Sometimes life brings us big signs. Sometimes it’s interesting to notice the little things, which I am more and more. When Tywana and I were in Florida a couple of months ago, we ate at a placed called Taziki’s.  We liked it so much that we ate there two nights in a row.  Last Friday I was having lunch with a friend at another Mediterranean restaurant and I mentioned Taziki’s to him. I had heard one was going to open close to here and I wondered when that was going to happen or if maybe it already had. That night, another friend posted on Facebook she had just had lunch at… Taziki’s for the first time. Oh, I guess it’s open.

Then, last night I was at dinner with a different friend and his conversation kept coming back to this pizza place in Mason that shares a building with a Greek restaurant.  My friend is famous for his story telling ability.  Sometimes it takes him a while to get to the point. For some reason, he kept circling back around to tell me about this pizza place and how no one parks on their side of the building, but the Greek place is always packed.  OK. I got it. The pizza place isn’t doing well.  Is that the point? Then, he tells me the Greek place has a really interesting story about the owner.  OK… got it.  Maybe that’s the point.  So, as we’re going out to the car, I happen to mention to him that there is a Mediterranean restaurant I heard has opened here and it’s called Taziki’s.  In fact, we would have gone there tonight had I not had a buy one get one at BJ’s Brewhouse and it was expiring on Sunday.  He looks at me and says “That’s the name of the Greek place I was telling you about- Taziki’s”

p.s.- the place we had dinner is a place where I have a rewards membership and it’s really easy to pay your bill from their app. The moment the server enters my membership number, the bill appears on my phone and I can pay by Apple Pay. Service was extremely slow last night and I was getting tired of sitting there waiting for our server.  So, when the bill popped up, i just paid the whole thing instead of splitting it with my friend.  I wish I could afford to always just pick up the check.  So, anyway, he’s saying he’ll pay me back later. I say whenever. It wasn’t a huge check and we’re good friends. No big deal.  Tywana was out at dinner with some friends. When she comes home she tells me their service was horrible. So, their entire meal, including dessert was comped.  So, I’ve already been paid back.

if i could have a pound for every moment i’ve spent worrying
about the little things in life that frankly there’s no hurrying
then i would be a rich girl, i wanna be a rich girl soon
but going at this rate i think that it may well take
‘til there’s life on the moon

where does the time go? does anyone know?
where does the time go? does anyone know?
where does the time go?- Julia Fordham- Where Does The Time Go?

And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?- Talking Heads- Life During Wartime

Today is one of those days when I woke up wondering just where the hell I am and how I got here. I don’t know much Kierkegaard, but he stole my line “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”  Every once in a while I look back at how my life has unfolded and it’s pretty amazing to look at all of the decisions, all the turning points, all the “coincidences” that had to occur exactly the way they did for me to end up in this beautiful house with this beautiful wife. But, where are my beautiful kids?  Kayla is grown.  She stops in occasionally. She’s off to Spain for a month.  I haven’t seen Shayna in two years. Sometimes I don’t recognize this life. The business that was on auto-pilot a few years ago is a struggle.  The money that was rolling in has slowed to a trickle.  There are those moments in the early morning hours when I want my old life back.  I don’t recognize this life.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife 

Yeah.  How do I work this?  I don’t know sometimes, but I know I must. I know I will.  I will work it and I will survive it.

Physicists and spiritualists tells us time is not real.  Or at least it only exists in this physical universe. It’s not the linear forward marching of events that it seems to be. Well, it sure seems real to me. I can’t escape it.  It’s at the very least, a consensus reality that we all have to live with. The good news is that it continues to flow. When I find myself stuck in a situation that I don’t like I take comfort in knowing all I have to do is outlast it. I know that no matter how much time stretches out in front of me or what it hold, that one day I will find myself back Home, back in my beautiful house.

After your child makes their transition, it’s quite possible you will feel like the black sheep of the family.   Several years ago I heard “If you think there are no black sheep in your family, you’re probably it.”. There’s one in every family.  I am the black sheep in my family.  Shayna’s passing didn’t exactly reveal that, but it has highlighted it.

