Vital Signs

Not Afraid Of Death, But Not Allowed To Die

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ground beneath my feet, no sides or corners to walk towards in this place; it was just space that went on forever. I then noticed a tiny white light far away, like a star. I had just begun to think about how I could get to it and I started moving towards it. The closer I got, the faster I was moving, and the larger and brighter it became. I remember thinking that the light was so bright it might hurt my eyes, so I closed them real tight and braced myself for what I thought would be an impact when I ran into it. Instead there was none. It was like floating through a thin veil, and being bathed in white light.

Before I could even open my eyes, I felt this new place. I’ve searched my whole life for words to describe the amount of love and serenity there, but none exist. I had never known what real love felt like, and I sincerely do not believe that we are even capable — in our usual state of being. I opened my eyes a little at first, just to make sure it was okay. They did not hurt as I thought they would. So, wide-eyed, I began to look around me for someone, something, wondering what this place was. Wherever I was, it was the most wonderful place I had ever known, or could have ever imagined, and I never wanted to leave!

Then I heard a man, gently, softly: “You can not stay here with me.” I remember feeling desperate to locate him, but I couldn’t. I soon realized that the white light was coming from him, and he knew me. As though I had left him, and he was there to greet me and explain what was going to happen and why. I immediately responded in my mind with, “I do not want to leave here!” He chuckled at the determination in my response, like a parent of a child that has innocently requested something that he knows they are not ready for. I knew him right at that very moment. He loved me, no matter what I had ever done, no matter what I would ever do. And I knew that this love he felt for me would never change or diminish. It would stay forever constant, and not just for me, but for everyone, and for every living thing, for all time. He would never harm me; he was incapable of doing all the horrible things I had been told in Sunday school.

Please don’t misunderstand, he was not ambivalent about my wrongdoing. He was simply like a parent who loves his child unconditionally. He knew the reasoning behind my acts, right or wrong, and he still loved me. He is also quite capable of being disappointed and firm when need be — as I would experience much later in my life.

He followed with a promise to me: “It is not time for you to be here with me, but some day you will come back and can stay then.” I remember beginning to feel very afraid that he

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