I’ve thought a lot about the afterlife lately, I’m sure you can understand why.
One aspect that I’ve thought a lot about is “what’s it like”?
Yesterday was one of those rare treat late fall days that New England sometimes drops right in your lap, sunny, mid to high sixties, on a weekend no less. It was not a day to watch football on TV or do chores around the house. I insisted we go out somewhere and enjoy it. We decided to take Buddy for a run on the beach.
There were dozens of other dogs, a half mile of open sand and no leash…I think I have a pretty good idea what Buddy’s heaven looks like. It was a really good day for a dog and not a bad one for me either.
I often wonder how Kevin spends his time. I imagine him hanging out with his Nana and Bubba, visiting with my parents, but I can’t say for sure what his heaven would be like. I don’t know if he had a place that was special to him or a favorite time of day. It seems to me he was happiest having fun with his friends or enjoying quiet time around the house. I don’t quite know how that would translate. I could see him “being” a young boy and exploring the dark basement with Bubba, he loved that.
I love the ocean, and the mountains. The most holy feeling I ever experienced was walking alone through the woods at night when I was a boy. It was snowing and I could actually hear the faintest hiss as the snow fell to the ground, it sounded like the whisper of angels.
I love to look at the stars. Once several years ago we were staying up in North Conway on our summer vacation. I was sitting out on the deck on a dark night star gazing. If you sit out there long enough and your eyes adjust you can see the Milky Way stretching across the sky. I could hear the kids in the house playing a game, Pictionary or Scattercories or something like that.
I scanned a bunch of old photographs after Kevin died. There was one in particular I love. It’s fall. Kevin and Drew are playing soccer in the driveway, there are piles of leaves. The sun is low in the sky, the light soft. Kev has the ball on his foot. Drew is in an almost perfect defensive stance. Kev was probably eight in the picture. Drew was two. Every time I look at it I imagine that my version of heaven would probably look something like that.
One of the “rules” I can’t reconcile from traditional religion is the idea that a just and loving God could damn some while admitting others to paradise. I can’t imagine anyone being content in bliss if everyone they loved wasn’t there with them.
My heaven will have family, nature, Lynnwood pizza and UBU Ale, and perhaps some dogs running on the beach. There will be soccer games and cribbage tournaments and laughter. Mostly there will be love and someday, many, many years from now, my family will be whole again.