Insights Into The Afterlife 30 Questions And Answers On What To Expect
By Nora M. Spurgin
Our life on earth is a precious growing opportunity. All of us, in living, are preparing to die. Some know that it will be soon, others will have many more years to prepare, and there will be those who die far sooner than they expect. It is a fact of life that everyone will pass on and none of us knows exactly when. Many will not be given an opportunity to prepare to make their passing a new celebration of life.
The purpose of this booklet is to educate people about the next life in order to provide guidelines for a more meaningful life on earth, offer enlightenment and comfort, and dispel the fear of death and the next life.
This booklet is written as a tribute to my friend Linna who was mentioned in the introduction. At this point I would like to recount Linna's final hours.
It was summer and a warm August breeze blew through the open window by Linna's bedside. From the window, she could see the countryside, familiar since her childhood: there was the yard she had played in, the trees she had climbed. She had gone home to say good-bye to this life. Linna's husband and children, and other family and friends, kept vigil seeking to bring every comfort and love to her final hours, as they sought the right moment to say good-bye.
On numerous occasions during those final days, Linna spoke with fading strength, I feel the presence of people from the other side around me. They are talking; there is a flurry of activity and excitement. They are waiting for me.
At another point Linna looked up and smiled. Her breathing was labored and irregular. Don't you hear the beautiful music? she asked. Then as night fell, she closed her eyes and took her last irregular breath. Her frail body was no longer host to her lively and witty spirit.
But we all know she lived on in the loving embrace of those who had been waiting to receive her. Several days later, her pastor spoke the following words at her funeral service:
... A funeral is in one way comparable to the celebration of a wedding; it is entering into a new life. It is seemingly a paradox that life imparts to us. On the one hand, we seek joy; and yet, on the other hand, our lives are filled with moments of sad good-byes. When parents send a son or daughter off to college, they are filled with a sense of pride and fulfillment, joy and hopes for the future. Yet, somewhere lingers the sadness of good-bye, and with that sadness, remain memories of past times when their children were young; when the home, Mommy and Daddy, were the only world they knew.
The same is true of the wedding day; the father says good-bye to the daughter who for all her life was only his. In one moment, joy and sorrow encounter in one heart.
Our lives are filled with such moments, for God is teaching us always to temper our sorrows with the knowledge that a greater good and higher destiny is being fulfilled. The parents who sent a child to college with a smiling face and a joyous, happy mind may later quietly shed a tear; but that sorrow passes and is consumed in the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. They remember that, after all, it is this moment for which they sacrificed their lives.
Likewise for the father whose daughter becomes a wife and a mother; his momentary sorrow is washed away in the new dimension of his life as a grandfather.
All of those moments are but practice for this moment. God is teaching us to go forward, trusting that a higher destiny, a greater good is being fulfilled. To give us that insight is one of the more important roles of faith.
Today we are sending Linna away to the ultimate college, and as we watch her go, we can be filled with a sense of joy for her accomplishment and hope for all that she will achieve there. Today, we give Linna away to the ultimate of bride-grooms. We watch her walk down the aisle of heaven with her beloved, and know that in this moment, she is consumed with an immeasurable joy. Let the knowledge that a better life has come for Linna temper our pain and properly position our sorrow as a secondary, temporary condition. Let our sorrow be washed away by the faith that in freely giving her, Linna will, one day, be returned to us in unimaginable splendor, when we join her there.
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