I always believed there was a Heaven but only because I believed in God and that His words were true. I couldn't have given you a real life experience that would prove to you that Heaven was an actuality until I went through dying with my Pops.
Being able to help my Pops through the dying experience is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. Unlike my experience with my Mom's dread disease, I never had one moments resentment at having to care for my Pops while he died. I think my frustration with my Mom is that she is no longer there...it is just a shell that looks like my Mom and holds my Mom's soul but contains nothing of my Mom and who she was....but that is a story for another day.
When Pops was dying he had two guardian angels who were always by his side. A little girl who was there constantly and a little boy who was there most of the time but not always. My father's mind was sharp as a tack. He knew that none of us could see his little visitors. He could describe that they both had dark hair and that the boy's hair was curly. He could describe what they were wearing but he could not make out their facial features. They were with him, by his side, for the last couple months of his life. They never spoke until about a week before he passed away and he described that as a "dream" in which his visitors kept telling him to "come home". He tried to explain to them that he was home but they just kept repeating themselves. When he spoke of his dream, the next day, to Kirsten she told him that she thought the angels were calling him to Heaven. He thought about this for a few hours and then later told me of this conversation and that he thought Kirsten may have a point.
Around the same time, we had a family function to attend and our son, Chuck, was on leave and stayed with Grandpa while the rest of us went out. When I got home, Chuck told me this story....
"I was sitting on this couch reading, when I heard your bedroom door creak. Thinking grandpa had gotten up I went in to see if he needed help. Grandpa was sitting in his chair where he had been sleeping so I went back to my book. Then I heard Grandpa talking so I went back to see if he were calling to me and he wasn't he was just talking and seemed very animated and happy so I figured he was having a dream and once again returned to my book. Mom, this went on all night. Grandpa would stop talking, the door would creak and Grandpa would start talking again....He had visitors for about an hour and a half tonight. There was no wind that would have made the door creak and it was like clockwork....the door would creak and Grandpa would have a conversation."
We thought this was interesting and we all went to bed. The next morning, when I brought Pops his coffee and breakfast he told me he had a dream in which three busloads of people he used to know pulled up outside the bedroom window. He said it was almost as if they had come to a funeral viewing. They would walk up to his chair, say a prayer and then they would talk. He couldn't recall any of the conversations but said that it wasn't really a funeral viewing because he was alive but that it gave him the feeling of a funeral.
The last day before Pop's died I checked on him in the wee morning hours. I was sleeping on the couch at this point so that I could hear him if he needed me. I awoke because I could hear that he was extremely restless and was mumbling and anxious. He had soiled himself and was out of his mind. He did not recognize me or his surroundings. I could not understand anything he was saying. I was trying to clean him up (he had never soiled himself before) and he was pushing me away and punching at me. I was in tears and called the hospice nurse at 5 am. She (God bless her) came right over and helped me to clean Pops up and get him settled. Pops continued to fight us and was extremely restless and agitated. Suddenly, Pops, looked over our shoulders, broke into a huge smile and said clear as a bell, "Hey, how the hell have you been? I haven't seen you in so long". Pop's then calmed down and fell asleep with a smile on his face. He never awoke in this world again. There is no way I will ever know but I believe that his brother, my Uncle Dick, was the person he was so happy to see. They were very close and I know my Uncle would have come to Pop's aid in a heartbeat.
All of this would have been enough to "prove" to me that there is a Heaven. But just in case, I might still mourn my Pops and have some doubts, God sent me a couple more signs.
At 2:30 am the next morning, I awoke. I laid on the couch listening and wondering what woke me. I thought I should go check on Pops but I listened a bit longer and thought that he was peaceful and quiet so I fell back to sleep. At 6 am when I awoke for the day, I went in to check on Pops and he had passed away. I first called my brother, Dick, and told him Pop's had passed. Dick said he had awoken at 2;30 am thinking about Pop's. Dick called my brother Gary and my brother Dan. Dan told Dick that he had been awake since 2:30 in the morning when he had a dream about Pops.
My niece, Denise, told us that when her 5 year old son, Gavin was having breakfast she said to him "Remember how we talked about Grandpa Great being sick". Gavin replied "Oh yeah, Grandpa's in Heaven now, he was here last night and we did our secret handshake."
My great niece, Brianna, who was 4 at the time, announced to her parents when she awoke that Grandpa Great had come to see her and gave her a butterfly kiss on her cheek. This was without Grandpa having even been mentioned to her yet that day.
So even though it is beyond all Understanding, be assured that there is a Heaven and that one day we will be greeted by all of those who have gone before us.
Pops with Gary and Gavin before he got ill.
Pops with Brianna before he got ill.
Join me as I link up with Thrive at Home Thursday to share my story of how I know there is a Heaven.