Tuesday, September 10, 2013

on life after death ...

  I'll be the first to admit that once upon a time the thought of death terrified me.  I didn't want to die.  Didn't want anyone I knew to die.  My first exposure to death was going to the viewing of my best friend's father when I was just 16.  It freaked me out.

  Because of geographical distance, even though I lost most of my grandparents and an aunt by the time I was 30, the first real memorial service I went to was for a co-worker who passed from cancer.  I sat in the back where I could make noisy sobs without bothering anyone else in the church.  I didn't know him well, but as the Human Resource Generalist for the company at the time, I had spoken to him often, before and after he left on medical leave.  In fact, I had spoken to him the day before he died when he called excitedly to share the news that his tumor was shrinking.

  I think that was what grieved me the most.  The unexpectedness of it all.  The joy, then suddenly ... the death.

  After that, through losses of other family members and friends ... I managed to skip around the facing death issue.  The uncertainty of "what next" terrified me.  The suddenness of death arriving terrified me.

  It wasn't until my father's death in 2007 that I really got slapped in the face with facing my fears.  But there were several things that happened after that moment that brought me comfort.  The first was what I've always considered to be a visit by my father a year after his death, while I was talking to my uncle (his twin) on the phone.  It brought me so much peace to feel that he was there and letting us know that he was well.  The second occurred at the memorial service for his little sister, who passed the year after he did.  While we were singing one of her favorite hymns in the church, I had a vision ~ as clear as if it were truly right in front of me ~ of my father greeting her and taking her hand to walk along a road under beautiful fall colored trees.

  In the years since then, I have grown in my faith and become less afraid of the "what next."  I have come to realize that what scared me most was the thought that this was all there was.  That there was nothing more.  That there was ... nothing.  Knowing that there is more ... that there is something ... that there is a peace and a home and a healing ... and love that surpasses all this world has to offer ... wow.  I am brought to my knees in grateful tears.

  Yesterday I lost someone I loved ... and while there are tears for that today ... some of them are tears of joy because I know that he has gone home at last, and has found that peace and love.  I know that he was welcomed and greeted and embraced and healed.  And I know that I will see him again one day when I go home.


  1. I am very sorry for your loss. But hold firmly to the thought that no-one has gone, while they are remembered.

  2. I felt my father's presence hanging around my home immediately after his death, he disappeared after my brother scattered his ashes as he'd wished.
    I'm not afraid of dying at all, but it does bother me that I may go before I'm ready. and I won't be ready for another 40 or so years.