Ronda - Kankakee, Illinois
Entered on August 18, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: afterlife

I have always believed that Heaven exists. Partly because of the comfort of knowing that when our loved ones leave they truly are going to a better place. It’s my belief that it is much like earth without the turmoil and problems.

I had a discussion about Heaven with my best friend, Mary, one evening. She was surprised at my interpretation but she didn’t share her description with me.

Three years ago she passed away. I have no doubt she is in Heaven for many reasons. But it was something that began the night after she left, and still happens, that convinces me that our loved ones do go there.

That night I rode silently in the back seat of my cousin’s car. As we drove along the curves of the country highway, I stared at the black sky. A few clouds were passing through and some stars were peeking out.

A moment later I thought, for a second, I was losing my mind when I felt a light touch on my right arm, just below the shoulder and I heard Mary’s voice, more of a whisper in my ear, say “I’m alright. Don’t cry. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be right back!”

And she was gone. In a heartbeat.

I know she was there, I felt her presence, heard her voice, felt her touch me.

Before I could get another thought started, she was back. Happy as a child, she said, “Hi! This is SO fun! I can get anywhere I want in just seconds! Isn’t that cool! Be back again!”

And again she was gone. I could almost see her spiriting through the night air, happy, healthy, free as a bird.

I thought I was imagining things for a minute – was I losing my mind? Or was Mary really with me? She’d once told me that even though people leave, they are always right beside us.

I believed her, of course, because I wanted to think that my parents and grandparents were always nearby. Now I knew it was true. Never before had I felt anyone touch my arm.

I still don’t know if my description of Heaven was accurate but there is no doubt for me that those who go before us are around us.

I feel her hug my shoulders when I’m sad or a playful punch during a humorous moment just as though she’s really there laughing with me.

Though a much different scenario, I also believe that when we pass on, we are reunited with our loved ones. Early on the morning after my father died, I was driving along the interstate with little accompanying traffic. The sun was painting the morning clouds in the eastern sky pastels of pink, blue and lavendar.

As I drove along trying to acquaint myself with the fact that Dad was not going to be around anymore, my attention was drawn to the sky in front of me. For a milisecond I saw him and mom, arm and arm, walking along, happier than they’d been in a long time. He had on his brown shirt with the neatly odd white hash marks, a Panama hat – which Mom had told me about several times – and a small moustache, which I remember him having when I was a kid. And she was wearing her black trimmed grey dress, one of her favorites. I knew right then that they were together, happy and that eventually I would be with them again.

I don’t know what will happen or when. But I do know that Heaven exists and those who go before us are always right with us whether we ever know or acknowledge it.