My mom died, my heart is broken, where is she, and what happens when this life ends?
How do we know when our spirit leaves the earthly shell?
Fear -- uncertainty -- concern -- these three words sum describe the controversy surrounding what happens to us at death.
As a follower of Jesus, I believe our earthly body is nothing more than a shell or cocoon that holds our spirit until it is time to depart.
"While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life." 2 Corinthians 5:4
It's not that this idea comes easy for me -- my wonderful mother, the best woman I have ever known died on March 30th -- just three weeks ago. Even with my faith set on God and her eternal existence, it was so difficult for me to not have the ability to check on her. However, the evidence that draws me back to the reality -- I had been with her in the hospital, the doctor was optimistic, said she was fighting and she definitely may live. I was hopeful and believing she would walk out of the hospital. That afternoon however, I found myself unable to stay in her hospital room for any length of time. I did not understand why after being there around the clock, suddenly I had a hard time just going into her room. She was on a ventilator and heart pump with ten IV fluids dripping into her body. This had not changed; it had been the case for the past 24 hours. I remember sitting in the waiting area asking myself why I did not want to be in the room any longer.
At one point that afternoon, I looked at my mother and felt her look had changed -- I remained hopeful...I had no reason to believe anything different. That evening however, the medical staff explained that during the afternoon my mother's body had began to shut down. She had slowly lost brain function. I now believe that her spirit had already left her body and was waiting to move on after death. I realized I couldn’t connect with her any longer because her spirit had left her body. Consider the following:
I recently heard about a woman who experienced a heart attack while away from home. She was rushed to the hospital and placed in the coronary care unit. While admitted to the hospital she had another heart attack but was resuscitated. It was reported that during her cardiac arrest she was able to look down from the ceiling and watch the medical team at work on her body. At one point she found herself outside the hospital and noticed a tennis shoe on the ledge of the roof of the building. She went so far as to mention one of the shoe's laces was tucked under the shoe and that there was an area on the toes that appeared worn. She herself wanted to confirm the experience had actually happened and asked friends to look for the shoe.
The friend went to the area on the roof described—and found the tennis shoe. There is no way she could have saw the shoe from her room at the hospital. The only way she could have had observed this shoe was if she had been outside and very close to the shoe.
Please share your experiences – I have learned and believe….
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17