Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Heaven

The sun was drowned.
Its ashes fell down
Smothering all of her world
Unable to smile
Unable to frown
Emotions were quietly furled

Dreaming had ceased
Hopes had been fleeced
Emptiness weighted her crown
Steep was the cost
Her path had been lost
She dared not to dream she’d be found

Pathetic, isn’t it?
I don’t mean the flow. I kinda like that. It’s the gloominess that makes me cringe. There is another verse, but it doesn’t fit quite right yet. I’ll finish it… eventually. The event that inspired the beginning of this particular poem took place over 20 years ago, so I figure that it shouldn’t take more than 20 more years to find the ending.

Reconnecting with someone from my past (isn’t Facebook fabulous?) and having the memories of that dark period brought back anew inspired those verses. I worked on it for a bit then put it aside and forgot about it for a while. It simply wasn't a place that was relevant to my current life.

What made me think about it again was a conversation with my son. He wondered if people in heaven are able to visit other places. I could tell from his tone that he was bothered. If you’ve read my post Life With Derek you know that this is the child who, at age three, told me that he was in heaven before he was born and that he actually got to choose our family. He doesn’t remember telling me that but it’s not something I’ll ever forget. Now that he is older and has heard what other’s think about and teach about heaven, he is worried that it might be kind of dull.

There was a time when I had the same worry.

Trying to explain everything that factored into my getting to the place expressed in that poem would take far, far too long. Instead I’m going to assign an experiment. Yes, today I’ve writing an interactive blog!!! Come on…play along. It’s easy. Grab a small piece of paper – receipt size will do but make sure that it’s something that you don’t mind ripping apart. Now grab both ends of the paper with each hand and pull. What happened? Nothing? Good. Now, cut a small slit in the top middle of the paper and pull again. HA! I told you to use a paper that you didn’t mind ripping!!!

Paper isn’t the strongest substance on earth, but it is usually able to withstand a little pulling – until you cut a slit in it. Give it a bit of a start and it rips completely apart.
The beginning of this tale is a bit like that.
There came a point in my life when a cut that should have been small enough to heal with time, opened the way for a greater tear. Hurts that had been pushed aside for a long time began to overwhelm me.

I wanted nothing more than to stop the pain. And that’s what I got.

The “nothing” came in the form of a bottle of little white pills that my doctor prescribed. The hurt and sadness faded, but so did everything else. With no joy, love or happiness of any kind left, I saw no point in existing. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not been given such a strong foundation of faith in childhood, I would have ended my life at that point.

But faith did not save me in the way you might assume. What halted me was the fear that my only afterlife choices were 1) everlasting pain in hell or 2) everlasting boredom in heaven. I didn’t want to be on earth any longer, but neither afterworld option appealed to me either. Now this is where my non-believing friends would point out the third option of simply ceasing to exist. That’s exactly what I wanted, but the problem was that I simply couldn’t be positive that it would occur. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not much of a risk taker. I needed to know more before making a decision (because in my mind, it was a very rational thing that I was considering) so I turned to a theologian.

I also stopped taking those little white pills.

The priest counseled me well.
The effects of the antidepressants wore off.
Life did not magically become wonderful – but it did become bearable.
After a few more stumbles, I met someone who helped me put myself back together.
(I’ll write more about him in my next post.)

Fast-forward twenty + years to me trying to explain what I now believe about heaven to my son. Since I haven't been there yet, beliefs were all I was able to share. There have been books written by people who claim that they have visited heaven and then returned here, but I can't say that I fully believe any of those ones that I've read. Actually I couldn't even finish the last one I started. His description was just too...boring. Naturally that wasn't what I wanted to express to my son.

Being wrapped in the tangible love of the Creator might sound amazing to many of us, but I can see how the idea might be lost on a 10 year old boy. Reconnecting with the souls of those I’m apart from now fills me with a longing that I can barely contain, but Derek’s friends are still a phone call away.

What did put a spark in his eyes was the thought of our spirits being able to fly.
Exploring the universe and discovering wonders that we aren’t able to even dream about now all sounded good too.

Was it wrong to liken eternity to the powers of a superhero? Perhaps - but at least it isn't boring.

Medications have come a long way in 20 years. My personal experience with a particular antidepressant that is probably no longer even on the market should not dissuade anyone else from following a doctor’s advice.

1 comment:

  1. This was really good. It was actually better than that. I enjoyed it very much. That's a subject that 1,000,000 different people will give 1,000,001 different responses. (I added 1 to the second one because at least one of the people would change their story if you asked them again.) I'm glad your personal experience wasn't a tragic as it could have been. (I also know a FEW people who were giving a particular antidepressant that should be off of the market but is now. I'm truly glad you survived it.)