We’ll all be there when you get there. None of us die alone. Death is an escape from this world of entropy and time to one where we are not locked into yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In Heaven, there is no past and no future as we know it; there is just an eternal, endless now, just as Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden. We could live here for ten years after you go, but we will all get there together, at the same time.”

“Do you believe in Heaven?” she asked. We were all raised Catholic but had fallen away as time passed. I was a non-denominational Christian, tending towards fundamentalism without being overly dogmatic. She was still a Catholic in her heart, but hadn’t been to Mass in ages.

“Absolutely, I do.”

“Halos and harps and endless praising?”

I laughed. “Not so much. The praising sure, but I have a different picture in my mind of heaven.”

“Tell me,” she asked.

I sat quietly for a moment, the silence broken only by the hiss of the oxygen that was keeping her alive. I leaned into her, kissing her forehead as she used to kiss mine when I was ill. I spoke in a low whisper.

“Okay. Close your eyes and think back to the happiest moment in your life. It doesn’t have to be a big important moment. In fact, it probably isn’t since during all the important moments we’re usually so worried about messing something up that we can’t just relax and enjoy it. So think deeply. Search your memory for a shining moment, when you felt like all was right with the world.”

“I can’t think of one.” Her face wrinkled as she cried. “All I can think about is I’m about to lose everything!”

Her body shook with silent sobs, and I held her and rocked back and forth, letting the storm pass.

I said, “The things I’m talking about are things that can never be taken away, not even by death. Let me give you one of mine and show you what I mean.”

I sat back in the hospital chair, still holding her hand, collecting my thoughts. I’m not much of a sharer so it took a moment.

“It was the night of my junior prom. My date was beautiful, and we had a wonderful time, dinner, then dancing, then a couple of parties after the prom. We were sitting on the porch of her parents house, and I worked up the courage to kiss her for the first time. My first real girlfriend and first real kiss. I was so scared I’d mess it up! After I kissed her, we sat quietly on the porch for a couple of minutes. She had kissed me back, so I wasn’t super scared, but I didn’t know what to do next.

“After a few minutes she turned to me and asked, “Was it my imagination, or did you just kiss me?”

“I kissed you,” I said.

“Do it again!” she said, and I did.

After telling the story, I fell silent for a moment, remembering that night so many years before.

“I can see how a first kiss would be a powerful memory,” she said, and I could see in her eyes her memories of first kisses and first loves.

“It wasn’t the kiss,” I said, “Although that was part of it. The moment I’m talking about came a half hour later, as I started the drive home. It was a warm spring night so I had the top down, and I’m sure I was grinning like an idiot as I drove. As the wind blew past me on the road, I caught her scent, still lingering on my collar and at that moment, I realized that ‘I’ had become a part of an ‘us.’ My life had become joined with another life. It wasn’t just physical, although that was great, and it was an emotion so deep I have to believe it was spiritual. I was moved in my spirit.”

“But it ended,” she said. “You were devastated!”

“Yes it did, and yes I was, and if you asked me then I would give you the same answer I’d give today. I do it all over again in a second with no hesitation and no regrets.”

“I leaned over her and kissed her forehead again. “And that’s what Heaven is. We all become joined; our spirits touch and there’s no fear of separating ever again. We are together with all the people who ever loved us. And with the One Who loved us the most. That’s heaven.”

“So now, find a moment in your life when you felt that. Can you do that?”

She nodded and closed her eyes. I watched her brow furrow for a moment, then clear. When her eyes opened, the fear was replaced with a quiet joy, and I knew she had found her moment.

“I love you,” she said.

“I know.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *