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A Beautiful Place

One of my best friends in high school was Mark, who died when he was in college. My awakening came on the summer day that I went to the funeral home. I still recall the songs that played on the radio as I drove to see him. After that day, Mark visited me briefly from heaven many times. He kept telling me, "You know why I'm here?" And I would answer, "Why?" He would reply, "Because you're special." Each night the encounters got longer, until one night something happened which changed my life and diminished my fear of death and dying.

My mother and I were playing a game of cards, but I felt a little bit under the weather, so I went to bed early. In the middle of the night I felt a lifting sensation, faster and faster, higher and higher, my face and cheeks trembled from a force much like going down the hill of a roller-coaster. And then in an instant I stopped and drifted slowly down, light as a feather.

I was in a small room that looked as if it was a boy's room. The room was very dim, and then a voice came from nowhere: "Do you know why you're here?" And I replied, "Because I'm special."

Mark walked over and gently took my hand.

I told him, "I feel no fear, I feel peaceful."

He smiled. "You're not supposed to be here, Joan." I knew then that it was not my time to be there, and that for some reason I was just being allowed to see this special place and be comforted by it.

Then Mark said, "There's a few things I want to show you."

I followed him over to a window. His hand raised, and a blind opened. I saw the most amazing city of crystal. It looked like smoked glass, and though I should have been able to see through it, I couldn't. It is hard to describe. The mountains that surrounded the city in a ring were taller than anything I'd ever seen or heard of on earth. There were people walking and interacting with each other, though I was so high above them in this room, that they appeared to be mere specks.

I asked Mark why he was here with me and not walking with the rest of the people in the city. He said that he wasn't ready, and that he would get to that level through people's prayers or thoughts of him.

Next he turned to me and said, "Joan, do you see the man in the brown suit?"

I did. I could see him clearly in the mass of people that were nearly too small to distinguish.

"That's your Dad."

My Dad had died when I was six years old in a car accident.

Mark watched my reaction of complete joy, and then in an instant he said, "He knows you're here." I knew he wasn't referring to my dad, but to Jesus. Jesus knew I was here.

Then a bright, radiant light blinded me. It was warm and peaceful, I didn't feel any pain, and all worries vanished. I wanted to stay there, but knew I couldn't, and I was wondering why I had to go back. Then the light dimmed, and I felt a drifting sensation downward. A voice said, "Always remember this word, Joan." When I woke up in bed, I immediately went to the dictionary to look up the meaning of this word, and it meant go between, or mediator. After looking up the meaning of the word, I forgot what the word was and can't remember it to this day.

Ten years later, my Grandma, who I was very close to, lay in a hospital bed, waiting for the end. I was surrounded by family members and nurses. The last day, she asked me if it was all right that she was going to heaven, and I said, "Yes," so she would know that I would be okay with her gone. I was upset, but I knew from what I had been allowed to see that she was going to a better place and that she would be free of her earthly pain. I loved her very much and was happy for her, even though I would miss her. I thank God for the experience He gave me. I know that our time on Earth is short, but that a beautiful place awaits us all.

Joan Rae




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