“Three Days in Heaven”- The Return Flight
Note: We were on a book tour that included a mini-vacation and were killed in a plane crash. Tony and Bev are immediately whisked off to Heaven. This starts at about chapter 2 or 3. There are some scenes before this to set up the story.
“Well that was interesting. Bev, are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Jesus was the first to greet them, then Bev turned toward Him and said, “I thought you told me you wouldn’t see me for about fifty-seven years.”
God approached them and said, “You always said you’d like to go out together.”
“But of all the ways, why a plane crash?”
Scratching his head, said, “Not too sure. You two were on it, so I figured what the hay.”
God didn’t cause the crash; that’s not the way he operates. He simply seizes opportunities.
“But why now? Why did you have to crash a plane?”
“I didn’t crash the plane, the chicken did.”
“What on earth are you talking about?”
“The pilot and co-pilot ate some bad chicken earlier, got sick, passed out, and well, you know, — then caput.” Then under his breath, muttered, “The storm, lightning and turbulence probably didn’t help.”
“Did you say something?”
Then Tony slapped his hands together and began vigorously rubbing them and said, “Okey-dokey, this has been a lot of fun.” He reached for Gods hand and shook it and did the same with Jesus, then said, “Good to see both of you. I’d like to stick around and play some golf, but me and Bev got a pretty tight schedule. When are you sending us back?”
Tony reached for Bev’s hand and held it tight, then said, “You better close your eyes, this is going to be a blast!”
“Well, Tony, that might be a trick.”
With both eyes still closed, he turns toward God, and asked with a squinted eye, “And why’s that?”
Then God used his hands as a makeshift bullhorn and shouted to Moses, “Do you want to handle this?”
Moses bellowed in return, “Not really!”
“Come on, you old grump, just tell them.”
Moses stuck his head out from around the corner and yelled, “Because you’re in about a million little pieces splattered all over the side of a mountain!”
Then God said, “You gotta go sooner or later. Now seemed like the opportunity.
Bev asked, What about our boys?”
“Your kids are grown with kids of their own. They know where you are and that you and Tony will be just fine.”
Suicide by Death– The death of Troy
It had been lighthearted up to this point, then Hunter changed the tone.
“I suppose you heard about Troy.”
The conversation went silent for a moment.
“Yes, I did. Why didn’t you go to the funeral?”
“Just couldn’t. It was me who found the body.”
Clair said nothing and stayed with him. She could hear in his voice he was getting a little shaky.
“I went to his house to pick him up as usual. He was going to get his ninety-day chip for staying clean. Clair, it was the most horrible thing I’d ever seen. When I saw him, I couldn’t breathe. He didn’t fool around either. I don’t know what kind of bullet he used, but it blew half of his head off! It took two days to clean up his bedroom. The coroner said he’d been dead somewhere between twenty-four and thirty-six hours.”
With the phone in one hand, he rested his cheek on the other and sobbed.
“I still can’t get the smell out of my mind.”
“That’s terrible, Hunter. I never knew it was you who found him.”
Clair heard the rustling of tissue paper and his sniffles.
“The family wanted me to help with the arrangements and the funeral director suggested a closed casket service was in order because there was too much damage to make Troy presentable.”
Clair could hear in Hunter’s voice the pain and sorrow he was experiencing.
“He was one of my best friends.”
His sobbing continued.
“I wish he would have said something. I could have helped him.”
“Hunter, sweetie, there was nothing you could do.”
His sadness turned to a hint of anger.
“But don’t they realize what they do to us?”
Clair replied, “It’s more complicated than that.”
He talked for several more minutes, and she continued to listen. For once in her lifetime, got a firsthand account of the aftermath that goes along with a suicide the victim will never see or hear.
Hunter was gasping for words.
“I liked him a lot.”
“Me too. You okay?”
Still sniffling, but more calm, replied, “No, I’m not.”
“Time will heal.”
Over time, the grief gets softened, but never goes away.
Funerals and a Buffet
Something I’ve always been curious about, was all the food the day of a funeral. I suppose it’s a way of telling the survivors, don’t worry about dinner today, it’s all taken care of. What about tomorrow? They’ll still be sad—and hungry. I’ve been to several funerals and the Baptists have it going on! They know how to serve a spread. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and oh my God, the desserts are to die for! Sorry.
It’s sad that I think this way, but the next funeral I go to and right after the graveside service, I’m certain I’ll be the one to say, “Well I suppose that’s it. Let’s eat!