Matt, Since your death I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Heaven. I want to know everything there is to know. I want to know if your happy. If your Heaven really is a beach. I have memories of us laughing sitting side by side watching the waves crash onto the shore and both saying “Heaven is a beach”. We were so alike. Our love of the sea is a tie that will forever bind us.
My bookshelves are lined with books written by those who returned after a near death experience. I read their words closing my eyes and letting my soul imagine the colors, shapes and sounds. I see your smile in my mind. I hear the song of the gulls and remember the salty spray in my face. I see you as a child. Racing your brother through the waves. Your laughter was beautiful music to my ears. The vastness of the sea always made me feel the wonder of God.
I wonder about the nature of life after death. I search my bible for comfort in knowing that you arrived in Heaven and never looked back. Looking for answers anywhere they can be found. I scour book stores like someone dying of thirst. I need to know. There are days the clouds roll into my heart and I question everything I believe. Those dark days bring such pain to my heart. Those are the days you’ll find me talking out loud to God. Days I beg for a sign. My desperate heart needs proof. Those are the days I feel the weight of my grief. Questioning everything I’ve ever believed about God and his Heaven.
The hardest part of your death besides missing you everyday is the wonder if I will ever see your handsome face again. So much was left unsaid and undone. Always thinking there would be more time. Never thinking you would leave me behind to find my new normal. I wonder if you will be there when I leave this earth. You were never afraid to die. I remember our conversations. How you amazed me with your thoughts about God and Heaven. How many times it was you comforting me. How ironic a child giving peace to his mother.
I’m left with unanswerable questions. Questions that have the power to haunt my broken heart. Questions that cause me to sit on the edge of the dark abyss of the unknown. Questions that shake me to my core. On those days I reach for my Bible. This amazing book spent so much time sitting on my shelf unopened. I talk to God asking him to speak to me. To give me what I need to survive your loss and the emptiness that has taken up residence in my heart. Matt, I can hear you laughing as I write this. Your Mom reads the Bible.
I found John Verse 14. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my fathers house are many rooms, if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am you will also be”. Reading this verse filled my aching soul with a peace I haven’t felt since you left.
I remember begging God to keep you safe. To take care of you until we were together again. Never did I think my prayers would be answered the way they were. Never did I think God would take you home before me. Your death broke my faith and at the same time is helping to slowly rebuild it. If you lived, my Bible probably would have remained unopened. Now the Scriptures are where I run to on those rocky days. Sitting alone, my bible opened looking for answers. I can feel you surround me with your peace. I close my eyes and see your face. Your beautiful eyes. Your smile. I see you walking near the most beautiful sea. The bluest water. Kahlua running by your side.
Oh Matt, my beautiful boy the sea continues to connect us. My dream is that one day when my eyes close on earth they will open again to see your beautiful eyes face to face. Together we will run into the waves holding onto each other, never letting go. My grief will wash away with the tide. The gulls will sing a song of joy and Jesus will greet us saying “Yes my children, Heaven is indeed a beach”.