Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.
- Norman Vincent Peale
A woman wrote to me recently about the death of her 85-year-old husband. He had been ill for some time with many medical concerns.
The night before he died, she and a friend were sitting by his bedside, playing soft music and quietly talking. “Suddenly we saw him lifting his arms up as if praising God or greeting a relative or friend,” she said. “Then he put his arms down for a while.
“Shortly after this he raised his arms again and clapped very quietly. Both times, he was very much awake and looking up. He did not speak a word, but I could tell he was seeing something indescribable and beautiful,” she said. He passed away gently the next morning.
I will share what I told her: that this is a very common phenomenon seen more often than not by those who are tending the dying.
The time between earthly life and eternal life is impossible to understand, but I firmly believe God allows His children to experience the beauty of heavenly things before they arrive there. You hear this over and over again in end-of-life and hospice circles. It is impossible to either ignore or deny its validity.