When I hear about soul groups, I hear that usually our family members are part of our closest group of souls. Soul groups can be pretty large, number in the tens.  Sometimes people in our soul groups will only play cameo appearances in a particular lifetime.  Because someone is your mother or brother doesn’t necessarily mean they are part of your tight knit soul circle.  In my family I was known as “the sensitive one” growing up.  Being the “sensitive one” in my family was not a compliment. It was more like a “What’s wrong with Brian, now?” thing.  I was born into a fundamentalist Christian family.  It would be about 40 years before that I’d come to discover that Buddhism resonates more with me.  When I was taught about hell and original sin and the Rapture and all of that crap, it would literally keep me lying awake in my bed at night wishing I had never been born. What kind of a monster was this god who created me with so much hatred for me being just who he made me to be?  And how would I ever please him when he demanded love? I couldn’t love someone who would torture me or my brother or my uncle or a stranger. Other kids apparently went home from Sunday School and slept just fine.  I always felt a separation from people even when I was in a crowd. This place always seemed lonely to me.  People were distant.  As a kid watching the nightly reports from the Vietnam war I wondered what kind of world this is where people intentionally blow each other up and the body counts are reported on the evening news like the score of the day’s basketball game.  I could not understand how people could be starving in a land full of food. Why didn’t people just share freely out of love? Why is there money?  Nothing about this place made sense to me. I felt like not only was I born into the wrong family, I was born on the wrong planet.

I’m the only one in my immediate family to move away from Columbus. I’m not big on family gatherings because I can’t be myself around my family.  I drink alcohol.  My parents are teetotalers. I stopped going to church for years.  Then, I started going to a church with a gay pastor who is married to another man.  I have piercings and tattoos.  I want to talk about feelings.  In my family, feelings are something to be avoided, even denied.  It wasn’t until I was in counseling in my early 40s that I realized that I was not the strange one for wanting to share feelings, for wanting to be hugged as a child, and for fearing that monster god.

After Shayna passed, my family was amazingly great for about two weeks.  My brother and my parents moved in. They took care of me beyond my wildest expectations. We even talked about feelings.  I saw people in my family who I had never seen shed a tear, shed several tears. The walls were down.

But, death is uncomfortable for most people.  And outside of politics, about all I’m focused on these days is the afterlife.  I’m on staff with the SoulPhone.  I volunteer with Helping Parents Heal.  I regularly talk to and with mediums. Three vacations in a row, for me, will be afterlife conferences.  I pretty much only read books about the afterlife because they crowd out everything else.  I attend a church that talks about the continuity of life and where the pastor recommended a medium to me.  This has made being around my immediate family even harder.  Holidays are tough. I don’t know how other families handle the death of a cousin, granddaughter, niece. I only know what I feel when I’m around my family. Looking at my siblings children and their in tact families does bring some jealousy.  Why did I have to be the one to lose a child?  I know they’re in pain, too. But, we don’t talk about it.  We’re going through graduation season now for a lot of family, friends, and neighbors. Graduation parties are tough. I purposely avoided several this year.  I can’t say what next year will hold, but unless something changes, I’ll be avoiding them then, too.

Since Shayna passed, I’ve been pouring my heart into this blog. I don’t know how many, if any, of my immediate family reads it. I know my mother did for a time. I think it is too painful for and she stopped.  No one else in my immediate or even extended family comments on my blog. I don’t know if they read it or not.  A couple of weeks ago I had my second article published in a small, niche magazine. I printed off a PDF copy and emailed it to my brothers, my sister and my parents. I only heard back from one of my brothers.

My life up until June 24, 2015 prepared me for this though. I’m using to being the odd man out.  It doesn’t bother me like it would some people. I’ve found my own path career wise (having my own business).  My faith has been my own, regardless of what anyone else thinks about whatever thing I’m into now.  I moved away from Columbus over 30 years ago.  Because of my crazy thanatophobia (fear of death) and the notion that I would die suddenly and be condemned to hell, I have studied the hell out of the afterlife.  The panic attacks intensified around the time I was the age Shayna was when she passed. I just knew my heart would one day suddenly stop beating. I’ve been in and out of cardiac evaluations for decades because of this feeling. Because of the religious crap I was exposed to as a child I’ve become somewhat of an expert on the afterlife.  My fear of death is gone. My inability to face my own mortality is gone. In fact, I am grateful for my mortality.

The irony is that I don’t know how much my family is struggling with Shayna’s departure and, if I did, I could probably help them because of the expertise I have developed.  I’ve tried with some of them.  I share what I can, but I keep a lot to myself because I know they are not ready to accept what I have learned.

