When Jack was inpatient at Phoenix Children's Hospital those many weeks in August-September of 2012, someone brought me the book "Heaven is for Real" to read. She said she pulled it off the shelf not knowing what my faith or beliefs were. It was exactly what I needed to read at the time. After reading that book, I searched out and read every book I could find about heaven. I read stories based on real life near death experiences and I read books based on a biblical foundation. Not surprisingly, I found the stories written by regular people who experienced near death experiences to be the most comforting.
Shortly after we transitioned Jack to palliative care and our focus shifted to less about intervention and more about comfort, I felt drawn to talk to Jack about heaven. There were so many times when I'd get up close to Jack's face, look into those soulful eyes and want to talk about heaven, but I couldn't get the words out. Talking to Jack about heaven meant that I had to acknowledge out loud that Jack was going to die. I didn't want him to think that I was ready for him to die or that I had given up on him.
Then, one day I was finally able to do it. I told Jack that there was this amazing place called heaven where he would be able to talk, and breathe without a machine. A place where he could run and jump and play. A place where there was no pain. I told him he didn't need to be afraid. The tears filled my eyes as I looked into Jack's eyes - those eyes that held more knowledge than I could begin to understand. I tell you in all honesty that no sooner had I uttered the word "heaven", then Jack's face lit up with a smile. Right then and there, I knew there was absolutely nothing I could tell Jack about heaven that he didn't already know. Right then and there, I knew with certainty that Jack was heaven sent and he knew exactly where he was going once he finished his earthly journey. From that point forward, I knew that no matter what, Jack was going to be okay. He knew it and I needed to believe it.
The tears that fall on a daily basis are not for Jack, they are for me. I miss Jack something fierce. Are there moments when I question whether there really is this place called heaven? Sure there are. But, then I close my eyes and picture that all-knowing smile Jack gave me when I talked to him about heaven, and I believe. I believe Jack is safely Home. He is Home and one day we will be together again. I believe it.
In the meantime, this pretty much sums it up ...
Homesick by MercyMe