I recently finished reading “Mercy” by Jodi Picoult (great author, even better name!!!). Now the book itself could leave me with a whole blogging entry of its own as it is about mercy killing. It’s a topic I don’t think I’ll ever write about but thought provoking none the less. The book is about a man who murders his wife because she is dying and she asks him to. He then spends a great deal of time trying to ‘find’ her, to find Heaven.
This passage really spoke to me...I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to guess why....
“She was sitting on top of the copier ... A million questions bubbled up in his throat. Do you miss me? Did it hurt? Are you healthy now? Do you love me? But he found himself silent, chocked by his own curiosity. ..... He thought Is she an angel? And when she nodded slightly, he grinned. Nothing had changed between them. She could still read his mind.
He understood then that heaven was what you made of it, that it differed for everyone, and that you could find it in the most unexpected places. He had been looking so hard for Maggie he had not bothered to notice when she appeared, thinking that without a requisite halo and a star in the palm of her hand, she was nothing more than a memory. But Maggie ... well, he had been seeing her like this for weeks: in the reflection of a dinner plate at Ellen’s house, or staring back from behind the bathroom mirror when he was trying to shave.
“You found me,” he whispered. .....
What a thought to ponder....Heaven is what you make of it and that you can find it in the most unexpected places...that our angels just might be around us, that Heaven might be around us, all the time. And maybe to even take it further, that we live in Heaven all of the time, we just don’t know what we are looking for or at.
I think Jodi Picoult might be on to something in a way. I am not sure about Heaven being all around us but I am quite certain that our angels are. I have a friend who has asked if I feel Cole and I would have to be honest and say, up until recently, no. I’ve wanted to, I’ve tried to envision him. You’d think that would be easy given that he looks exactly like Cameron but it’s just not like that for me. But recently I would have to say I really think I have felt, and maybe even seen him.
On Christmas Eve, amidst all the hustle and bustle and among the beautiful voices of those around me singing Silent Night I am quite certain that I felt him. I was holding Cameron on my knee with one hand and holding a candle in the other. The candle flickered and the flame almost seemed to tip sideways towards Cameron and a glow seemed to be all around him. I was overcome with such an intense feeling of longing and sadness as I pictured holding two little boys on my lap. The tears streamed down my cheeks but then I suddenly could feel warmth all over and a pressure on the side I was holding the candle with. I’d like to think that Cole was sitting on my knee at that moment too.
But I do wonder, after reading this passage from Mercy, if maybe we do look too hard for the signs of angels and Heaven and that maybe it really is right here, all around us, just waiting for us to take notice. It’s a comforting thought I think. It’s one that makes me wonder if the motivation to do things honour a lost loved one, to fundraise, to raise awareness, to support others on their journey, to speak often of that person...maybe all of those things are the ways that the loved one we miss so much is showing us that they are right here and have been all along. Again, pretty comforting. Another thought that occurred to me when reading this was about memories. The character in the book, Jamie, ponders whether the things he considered memories, the places where he saw his dead wife, the visions of her, were not memories at all but instead her angel spirit coming to him. Perhaps all it takes to see our angels is an open mind, a willing heart and the time and patience to be still.
One more comforting thing I want to share. It’s personal and completely about Cole. Well not completely. I wanted to share about my intense feelings of things being okay and being at the greatest place of peace I have ever felt since he passed away. The reason... Brian, my friend who passed away a few weeks ago. Recently I have been feeling such an intense sense of calmness and peace when it comes to Cole and I really believe that is because I believe that Brian is looking after Cole...and maybe Cole is looking after Brian too. I think that in my heart I just needed to know that Cole was being looked after in Heaven, wherever that may be. That someone was stepping into the role of parent and raising my son for me. I know that God is there for him, but let’s be honest, He’s got a lot on his plate. I am sure that God has many great parents up there for Cole but it brings me great comfort to know that one of my friends will be giving the love that he had for his kids here on earth and doing the amazing job he did as Dad to them to my son. As much as it makes me so very sad that Cole will spend his life away from me and that Brian will not be there to see his kids grow up, it also makes me feel very much at peace to know that he is there for Cole and that they will have each other.