A new guest who left a comment on my last post reminded me of something that I have wanted to write about for awhile.
The topic that I have thought of quite often is can Eric understand what is going on in our lives right now? It leads to other questions like....Would he even care? and Can he see the good and glory that is the ultimate outcome of this trial?
We know very little about heaven. We know it is desirable over the other option. We know that it is only for those who are saved by the gift of grace. We know that it is a real place where there is no more pain or sorrow or sin.
What we don't know is when we leave this earth are we leaving it all behind or will we have a glimpse of our loved ones on the other side? I, for one, have had to deal with these questions that seemed rather easy when I was not facing this tragedy. But, now that I am here I find the questions heart-wrenching. I am sure this is due to the fact that the answer is not really the one that I want to hear. So, for those of you theologians out there that know more than me please correct me if I am wrong.
After much thought I realize that verses like "to live is Christ, to die is gain" (thank you Carlee) give me the answer. Even our vows give me a glimpse into what death is all about...."till death do us part". Death is the end of this mortal life. It is the end of our earthly relationships. Our life here is like being in the womb. We are alive and yet we are confined to a specific space. It is when we are birthed that we see the full picture of the world around us. I see heaven as the baby's new world. Eric doesn't see us down here on this earth because he can only see what is his life now. Just as a baby can't go back into the womb I find myself realizing that Eric can't or actually wouldn't want to see back into a world that was not his permanent home. He is permanently home now.
The hard part about this subject is that we like to help a grieving person by telling them that the family member sees what is going on. I was told this after my grandmother died. Some well meaning friends told me that Grandma could see what I was doing and I went on with a vision of my Grandmother either smiling or frowning at my decisions. I know it was said to comfort me in my loss but I just do not see any biblical references to show that Eric even knows what is going on. And, that thought is what makes grieving even more lonely. Eric would be the one to hold me, cry with me, and get me through tough times of grieving. He is not only not here to do those things but he doesn't even care anymore. As I write this I can see where this is going to sound worse in print than it would if I was talking to you in person. I have no animosity toward God's plan. When I say that Eric doesn't care I don't mean that he didn't care before but he is now busy in a new world that is his gain. He has been given his eternal reward. I find myself realizing that the notion of Eric caring for us after being gone is a worldly way to deal with his death. But, is it healthy to carry along the idea that he is rooting for us at the pearly gates?
I will never forget Eric. He was an incredible man who taught me so much. I am a better person for having been his wife for twenty years. And, I miss him terribly. But, I find that, even though it is hard, I have to accept that God has asked me to walk forward into a new life. Not tossing off the old but rather enjoying the benefits (a more sanctified life) of what was a happy, healthy relationship. Every moment of our past makes us a different person for the future.
So, have I made you think? It sure has been something I have been pondering.