Every night this week when I go to bed I get to thinking about the afterlife and then I can’t sleep. Sometimes I just lay there for hours until sleep overcomes me and then I don’t sleep well because I am troubled by weird dreams of powerless shame that I can scarcely remember the next day. Other times, I go downstairs, sit in my best thinking underwear, drink a large glass of thick milk, break into a forbidden bag of chocolate chips and get to pondering about whether there is a great beyond or if there is just one great abyss of nothing when this life is over.
When my light finally goes out do I just become a speck of floating cosmic dust traveling to and fro as part of a mostly empty universe with no floating purpose, hence no real hope? Or, when all my labors are done, when I finally stop moving and that last drop of sweat falls from the tip of my big ol’ nose and hits the ground for the final time am I going to have a rebirth and find my soul transmigrated into the body of a calico cat with feline dementia, or even worse a one of those cocky clams, as a just reward for the mediocre life I just lived?
Now I am not so sure about those visions of the afterlife. But, I can’t shake the feeling that there is something a little more to this life. A little more meaning. ‘Pears to me I’ve had somebody has been watching over my whole life despite all my tragic and sometimes comic failures, despite all my dark moods and my moments of insufferable jerkiness (there’s another word for that but I can’t cuss so I’ll leave it alone). There always seems to be an inner hope that things will get better and I know it’s got to be more than just a fool’s hope. Maybe I got me a guardian angel and if I got one of those then there has to be a Heaven ‘cuz that’s where angels live. Right?
And when I think of Heaven, I don’t think of Heaven as a place where Jimi Hendrix (not sure why everyone envisions Jimi Hendrix in heaven), John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Frank Sinatra, with a desert oasis and neon sign in the background , are all hanging out at bar alongside all the pets I’ve ever “owned” in this life (assuming I do make it, it would be great to be reunited with some of my pets Cuma? Pippin? And it would be cool if they could talk this time around… just saying).
Where Jimi Hendrix and those other sensitive artistic souls end up, I am guessing that is not my place to say and I wouldn’t dare pass judgment, at least that kind of more permanent-like judgment on anyone, dead or alive. You will hear no curses, oaths or damnations pass my lips. I need all the good karma I can get.
And about those 72 virgins, I am not so sure about that vision either. I mean billions and billions of people have passed by on this earth and I just can’t imagine there would be that many virgins in Heaven unless there is a virgin making machine. But even then why the number 72? And why virgins? I could be off base and I could have it all wrong, but for me I’d be happiest if me, my wife, the kids, parents, siblings and other relations are all able to make it up there.
Based on what brings us the most joy in this life, despite the mild dysfunction all families share, and what we know of families and successful communities, it makes a ton of sense that our family relations would extend into the afterlife. No offense to Jimi Hendrix. Kurt Cobain and the others, that makes the most sense to me as to what Heaven could be. Now I am sure there is more to Heaven than just family, more than what my weak reasoning and feeble faith can imagine. From what I hear God will be more just and merciful than we can ever imagine. For my sake I sure hope He is. Good night and God bless.
- More Than Love by Los Lonely Boys
- Train Song by Benjamin Gibbard and Feist
- Havana Moon by Chuck Berry
- The Rocky Road to Dublin by The High Kings
- Fireproof by Coleman Hell
“We only become perfect ‘in Christ’ not independently of Him. Simple diligence is required of us in order to obtain mercy in the day of judgment.”