between here and the hereafter.
As a person who’s never been too far removed from death, this question fascinates me. By that I mean I’ve lost many acquaintances, family members, friends. The first part of my life I believed in the hereafter because I was told. Then I had a crisis of faith, I guess you could call it, did some soul searching for the better part of a year, and landed right back at the beginning, choosing to keep my initial beliefs.
I was pretty young when my 17-year-old cousin hanged himself. I vaguely recall a family member of his having their picture taken at his gravesite, and in review a hand was placed to their shoulder. No one could figure out who it belonged to. I’m pretty sure no one had placed a hand to their shoulder at the time the picture was taken. Was it my cousin, allowed back to comfort the bereaved? Was it an angel? This question was never answered, but I believe it was a sign. A sign of something beyond the corporeal realm.
Another cousin of mine died of cancer in his twenties. My uncle mourned him for several years, before himself dying to a medical mistake, when his diabetes medicine damaged his liver. At the funeral one of my aunts told of a call his family had gotten, from D’s (name withheld for privacy) cellphone. D was the son he’d lost all those years before. I assumed his cellphone had surely been deactivated by then. What explanation could there be, then? Some solicitor hijacked the number? What were the odds it would be that exact one? My aunt said the person who’d received the call answered, only to hear dead silence on the other end. They interpreted it thusly: my uncle was with D, and the call was our assurance.
I believe in Heaven. Hell. The latter scares me more than nothingness ever could, at this juncture. I come from a very spiritual family. There have been a couple accounts of family members having dreams and visions of dead family members shortly before their own deaths. It’s come to be a sort of harbinger. Perhaps it’s to ease the fear of the process. I’ve heard someone say: “It’s not the dying; it’s the getting there.”
(Also these are old accounts and my memory isn’t the greatest so take everything I say with a grain of salt, and allow for a margin of error.)
Another topic that sort of ties in:
Do I believe in ghosts? I’ve actually considered posting about this before. My interpretation of ghosts is that they’re actually evil spirits impersonating the dead. I believe the dead move on once the soul and spirit part from the body. “Absent from the body, present with the LORD.” That kind of cements it for me. And think of it like this: I’ve heard of a ghost encounter where a little girl died in this house and close to a century later “she” was tormenting the new family who’d moved in. What motive would a little girl have to do that, unless it was something evil impersonating her? Another reason to dislike the dark side—they deface the memories of innocent people by impersonating them. But again, that’s just my hypothesis.
I could probably go way deeper with this, but I’m gonna’ stop there...