A little over a year ago, my mom’s sister, my Aunt Linda, was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was only fifty-seven years old, but had smoked for a very long time. The way the cancer had spread throughout her body, the doctors did not think she would live much more that a few months. But she did. For almost a year she went through hours of chemotherapy and many other cancer treatments. These treatments helped shrink the tumors in her body, but they could not completely cure her.
As the months went by, so did my aunt’s time here on earth with us. For a while the doctors said she was doing well for the stages of cancer she was in. Then at the end of the summer, I found out that she was not doing very well. The treatments were not working to help stop the cancer cells from spreading through my Aunt Linda’s body. As the weeks went by, she became sicker and weaker. On Monday, October 13th, 2008, my Aunt Linda passed away. My family and I and all those who knew her were devastated and heart-broken. But she had been able to see her youngest of two sons married only months before, and to see her second grandson just days before she passed away.
My Aunt Linda’s death was the first death of someone so close to me that I have ever experienced. It was life changing. It shook me, my belifs, and my perspective on life dramatically. I have had great-grand-parents and great-aunts and uncles pass away before, but all while I was very young and did not understand. I had never felt that kind of emotional pain of losing someone you love so dearly ever before. The only thing that kept me, and I am sure many other of my family members going, was the fact that I knew she was in a far better place away from suffering and pain. I believe with all my heart that heaven exists and that my Aunt Linda and all my other deceased family and friends who believed are there.
I believe that when I die someday, I also will go to heaven. Each day I wake up knowing that if I were to die today, I would go to heaven. There is no doubt in my mind that will happen someday.