Our commenter GregL sent me an email about an earlier thread and kindly offered to let me share it. I'm sure his experience will resonate with many of us.
I just recently was able to read thru “The Children’s Hour” and some of the many comments circulating around AOD’s doubts as to an afterlife.
I am a little late with my take on this, but if you read this you will understand why, and its direct relationship to the arguments advanced by AOD and others.
My mom took gravely ill about eight days ago. My wife and I spent the last week running to and from the hospital and finally spending 24 hours a day there the last few days. On her last day, the doctors told me she had no chance, all they could do was prolong her life in intensive care. I asked her if she wanted to try intensive care or possibly go to Heaven.
She said, “Heaven.”
Then this kind and gentle woman, unable to say more than two or three words, and later no words, began to comfort us. She showed a courage, grace, and poise in the face of death that I could never achieve. Holding hands, and expressing her love, she slowly drifted off to unconsciousness. She had lived with me the last two years of her life. I asked her to, if she could, come back home and give me a sign that she was OK.
She spent about eight hours slowly dying. She was a religious, kind, loving mother. She was preceded in death by her husband, her son, and her grandson. Her death came as a peaceful cessation of breathing as we told her we loved her. But, Michael, not even a hint of any near-death experience. No angels, no comments that loved ones were there, no lightening of the room. Nothing.
I left the hospital both crushed by her leaving and in despair at the lack of any “event” surrounding her passing. Like yourself, I have read and studied everything regarding a life after death. Expecting something wonderful receiving nothing, I ruminated about how trivial the so-called “evidence” for an afterlife seemed before the immensity of death. I felt empty and that my mom was truly gone.
In my house I had set up a monitoring system between our bedroom and my mom’s downstairs. We had to help her to the bathroom at night and would listen for her call.
Okay, when I woke up the morning after her passing, I lay in bed still numb from the events of the past day. Then, her voice, fairly loud and distinctive called my name in a kind of drawn-out fashion, “Greg!” It seemed to come from her room.
What to make of this now? Like a flame dancing in the wind I now move between despair and hope, a dichotomy of opposing beliefs. Probably never to be resolved until my own passing. I hope I see her there.