‘Thinking that this physical world is all that matters is like shutting oneself up in a small closet and imagining that there is nothing else out beyond it.‘ ~ Dr. Eben Alexander (Author of ‘Proof of Heaven’)
Excited about picking up a pair of new five dollar reading glasses and deciding to spend the day reading, I browsed book shelves for something inspiring to dive into. After searching without luck, my husband handed me a book.
I thought I had read most of the latest on the topic of life after death, but this #1 New York Times Bestseller was one I had not yet stumbled upon. Six hours later, I had finished it. ‘Proof of Heaven’ turned out to be an interesting read and worth sharing.
Dr. Eben Alexander was a Neurosurgeon who ended up having a spiritual transformation, following a near death experience and a seven day coma. He talked of his journey of going from a disbeliever in this realm to a person determined to share his story about his remarkable experience.
There is something intriguing about hearing these kind of stories. I think we cling to the hope of something miraculous after death, considering that so many people feel that life is full of so much pain and suffering.
Although some of you have already heard of this story, as I often share it in seminars, I once had a dream or experience with my own Grandmother, who we called Nana. Nana died in 2000 but one morning in 2003, I awoke my husband to say that I just had a visit with her.
The experience was much more than a dream. Usually my dreams do not have conversations. They are visions or images, like a silent movie. Rarely do I hear words. On this occasion, I was sitting in the driveway of my Nana and Papa’s old house. In the driveway, under the carport, there were picnic tables set up and our family was finishing a meal.
I looked out on the street and my Nana was standing on the opposite sidewalk. She looked so much younger than I had ever known her. She had fire red hair and she had it up like Lucille Ball. She was wearing a fur scarf and was all dressed up in a dress and heels. She looked to be in her 40’s and was radiant.
I quickly ventured across the traffic and greeted her with a big hug. I asked her what she was doing here, because I knew she had already died. I tried grabbing her hand to lead her to see everyone at the house. She then said that only I could see her.
She talked about how she ‘didn’t want this’. ‘Didn’t want what?’ I asked. ‘For the family to be upset about Papa and his new girlfriend’, she replied. The woman was a widow who she used to golf with. Nana said she was happy he found someone to take care of him and that it was okay with her.
We wandered among the family in the kitchen, even though no one could see us. We then strolled back outside, through the gate in the back yard, our arms intertwined, enjoying our time together.
At the end of our visit, I hugged Nana for a long time and asked why she had to die. She gently put her hands on my shoulders and said, “Oh honey, life is not the end, it’s just an inning.” Then my “dream’ faded.
When I woke up from this experience, I was in tears. It felt like a visit. We had a conversation. It was so real. It was so different than any dream I had ever had in my life. It was so powerful and very profound that I woke my husband to tell him about it.
After my Grandmother died, our family got to choose some of Nana’s items. I chose a silver, hard covered book of quotes that she had received as a gift. On the inside of the front cover I wrote, ‘Life is not the end, it’s just an inning.’ ~ Quote by Alice Standen, 2003 – Died 2000
Later that day I told my Mom and my Aunt about the dream. I explained how bizarre it was and it felt so real. I then found out that Nana used to be a huge baseball fan in her younger years, long before I came along.
We can certainly believe whatever we want to believe. From the story of the boy who had met a younger version of his grandfather in heaven, during a near death experience documented in the book, “Heaven is for Real” to Dr. Alexander who met his deceased biological sister, who he had never met or seen a photo of until after his near death experience, these are stories that we can choose to believe or not.
I am not sure about you, but it certainly is more comforting for me to believe in something after our journey here on earth. I simply can’t imagine that we are here for an average of several decades just to hang out. I do believe there is something more powerful going on in this universe.
I like to think of these stories as opportunities to expand our mind to the possibilities of something profound and miraculous in the works around us. It can sure make life more interesting and perhaps more intriguing. It may even change how to choose to live our lives.
Regardless, the read made for a great afternoon. Books are like that, they take us to places we have never been and we can adventure anywhere we choose.
‘Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.’ ~ Lloyd Alexander