discovery #8

that i'm not sure what happens when we die.

i finished the book today and most of the last 50 pages deals with death and the afterlife. david is confronting a lot of these subjects in the hospital chaplain training, so we talked about the whole heaven-hell-atone-for-your-sins-thing today. i realized that despite the fact that i have strong beliefs on what i believe happened to my sister after she was killed, i've never really thought that deeply about whether i would label those ideas as "heaven."

in an attempt to begin putting words to my inner-most thoughts, as i hope someday to add to the literature on death/dying, here goes nothin. i believe that when jamie and andy died their souls went (somewhere) that was perfectly made for them--lots of puppies (they always wanted a dog!), babies (they were bound to be incredible parents), swimming pools (j), golf courses (a), and no pain or fear or regret. although i've never used the word heaven, i suppose i do adopt one common attribute: i look up. i throw kisses to the sky. thank them for a beautiful sunrise or sunset. and generally assume they look down to check-in from time to time, just to make sure we're all still smiling.

david jokes that although i don't identify as religious, i espouse more of the values than half the church-goers he's met. i describe myself as questioning--and this was true even before jamie's death. i'm not sure what i believe...and luckily, i married a man who's cool with that. i like the flexibility of my spirituality, it's allows me to adopt parts from various perspectives and create what feels right for me. so, do i know what happens when we die? no. nobody does.

but i like what kubler-ross says: "when we have passed the tests we were sent to Earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul the way a cocoon encloses the future butterfly, and when the time is right we can let go of it." and i like the idea of "the five people you meet in heaven" and the impact that we have on those who we meet in our lives. and i like the thought that my sister can take a break from the loveliness i hope she is enjoying and feel the love i'm sending out into the universe.

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