If you’re following my blog, it’s likely you’ve lost a child or at least a very, very close family member. Otherwise, who would want to read this? And, if you’re on the path I’m on, it’s also likely you’ll find yourself as the black sheep of your family. The good news is that there are others on the same path.  While we can’t choose our families, opportunities about to surround ourselves with like minded people.  Being yourself around those who don’t “get it” is important, but you must also learn to protect your heart.  If you’re getting signs, know who you can share those signs and get support and encouragement, not side eye.  If you’ve decided to see a medium, either keep it to yourself or get ready for the Bible thumpers to try to tell you that mediumship is from the devil.  I’ve read the Bible forwards and backwards and I can tell you that is a bunch of baloney.

Share what you can with those you can share with, but as Jesus said:  “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”  I’ve seen it happen. Not only will people reject what you’re trying to share with them. They will turn on you.  There are flocks of us black sheep out there who would be happy to hang with you.

We get signs from Shayna all the time. We’re both open to them and actively look for them.  Since yesterday was the anniversary of Shayna’s passing, were both especially attentive to them. Shayna is really good at manipulating electronics. I did a five mile walk in the morning after which I cut the grass. I wear headphones when I cut the grass to listen to music. Often when I leave for a walk or come back, my iPhone will switch from my headphones to the bluetooth speaker in my upstairs bathroom.  I have no idea why this happens and it does’t happen every time. It shouldn’t happen.  Ty’s phone doesn’t do this.  It’s never happened while I am cutting the grass.  Yesterday, however, three times, while I was well over 50′ away from the house, three separate times, my music switched from playing through the headphones to the speaker in the bathroom. I finally just turned off bluetooth to get it to stop.  I wear these headphones every day when I meditate, about 15′ from that speaker (in the adjacent room with the door open) and the music has never switched to the speaker while I’m meditating.  Today, I can’t get it to stop.

After the five mile walk and another three miles cutting the grass, I took a shower and headed out to meet a friend for another five mile walk.  We were to meet at two o’clock, but I needed to get my meditation in and at least have a little something to eat since I had not eaten since dinner the night before. Typically, I’m a stickler for being on time, but I texted him to ask if I could have 15 more minutes so I could eat before we did the five mile walk.  So, I wolfed down some food and got in the car to meeting him.  Normally in the car I listen to music on my iPhone or MSNBC.  I will occasionally turn on XM radio and listen to the 70s or 80s station.  I flipped on the 70s station and they were playing the Top 40 countdown from June 24, 1972.  I love listening to the Top 40 countdown. If I happen to be in the car on Saturday or Sunday while it’s playing I will try to make sure I’m there to listen to #1 for that week 40 plus years ago.  They’re on song #5 as I turn it on.  I’ll get to listen to #1 today.  As I pull onto the offramp of the highway I take to Loveland, I hear Casey Kasem announce the #1 song for 06/27/1972 and it’s Sammy Davis, Jr. “The Candy Man”.  I loved that song when I was 11 years old.

Oh, who can take tomorrow (who can take tomorrow)
Dip it in a dream (dip it in a dream)
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the creamThe Candy Man (the Candy Man)
Oh, the Candy Man can (the Candy Man can)
The Candy Man can
‘Cause he mixes it with love
And makes the world taste good
(Makes the world taste good)(The Candy Man makes everything he bakes)
(Satisfying and delicious)
Talk about your childhood wishes
You can even eat the dishes
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Then it hits me. I don’t know if Shayna has ever even heard this song.  I don’t remember ever sharing it with her. But, she would so love it. It’s her fantasy world. I wish I had shared it with her.  I recall a dream Kayla had where she and Shayna were eating ice cream.  Kayla said she had had enough. Shayna encouraged her to get more because “Here we can eat all the ice cream we want.”.  I think about how I’m not there to stop her from gorging herself on sweets and I burst into tears missing her terribly.

As I’m on my walk with Bill, Tywana texts me. She has gone to Costco while I’m out to get food for me to grill out tonight. She has the radio on and Wiz Khalifah’s “See You Again” comes on. The song is two years old now. It came out right before Shayna passed and we played it at her service.  It doesn’t get a lot of radio play now.

