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Posts Tagged ‘on death and dying’


“for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause” Hamlet, Act III, Sc.1

After life there is more…The end is just the beginning…If you are into parapsychology, metaphysics and the supernatural then this book is for you.

What Dreams May Come is the story of Chris Nielsen and his wife Ann. A love story that transcends death – a guy willing to spend his life in Hell just so he could be with his loved one. The story opens with Chris dying in a car accident but he does not realize that he is now dead. His main concern is his wife and family. He hovers within as a ghost until he finds himself in Summerland (the idea of heaven) and meets his dead dog Katie and his cousin Albert who serves as his guide in heaven. Summerland, more a state of mind rather than a place. Despite the beauty and splendor of Summerland, he still longs for his family specially Ann to the point of wanting to be reassured of when they will see each other again.

Ann could not accept the demise of her husband so she commits suicide breaking the ties forever and she finds herself in Hell. Chris,  in his desire to help Ann, goes down to the lower realm accompanied by Albert and there he personally witnesses what hell looks like but he does not find Ann there. She does not believe in afterlife so she is trapped in her own hell. He lets himself becomes part of her reality so they could be together forever.

The story flashes to Chris finding himself again in Summerland and they both move on until such time that Ann chooses a quick rebirth on earth. They are soul mates and the story ends with the premise that they will be together again in another life.

Okay, here’s my take on the story.

What really happens to us after we die? Do we really have soul mates? The imagery between heaven and hell is so vivid that you would prefer to be in heaven than anywhere else. Anyone can escape Matheson’s hell – they only have to recognize and accept their shortcomings. It’s a sort of temporary dwelling until such time that you eventually go to heaven.

There was a movie made on this book and Richard Matheson is the same author who wrote Bid Time Return which was translated into a movie called Somewhere in Time – one of my favorites.

Quotations from the book:

“It’s a painful thing to learn I know,”he said, “that every thought we have takes in a form we must eventually, confront”.

“Language is more a barrier to understanding than an aid. Also, we’re able, through thought, to communicate in any language without the need of an interpreter. Moreover, we’re not confined to words and sentences. Communication can be enhanced by flashes of pure thought”.

“I noticed you have no mirrors,” I said.
“They serve no purpose,” he told me.
“Because they’re mostly for vanity?” I questioned.
‘More than that,”he answered. “those who’ve marred their appearance in any way by their actions in life aren’t forced to witness that marring. If they were, they’d become self-conscious and be unable to concentrate on improving themselves”.

P.S.

I have read this book back when I was not a member yet of Goodreads.  Reread it again a few days ago. It has a new cover at Goodreads though. Today is All Saints’ Day,  a reminder to us that we all could be saints.  Doing good deeds without counting the cost.

A blessed All Saints’ Day everyone!

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It Comes Too Soon.


I feel sad. I was just talking to a priest friend a while ago and he said that one of their fellow priests died yesterday  because of cardiac arrest. He was only 55 years old.

I remember those days when they were together in our Parish and they also used to  preside mass here in our subdivision. I remember the  meaningful and uplifting homilies they used to share with us parishioners.

What they say is true. death comes like a theft in the night.  One would never really know when the time comes. It is all in God’s hands.

This keeps playing in my mind. Would you prefer a sudden death over a prolonged illness?

Rest in peace Fr. Larry!

 

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Spent the early part of the day going to the wake of a friend’s dad. He died at the age of 87  last Tuesday. When someone leaves us in this world, we  talk of the happy memories, the good times that we remember of our deceased relative. We always talk of  the times that we remember the most in our hearts, we talk of the caring ways, the love and care, the gentle touch of a loving dad to his kids and the great love he showed our own mother.

I remembered  Dad vividly in my mind while I was praying for Paul’s father. Letting go is not that easy. We always think we are prepared for any eventualities that may happen but when it is a close member of our family, we cannot just ignore the deep pain we feel, the sense of loss we experience.  Even if we say that we have accepted everything even before we lose a loved one, there is that tight knot of pain that surrounds our hearts.  Tere, another common friend who was with me at the wake intently listened to us exchange thoughts and ideas about death. I told Paul that he could still laugh, joke around with us because he can still see his father right in front but after the burial when everyone has left and it’s only the family facing each other, you feel empty, there is that deep void that no one can fill.  Your thoughts would slowly unlock all the lovely things you hold dear when your father was still alive. Acceptance is one thing but what is important is allowing yourself to grieve  so you would heal the pain of emptiness within.

Saying goodbye is not without its tears.  You experience all kinds of difficult emotions that sometimes you think  the sadness would never let up.  They say that there is really no wrong or right way to grieve. It may take a year or two or you feel the loss the rest of your life. We are not only talking about death here but of other circumstances when  our emotions are deeply affected. And then we ask ourselves, “is there a normal timetable for grief?” I don’t think so because it is a personal thing. Some of us may cope well because we make ourselves busy, it lightens the burden when we share it with close relatives and friends. Ignoring what you feel would just make you miserable. Real healing takes place when we face our fears. It’s normal to cry, but it does not mean that you don’t feel the loss when you don’t.

Time heals. It is  a slow dance of remembrance and unlocking  of precious memories you hold in your heart. Then you will smile at the thought that you have those precious memories to keep you warm.

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“Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps 23:6)

The nation mourns, because it lost a commendable and one of the finest servant- leaders it ever had.  You will surely be missed Sir. May our present servant-leaders emulate what you did for our country. Rest in peace and may your family find strength and comfort with the thought that you are one in a million, much-loved not only by your “kababayans” in Naga but all Filipinos as well.

(whoever owns this pic, thank you)

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