Is heaven for real? As a follower of God, I believe the answer is yes … but during my grandfather’s passing I discovered that I was right.
How I know heaven is for real …
Years ago I met a hospice nurse named Penny. Her job was to make the last days of terminally ill patients as comfortable as possible.
“That must be so hard,” I told her once. “So sad.”
“Actually, I’ve seen some very amazing things. I think of myself as a delivery nurse, helping people transition into eternity.”
I didn’t really understand what Penny meant until my Grandpa Fred came to live with our family during the last months of his life. I enjoyed the time with him, but something happen during his last conscience day that I’ll never forget.
Here’s an excerpt from my mommy’s memoir Blue Like Play Dough talking about that experience:
Four months after coming to live with us, my grandfather was bedridden. My grandmother and I would spend time in his room reading Scripture verses and praying with him. Then one day as the kids and I were getting ready to start the school day, my grandma called, “Tricia, I need you!”
Terrified, I raced down the stairs and into my grandparents’ bedroom. A typically quiet man, my grandpa’s hands were lifted. He was weeping like a baby. “Oh dear Jesus. Oh dear Jesus. I love you, dear Lord Jesus!” spilled from his lips.
At first I thought he was in pain or that he was breaking down because of his lack of strength. My grandma’s hands were on his legs. She was praying with him. I joined her. Tears streamed down my grandfather’s face. I handed him a tissue.
He held it over his eyes, but the tears didn’t stop. “I love you, dear Jesus. Thank you, dear Jesus. ”Five minutes, ten minutes passed. The prayers were the same.
Finally, he lifted the tissue away. “See those trees out the window?” He pointed outside. “They turned into a cross, and I saw Jesus reaching his hands out to me.”
The tears returned. Tears of joy. Goose bumps prickled my skin, and I was sure heaven was touching down in the room. I was almost afraid to look up, so sure was I that I would see heaven’s gates.
“I haven’t seen anything like that ever,” my grandpa said. “It’s a miracle.”
I agreed. “A miracle and a gift,” I whispered.
A little while later, as my grandpa slept, I asked my grandma exactly what happened.
“Grandpa was just sitting there, looking out the window. Then he started pointing. ‘Look at that, Grandma,’ he said. ‘If I were an artist, I would love to paint that. Look at those white doves. Look at that lion. Oh, I’d love to paint that lion.’”
Tears ran down my grandma’s cheeks as she related the story to me. “And then he just started praising God, crying, and lifting his hands. That must be when he saw Jesus.” She smiled. “And that’s when I called for you.”
My heart was bursting with love for God and with thanksgiving for heaven. I didn’t want to leave the bedroom, so certain was I that it had become holy ground.
The next day my grandfather went into a coma, and while I should have been sad, my heart filled with peace. Every time I walked into the room, it seemed brighter and filled with the brush of angel wings, as if heaven had touched it.
Grandpa lasted five more days. During his last conscious moment, he blew me a kiss. I knew what he was saying, “See you later, sweetheart.”
And I trust I will. I know I’ll meet him on the other side.
Have you heard of a similar experience? What are your questions about heaven?
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