I get home and we decide to go out to dinner instead of grilling out. So, it’s upstairs for the second shower of the day.  When I walk into the bedroom, the light on the ceiling fan is on. I really don’t think much about it.  Maybe Tywana left it on. So, I turn it off and get into the shower.  When Tywana comes up, she asks me if I turned the light on.  “No. I say.” wondering why she asked me that since I turned it off. “Wait a minute.  Why did you ask me that?”  I was in the shower by this time.  She said “The light is on.”. I said “I didn’t turn it on. I turned it off. It was on when I came upstairs.” Shayna had turned it on again, after I turned it off.

That’s it.  Those are the signs we got on the anniversary of the day of her passing. We decided not to grill out but to go out to dinner and have a nice meal prepared for us. It’s what Shayna would do.

Today is the day. It’s the two year anniversary of Shayna’s transition.  It’s a day I’ve dreaded and a day I’ve looked forward to putting in my rear view mirror.  When I meet parents who are multiple years out from the passing of their child, I’m jealous. I’m in the two year club now.  The time moves on and that is comfort.

It’s nice to know that our friends haven’t forgotten.  Shayna’s friends haven’t forgotten. A couple of her friends came by a week and a half ago because Truc is in Vietnam and can’t make it today- on the anniversary.  Others want to stop by today. The purple ribbons they put up two years ago have finally faded and mostly fallen down, but someone replaced at least some of them yesterday.

Helping Parents Heal friends have sent cards, letters, and messages.  People are saying they know the anniversary is a tough day. Well, honestly, no tougher than the other 730 days I’ve had to endure this. Last night, Tywana and I went out to dinner and to a comedy show. After the show, we talked about today. It’s all about perspective. We could look at this as 731 days since we’ve seen Shayna and be sad about that.  But, we have chosen to look at is a 731 days that we have survived what neither of us thought we could survive.  And, frankly, I didn’t want to survive it.

Today, Kayla leaves for Spain.  She’s checked in at the airpot in Detroit for her flight to Charlotte, then it’s off to Madrid. I’ve been counting the days with dread until June 24th, her day of departure.  She will be the farthest she’s ever been from us and gone for a solid month. I’ll miss her tremendously. But, just like this day was inevitably going to come around, July 24th will come around and she’ll be back. It’s been 731 days since I’ve held Shayna, but it’s also 731 days less I have until I hold her again. I know she’s right here with me. I hope she’s proud of me and I live every day to ensure that whatever time I have left, I make the best of for me, for Tywana, for Kayla, and for Shayna. I want her to have bragging rights as she looks over us.

Tomorrow will be day 1 since Kayla left. It’ll be the first day of the third year since Shayna left. And, it’ll be one day closer to that time when we all get back together and never have to say goodbye again.

Death 1 a permanent cessation of all vital functions t:he end of life 2  the cause or occasion of loss of life 3 the state of being no longer alive :  the state of being dead- Merriam Webster

There is no death, there are no dead– The Spiritualist Church

The “D” word. It’s an awkward in our community. It’s every bit as dreaded, full of shame, and reviled as the word nigger has become.  Why does this word have such power?  I’ve been engaged in many conversations around the use of the word.  As an amateur counselor, I am very careful not to use it with bereaved parents. Susanne Wilson, world class medium, reclaims the word in her latest book “Soul Smart”.  She uses the word over and over, unapologetically. She knows its a trigger for some in our community. But, she is trying to remove the stigma from death and dying by desensitizing us to the word by its repeated use.  Unfortunately, it’s such a trigger for some in grief, especially parents, that we can’t even read the book because of the use of that word.  People use the word dead to refer to other people all the time.  And, for many, they are using it properly, from their perspective.  When they say dead, they mean dead, gone, finito, no more.   For us who have shifted our perspective on death.  We know the word is being misused and we bristle at its use. Don’t tell me my child is dead.  I know she’s not. She’s alive. She’s right here. She’s thriving.

When I was in counseling right after Shayna passed, I remember the counselor saying a sign people were accepting of the transition of their loved ones was when they could start to use the word “dead”.  She saw the euphemisms for dead as being in denial.  Clearly, I was not accepting yet because I refused to use the word (and still do).  Accepting the physical departure of our loved ones is a necessary step on the road of grief, the road to recovery. Thinking they are coming back is a delusion that does no one any good.  Using euphemisms like “fell asleep” can be confusing, especially to children because when we fall asleep, the assumption is we will wake up.

