0f all the endings in life, the most definitive one is death. Or is it? My entire adult life I used to wonder -does death mean, it is all over, the end, or is there something more? Does Heaven exist? I honestly did not know, but I remember very clearly when that all changed. Now I know there is an afterlife.
When my late husband Herman was dying of brain cancer and in a semi-coma, he suddenly opened his eyes, gently took my hand and and whispered “Don’t worry Honey, I promise that I will be back from Heaven to look after you, and bother you” It was in that moment, I began to believe, maybe this wasn’t the end.
Herman has kept his promise and has turned out to be a loving and mischievous spirit. Just so that my friends do not think I have lost my marbles, there are times when he has made his presence rather publicly and undeniably known.
In January 2014, I had invited a few friends over to play bridge. It was the evening before I started chemo therapy for breast cancer. We were playing, as is usual in bridge, with two decks of cards and I was the fourth dealer. Remember by then that each of the two decks had been played at least once successfully . I dealt out the cards, 13. 13, 13 and then 12? whoops, one card short. I re-dealt the cards with the same result. 13, 13, 13, 12? Puzzled, we all stood up, looked under our chairs, shook out our clothes, but no missing card was to be found. Then I took the offending short deck of cards over to the kitchen where I intended to return it to its storage box. I stared, puzzled, as I could see that there was one single card face down in the sleeve of the box. I stood looking at it, dumbfounded, and then called over to my friends
“Ladies, I think I have found the missing card”. I had not turned the card over.
One of my friends at the bridge table said “You know what card that is going to be don’t you Mercia?” Without hesitation I replied “The Ace of Hearts” I reached into the sleeve and turned the card over, and sure enough there was the Ace of Hearts!
My friend smiled and said “You know what this means, don’t you?”. I stood in my kitchen, almost trembling, teary and replied
“It means that my husband is here tonight and he wants me, and all of you to know something; that as I battle cancer this year, love is my shield, love is my guide and eventually love will be my reward”. And with that we resumed our bridge game, albeit a bit shaken by what had happened.
During my battle for my life and victory over breast cancer, I learned a lot about love and allowed others to take care of me. And I have been deeply comforted to finally know that when my time comes, my loved ones will be there to greet me on the other side. I now believe in Heaven. That is a profound change in my life. Death is not an end, it is merely the beginning of a different life.