“I was in heaven.” a little voice broke an unusual silence. My attention shifted immediately. It has been one week and two years since my father died; I am interested in heaven.
“What were you doing?” I asked.
“Wif Grandpa” she answered.
“You were with Grandpa?”
“What did you do?”
“In my house.”
“Oh you were in your house?”
“Yes wif Boo Boo and La La” (her brother and sister)
I racked my brain for an open ended question that might get me a little more information.
“Did Grandpa say anything to you?”
“He say, ‘Beanie…Sugar…Beanie…Sugar.”
I started to cry. My dad called me and my sister, Sugar.
I wasn’t able to wring anything else out of our pint sized prophet last night but today we told my mom about it. I asked her to tell Grandma what Grandpa said.
“He say, ‘Beanie…Sugar…Mama’ He open Mama’s door.”
This is not something I have said out loud but when I hear people talk about an “open heaven” it resonates with me. Since the death of my father I feel more clear about life here on earth. I feel more pointed to heaven. It feels closer. My father’s death opened heaven’s door for me.
When he was dying and after, people, knowing that he was a Christian, would offer the comfort that he was going to a better place. I believed this. I was grateful that my father was a follower of Christ but at that point it didn’t satisfy. It wasn’t enough. I was angry that we had wasted so much time, that he hadn’t taken better care of himself, that he had wrapped himself and suffocated in denial. My heart ached that my opportunity to be a daughter to him was over and that my kids wouldn’t have a grandfather.
The first Sunday after my dad died the singing at church was especially joyful. I tried to lift my voice but couldn’t. I stood there and wept. I have never been so bereft. I knew the Bible says that blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. And so I waited to see if it was true.
Even when I didn’t really have a handle on the love and joy of Christ, He felt like enough. This was the first time where I stood with arms completely empty and waited. Would He show up?
It took some time and a lot of mourning. I was completely honest with Him. When something came to mind that stunk I told Him and I mourned it. I grieved that my Dad died not full of years, that our relationship had never been what I wanted or needed, that it seemed like he gave his best away to others. I grieved that he hadn’t prepared for his death the way I wanted, that almost everything he said he would do or be he didn’t or wasn’t. I grieved that he had lost his first love for Christ, that he had been worn down by the cares of this world.
One day as I was crying and grieving my dad’s seemingly wasted life the thought came to me that he had it all figured out. He was seeing through a glass clearly. Now that he has died he knows how to live. I felt compelled to pray for my earthly father’s heavenly perspective. I know I could have always asked for my heavenly Father’s earthly perspective, but I hadn’t. So I prayed. God answered my prayer immediately. Right away I felt detatched from things, stuff. I really noticed it when I saw a box of family pictures. Formally I would have felt a pang of guilt that they weren’t in a scrap book. Nothing. I am a mother of young children. The absence of guilt is noteworthy, in conjunction with pictures of my kids it’s a miracle. I felt clarity about my children, what was important and what could fall to the side. I didn’t feel as burdened by my home. I felt peace.
I was comforted.
I don’t know what my little one experienced, but am thankful for the reminder that my door has been opened.