I have said I don’t use the word “dead” because of the connotation.  I’m a big fan of precise language. The connotation of a word is every bit as important as its definition. Words carry implied meanings (that often change with time) that the dictionary might not reflect. The word “dead”, I thought, has such a connotation. In our society, we think dead means no longer alive. It’s a permanent state of being inanimate.  Dead is gone.  It wasn’t until last night it struck me that I was wrong.  It’s not just the connotation of the word dead, it’s the actual dictionary definition that makes it wrong to apply it to people.  We have been using the word incorrectly all along. Dead is what we commonly call someone whose body has stopped functioning. It’s the simplest, easiest way to refer to them. To use any other word requires a lot of thinking and coming up with awkward euphemisms.  Passed away?  No, they’re not away.  Passed on.  Crossed over.  Graduation.  Made her transition. None of them as quick and to the point as “dead”. So, wy not use simply use the word dead?  It’s short and to the point and everybody knows what it means.

As the spiritualist church rightly says. There is no death, there are no dead.  It is most certainly true our bodies die (and decay).  That is an undeniable fact.  Shayna’s body is dead. I have no problem saying that.  My body will die. (Hallelujah). The problem is that we identify ourselves with our bodies.  When our bodies die, we are no more dead than if our car stopped running and we stepped out of it.  It’s our car that has stopped running. We go on.  When Paul said we are changed in the twinkling of an eye, he was right. The thing is it’s not in the sweet by and by, when Jesus comes and we are raised from the grave.  It’s immediate. We simply do not die. Our bodies stop. We go on.

Susanne Wilson is using the word dead as it’s commonly used, trying to take the sting out of the word. However, Susanne uses the word mindfully. Susanne is buddies with people in the dead community.  She talks to them on a regular basis. She knows to be “dead” is to be more “alive” than many of us still walking around in bodies. Susanne has physically witnessed spirits departing from their bodies and making their way to the world to come. Since the time she was a little girl, Susanne has not just believed, she has known, there is no death.  So, the word death has no sting for her.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15

As I wake up this morning at my normal 5:15 time, I’m thinking about Shayna again. There aren’t many days when Shayna isn’t the first thing on my mind.  Will that change?  I really don’t know. Do I want it to change?  I don’t think so. Even if I don’t think of her first thing in the morning, I see her 2′x3′ picture hanging over the stairs as I come out of my room and I blow her a kiss.

I realize that missing someone is still that love that you had for them and them not being there to give it to them.  Love, without an object to bestow it on, is painful. I remember learning of four types of love many years ago- agape- unconditional love- similar to parental love; eros- romantic love; phileo- brotherly love; and storge- the love of community and family.  Different types of loves for different types of relationships. What comes to me  next though is there are as many kinds of love as there are people in your life.  When Tywana proposed having a second child, I could not imagine how I was going to make that work. I thought love was a finite thing. It comes from your heart, a finite source, I reasoned. My heart was full of love for Tywana and Kayla.  There was no room for anyone else.  After Shayna was born, I learned that love is not limited.  Our hearts can pump out an infinite amount of love. The girls used to try to get me to say which of them I loved more.  Kayla even tried to get me to name a favorite the other day, I guess assuming that since Shayna wasn’t here, i would finally tell her. Well, first of all, Shayna is right here listening.  I’m sure of that. Secondly, I truly don’t have a favorite. Kayla and I share things that I did not share with Shayna.  Shayna and I share things that I do not with Kayla. My love for each of them is unique and cannot be quantified or even qualified.  There is no comparison.

Then I thought of others in my life that I love and I realized the feeling of love for them has a similarity but each has a different energy. I started going through my grandparents, all crossed over now.  My feelings for each of my grandmothers is different.  My love for my uncles, my aunts, each are different.   Thinking of this thing we call love, I realized it’s a lot more complex than I understood, more complex, more nuanced.  DeBarge’s “All This Love” then became my ear worm for this morning.    The line “All This Love is waiting for you…”  played in a loop, the only lyrics I could remember.   I’m saving up the love I have for all of them, Shayna especially, until the day I can give it to them.

This is my blog post published in the Universalist Herald magazine, a magazine devoted to the truth that all are “saved”.

