Life into Heaven
What makes this hard to think about is I guess I'll never really know.....
Zachary knew he was sick, he tried to rest, but his pain made him restless. He suffered greatly. I try to imagine that pain, but just can't. I am going to try to put myself into his shoes...
"Mommy loves you, you know that?" He would shake his aching head "yes" as I would whisper that to him.
I'm sure he heard about Biblical deaths in Sunday School class. About two weeks prior to his own death, I had to explain to him that a friend the same age as him, her mom had died. I knew a 2 1/2 year old couldn't even begin to grasp the concept. So what was Zach thinking of as he faded away? Besides Jesus, Zachary knew no one else in Heaven when he died.
I believe that Zachary really died at St. Mary's Hospital, when he stopped breathing... I believe that was the end of his chapter. Some doctors even agreed with that, looking back.
I don't think he was really scared once he lost consciousness. I think I was more scared for him. Sure, he got scared of lots of things, but I don't think death is really scary once you've started to enter it, not if you're seeing a glimpse of Heaven... I imagine Zach scared as he went, crying for me, being scared upon arrival into Heaven, crying because he didn't know anyone, but in reality I'm sure the angels comforted him and gave him peace.
I'm sure he heard us saying good-bye. This probably encouraged him to go towards the light. You hear experiences of people say there is a bright light, I'm sure Heaven is shining bright, so this is how I imagine it... it's not a scary light, just something else to make a toddler curious.
I'm sure he heard our "I love you's". As he walked that tunnel of light his head seemed to stop hurting as much. The closer he got, the better he felt. I believe there are angels of all sorts, and I think maybe child-like angels flew above Zachary. As he realized the pain was going away, he began to skip and cheerfully said, "Mommy, my head don't hurt anymore." The skipping turned into running as he exclaimed, "I feel better Mommy, can we go home?"
But when he saw that I wasn't there with him, he was saddened. As he turned around, he saw us waving our good-byes and telling him we loved him. He asked the angels why we couldn't come, too. They told him it wasn't our time, but that someday we, too, would walk the path into no pain.
Zach did like the feeling of no pain. The angels told him that the path led to Heaven and he remembered from Sunday School that Jesus lived in Heaven. Zach loved Jesus, and he knew that Jesus loved him, too. The song he sang said so.
So with his last tear falling down his chubby little cheek, he waved good-bye and entered the gates of Heaven.
The child-like angels then escorted him to this beautiful kingdom. There, in this huge throne sat a truly beautiful Father. "Jesus!", shouted Zachary, "It's really you!". With open arms my Lord embraced my only son. "Welcome to eternity, Zachary."
Jesus loves the little children. I believe that Zachary will remain 2 1/2 years old forever.
Zachary met his great-grandma Josephine and even got to meet his great-grandpa Joe (even I've never met him.). "My Meme really misses you two and can't wait to be with us again. Here's a hug from her."
"Wow! A cousin here in Heaven, too?", Zachary shouted as a twelve year old Brian scooped him up with a great big hug.
Since only our earthly bodies need sleep, play time and praise time forever.... what more could a child ask for?
Zachary was then approached by a group of small children. "We hear you play hockey, want to join us?", and with the biggest smile he could give, he ran along with the children. Zach fit right in. He couldn't believe he would get to play hockey forever. He couldn't use the hockey stick Poppa had made him, so he hoped he'd play okay with the gold one they gave him. The puck was made of gold, too.
Zachary wasn't scared. God gave him the peace and total understanding he needed.
I don't think Heaven keeps time, but several years later, Zach's great aunt Charlotte arrived in Heaven. She hugged him so tight, a hug for each of us. She told Zach about his family and how it was growing. Then she told him how they were all waiting for the day that they, too, would enter those beautiful gates and we'd all be together again, but forever this time.
Charlotte spoke with God, he knew her daily prayers... a short time later, I was finally pregnant with my second child, also a boy. God has again blessed me with a third son.
So our earthly minds would have us to believe that Zachary was scared; What is death? Where am I going? I don't know anyone here. I want my Mommy!
God's grace gave him peace and understanding. Thank you so much Lord, thank you!
February 8, 2000