I just finished Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander, M.D., a neurosurgeon, trained in the best universities in the country. I first saw him as a guest in Good Morning America and I waited for his book to become available in our public library. The book is about his near death experience and his scientific analysis of his experience.
Yesterday was my Mom’s “babang-luksa” or the end of our almost year-long mourning for her passing away. I believe in God but part of me doubts the existence of after life or heaven, sometimes. Even though he didn’t mention that he experienced it, Dr. Alexander drew some parallel to what Mom experienced with other NDE patients while she was at the end stage of her ailment.
On many occasions, she called out the names of her cousins who’ve passed away. She’d have brief conversations with them, seeing them although we believe she’s just hallucinating because of the high dosage of her pain medications. On a few occasion, she’d say my Dad was waiting for her at the corner and she’d ask my sister or whoever was taking care of her to dress her up and bring her “there” wherever that place was.
At one point when my sister and I went home to visit her, she dreamt of a very beautiful place, where there was music that was beyond description, she couldn’t find the right words to describe it. She was in awe although she didn’t say it was heaven and she didn’t want to leave. She just came out of the hospital then after a false alarm. She had a happy grin in her face while she told us this and at that point I wished to God why He just didn’t take her then.
Of course, Mom didn’t go the way we hoped and prayed she should have gone. Her last days were spent in the hospital fighting for her life. I knew she was more worried about leaving me even though she knew that it would be the last time she would be confined, she knew she wouldn’t make it. The idea that she would soon be with Dad didn’t give her any comfort. Even though she prayed constantly and several of our priest friends have given her the last rites on different occasions, she thought she wasn’t all that prepared to leave this world. Being with her family was her heaven.
In the end, the ones she left behind were the first to give up on her. It was painful seeing her breathing through a tube while she had pneumonia. It was unbearable listening to her gasping for air like she was drowning. This is the point when you say to God “take her”, enough is enough.
Reading Dr. Alexander’s account is for me very comforting. I’ve read an article before in one of the weekly magazines (maybe Newsweek or Time) on their studies of people who’ve claimed NDEs or near-death-experiences and the numerous doctors and scientists pretty much conceded that they find so many unexplainable things which science cannot support. We just call them “miracles”. Dr. Alexander believes there is truly a God or “Om”, that we are but one tiny particle of a bigger universe which is beyond the realm of our imagination.
If as he says when we leave this world there are people who loved us waiting for us to guide us to the higher “Core” then I know that Mom is at a place where she should belong. God must have determined then that she has done her earthly duties very well and her end reward is to be in heaven.
Love you Mom!