Truth or Christianity

 

I made it through another Father’s Day.  I never imagine that holidays would one day become something to endure rather than to look forward to. Father’s Day has always been a bit awkward for me anyway as I don’t feel comfortable being celebrated for doing what I feel like I was put here to do, be a father.  The girls would always ask me what I wanted for Father’s Day.  And my answer was always sincere and the same- whatever you want to give me.

Two years ago, Shayna brought me a t-shirt from Florida for Father’s Day which was just three days before she made her transition.  Whenever I think of Father’s Day now, I remember the dinner we had that night having no idea it would be the next to the last dinner we would have together.

Father’s Day now is bittersweet. I really would rather just skip it. I shed a lot of tears yesterday, mostly internal, some external.  In church when they acknowledged the fathers, they talked about missing fathers who have made their transitions. They did a drawing for a basket. All of the fathers were supposed to put their names in.  I skipped it.  What they didn’t talk about was fathers missing their kids who have made their transitions.  It’s not a thought in anyone’s mind.  There’s not even a word for a parent whose child has gone before them.  A woman whose husband has passed is a widow. A child whose parents are gone is an orphan.  A father whose daughter is in spirit is ________?  But, I still have Kayla here and Kayla is home right now. We got to spend a few days, just the two of us while Tywana went to celebrate her sister’s birthday with her.  We always enjoy our times alone together.  Tywana made a great meal for me yesterday. When they would ask me in the past what I wanted to do for Father’s Day, it was always “Just watch the U.S. Open”.  The U.S. Open is supposed to be the toughest test of golf and I was a big Tiger Woods fan.  I planned to take some time this weekend and watch. But, I only watched an hour or so on Friday.  I didn’t watch at all on Saturday.  When I turned it on yesterday, for the final round, none of my favorites were anywhere close to the lead.  In fact in the top 5, there were only two names I recognized.  I watched for a while and turned it off.  Nothing stays the same, even my passion for watching golf. Instead, I did an extra meditation yesterday and got into some reading.

So, I got through it.  And, right on the heels of Father’s Day is always going to be Shayna’s Angel Date.  June 24th.  It’s less than a week away now. Two years.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”- C.S. Lewis

It’s funny how people will find ways to divide ourselves, no matter what else might bring us together. I’m in several afterlife groups both online and face-to-face meetings.  While we all agree that we are spiritual beings having a human existence and that that existence doesn’t end with death, death is a door way into the next chapter of our book of life.  However, we quibble about what that next chapter holds.  “New Age” is the pejorative of choice in one of my groups. Any suggestion that we don’t continue on in the same or extremely similar physical existence that we have here is met with strong opposition by a few members of the group.  People have blocked each other and even left the group over the suggestion that maybe, just maybe, we don’t have (physical) sex in the afterlife (or eat ice cream or drink whiskey or whatever).  We’ve got people saying “If I can’t have sex, then I don’t want to go.”  I’ve had to remind them that we need to save our energy for fighting the Materialists who say there is no afterlife, not bickering over what the afterlife holds.

The writers of the Bible tried to describe heaven as being paved with streets of gold and a land flowing with “milk & honey”. I know a woman who doesn’t want to go to heaven because she doesn’t like milk or honey. And streets of gold just sounds gaudy.  The song “Amazing Grace” says after we’ve been singing God’s praises for 10,000 years, that’s just a warm up.  Sounds more like hell than heaven to me.  Heaven sounds like a downright bore the way most people describe it.

From what I have been able to ascertain, I believe there are physical realms very similar to Earth. These are often referred to as the astral planes where we have bodies very much like bodies and can satisfy them in the same way.  I think many of us will stop there on our way out.  That’s great.  There are some very pleasurable things about being on Earth. Is that all there is though?  Could anything possibly be better than chocolate?  Better than sex?   When we have these arguments, I always ask the question “Do you know what you like, or do you like what you know?”  Sure, these physical sensations are great, but they are only approximations. Maybe there is something better, even if it’s beyond our ability to imagine it.  What if we have eight senses once we go Home?  I’m looking forward to trying the higher realms as well.

I don’t get caught up in worrying about whether I’ll be able to have sex in heaven or if I’ll be able to enjoy a chocolate bar.  I am confident that whatever physical pleasures there are there they will be as good or better than what we have here. In fact, I believe they are beyond my ability to even imagine.