After Life

Imagine a Welshman working in the coal mines in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. He’s miserable, rightfully, most of his life. No friends. Well…not after he marries. His only friend is his wife. And she cheats on him. And it breaks his heart. And then she stops. She sobers herself and works exceedingly hard as a housekeeper and housewife.

They’re tough.

And while they don’t get along perfectly they’re each other’s support and home.

They have two healthy, happy children. Or they try to have. But…he’s morbidly lonely. And in the wee hours of the morning…on his way back from or to the coal mines he starts seeing shadows. Darting.

After about ten years of seeing shadows and wondering he watches one one morning and sees it develop into a man and a woman walking together holding hands. A young couple. And as no one is watching him he stands and waits.

He decides to watch them walk up to a tree and feel the initials carved into the trunk with their hands. They smile. They embrace. They kiss. Then they disappear.

It shocks him.

But…not that much.

He wonders who they are. He asks around at the mine the next day and people are grumpy and angry, but when he comes home he asks his wife. “Oh! Sure. They’re the couple who died last year. They both had Scarlet Fever. They died hours apart. They were engaged. Only 17 years old both of them.” She seems unbothered.

And that’s when it starts. On his way home from work he starts getting solicited by ghosts for advice. “Why does Hannah still hate me?” “Why does my son never go to church?” “Doesn’t my mom like my dad anymore? Why are they always fighting now?”

“Don’t you know everything?” he wonders about them as they’re seemingly dead. But it seems they don’t in fact know everything. Even though they’re outside of time they actually don’t know a lot.

And he wonders. Is he going to Hell or has he lost his mind?

He prays daily. Starts going to church daily. Prays to be left alone. And yet…he sees the parents of the child who talked to him fighting after church one day and so he prays to God that they’d stop. That if their dead child really is bothered by it that God would intervene.

Now, imagine…you have a similar experience to him but you start falling in love. Not because you’re in love with the idea of ghosts. But because you find someone’s diary and as you read it they start appearing to you in your sleep. You smell their cologne. Three pages later you read it’s Caron. And then you find a bottle of vintage Caron and it’s…spot on.

Sounds delightful? Well…maybe. If God’s truly allowing it. If you aren’t just “crazy.” …But also, just like how we truly don’t always share the same emotions or experiences as other people…despite what narcissistic liars and the ill-informed might argue otherwise on Tik Tok…one person can be in love when the object of their affection truly is not. At all. …At all.

Because that’s reality. We’re all wonderfully alone aside from God and the rare folks who genuinely love us. But it’s a wonderful sort of aloneness as it’s not lost to God. Don’t forget how powerful God is. He won not just because He’s more mighty…but because He had to. It was inevitable… Truly loving, good and great fathers are amazing.

*smile*

The thing is…there are many ghosts. If ghosts exist.

And just because one ghost has you read their journal doesn’t mean they’ll love you forever. Seemingly. They’re dead humans. And if they’re in Purgatory they can fall out of love. And seemingly possibly do.

And you can adore one ghost for almost 30 years…with your immortal spirit…and possibly even be admired in return for over a decade. Two decades? Almost, at least. And then…you can subconsciously lose them. And they lose you. Sort of Swedenborgian, I suppose…

They might throw you down the stairs. Not necessarily intentionally even…but possibly because they can’t keep holding back. And something tempts them to sort of…”push a button” or “let go.” And then what? Your neck almost snaps? You hear a loud rip and you might lose consciousness for a second but then you realize you’re not dead and yet get told harshly to lay still for an hour by a dead man who seems fatherly and seems to be a doctor… Is that it? Is that what happens?

But then you go to two hospitals to make sure you aren’t going to die…but then they worry you’re going to have an infection in your lungs? Your lungs? *laugh* “My lungs?” you ask in anger and confusion after waiting for over an hour in an almost empty waiting room. “My head is bleeding and it’s my neck I’m worried about. I fell down the stairs. My lungs are fine!” But the nurse seems possessed and unconcerned by your head and neck but instead focused on your lungs. You decide to leave and no one tries to stop you. They’re totally heartlessly unconcerned, actually.

You walk to meet your ex-husband and scare a man crossing the street. A black man. In the dark. He tries to avoid your gaze as you pass him with a look of fear on his face. And the urban legend is that black men are so scary at night when you’re a female walking alone. For whatever reason he was scared of a fairly petite white woman. What does he see? What does he sense?

The next hospital isn’t any better. But at least you get out of them that the wait will be hours, that there’s not much they’ll do…and that they’re more worried about your neck than your head. So you walk out. You know you need to lay down. And they’re…angry at you. Not compassionate but angry. Mean even. Abusive. But they don’t stop you. Of course. And they probably feel slightly guilty to see someone with a serious concussion and possible neck injury leaving untreated… But they wanted you to sit upright under bright lights for four hours alone…instead of laying still and icing your head in your own bed. And you simply don’t have time for it…

Almost a year later you still are recovering. And when electrical or battery operated things in your house turn on on their own and you see feet almost manifesting…it doesn’t scare you. Because at times it feels like they’re demons and then you cast them out in the name of Jesus. And other times it feels like they’re just the actual dead.

And they don’t know everything. If not for God and Jesus their hope would be cut off.

There is no true resurrection of a dead man outside of Christ. Lies? Maybe. But not life in Heaven. Not hope…

Don’t kill yourself. Ask God to take you when He’s ready and not a day sooner.

Happy Fourth of July.