Death is hard on the living, but I think it comes to remind us just how fragile life is; and, it urges us to love fiercely and with everything we have.
It also serves as a constant reminder that at any moment, our time here can end, and we’d better damn well be prepared to face whatever…Whomever…is on the other side — but, I was not.
“Life is for the living…I’ve come to help you die…” …the words rang through my soul.
I was conscious, but I couldn’t see a thing. That “white light” people often talk about at death apparently missed me. My death included nothing but darkness, thick darkness, as far as the eye can see.
Wait…MY EYES! I couldn’t feel my body… did I even still have eyes? I was …deceased, how could I be “seeing”.
“Questions, questions….so many questions.” A voice from the darkness. Female. Kind, but firm. Light filled the room. I felt a presence upon me, but still saw nothing.
“It’s a shameful thing you had to die…you had so much to give”
“I…I don’t understand…what is happening here? Tell me I’m dreaming… let me wake up, please.” I thought about pinching my right arm and immediately felt a pinching pain where my right arm should be. Weird.
“You remember where you once read that after death comes judgment?”
“Welcome.” I “felt” a smile.
“So, let’s see. Hesni D. Harrison, 32 years old, level of consciousness negative 413 of 1000…could be greater, if she didn’t suppress…”
“Excuse me?” I tried to interject, to no avail.
“Ego is excessive… and level of discipline – LOW. Perception is high, clarity high, ability high – extremely capable.”
“Could you just tell me what’s goi—“
“…distracted by flesh, ultimately abandoned the cause. Mission aborted.”
“What are yo–?”
“I’m sorry, you have no place here. You have to go.” I heard a book close and felt a wind pushing me back.
“Yes?” I stopped.
“GO?! I don’t even know where HERE is…I don’t even know what you are talking about!”
“Eternity dear…. oh, wait…” she paused and I “heard” what sounded like pages ruffling, “You were of the Christian sect, so – to you – this would be ‘heaven,’ but to us, it’s Eternity.”
This surely didn’t LOOK like heaven. At least not any heaven I’d been promised. Where were the streets of gold and the mansions….and now that I think about it, where the hell was my great Aunt Katie-Bell who was supposed to meet me at the “pearly gates”?
“’Heaven as you “thought” isn’t what it is. Your heaven is selfish, it’s not about God at all, but about your self-serving ideals. Most humans’ idea of “heaven” or “paradise” is this way. As is everything about your kind…”
That was an interesting point, but I didn’t have time to debate right now. I needed to get back to the matter at hand.
“…but what do you mean I can’t stay? WHERE am I supposed to go?”
“In this place, we are all in harmony; flowing with, through, and in the Source of ALL. We
are one with the ONE, but you are not in harmony with the flow. To bring you in would disrupt everything and you’d never survive the Light anyway.”
“What do you mean I’d “disrupt” things? I was a great servant of God, I did the best I could on earth…I didn’t murder, I didn’t steal, I didn’t even kill bugs unless absolutely necessary…. or if they were really ugly.” I chuckled.
“What is it? ….wait…the lesbian thing? Please don’t tell me it’s the lesbian thing, are you telling me those high horse bible thumping, “God hates gays” were… right?”
I heard a heavy sigh, “You people love jumping to conclusions and condemning yourselves for the wrong reasons. I said no such thing. I only said you were not in harmony with the flow, we are ONE with the One and you are not. You have too much ego. You are too self-focused.”
“How the hell can you say that after all the unselfish things I’ve done for people?”
“…and cue the perfect example. I tell you what’s wrong and you lash out in defense. That is not in keeping with the One. The humble person welcomes critiques with an open eye and a closed mouth. This is in flow with the harmony.”
“You point out ‘all the unselfish things you’ve done,’ but an unselfish person would never do that. True humility doesn’t need to boast, even a little. Oftentimes, your gifts were given begrudgingly or they were much less than you could afford to give. You could have had so much more had you not hoarded what you did on such selfish desires.”
“That’s not true…I —“
“Everything you did was driven by your own selfishness. Even your devotion to God was out of preservation of self. You didn’t serve out of love, you served out of fear and a desire for self-preservation. You wanted to “avoid hell” – as do many – except, serving to avoid hell is not the same as serving to out of Love for God.”
I fumed in silence and pondered my fate. If “heaven” wasn’t what I thought it was, maybe “hell” wasn’t either.
“…but,” she continued, “there is a way….”
“You’re familiar with trials, yes? The kind you have in your world, with a judge, jury, witnesses….”
“Do I get a lawyer?”
“If you request.”
“I REQUEST!” I figured it would be good to have an ally on my side.
“Fine. One has been assigned. She will be available at your trial.”
“At trial? We don’t get to meet before then, to go over the case?”
“It’s not necessary”
“Not necessary? How can someone def—“
“It’s NOT necessary, stop asking so many questions.”
That was easy for the “invisible entity” to say, she didn’t have to worry about her place in Eternity…but I figured it’d be a good idea not to make things worse, so I decided to back off — after asking one last question.
“Do I at least get a bail?” I felt the vibration of laughter and the room brightened.
“A bail? Honey, this isn’t “earth”, there’s no “bail” around here. Where are you going to go? Did you think you were going to hang out at a “purgatory apartment” until the trial date?” The laughter vibrations continued.
Apparently, it was fine to be sarcastic in the midst of my suffering in Eternity. I responded in silence.
“…oh you poor thing, you were serious! Gosh you humans really are clueless. Look, there is no “bail” because your trail is about to begin.”
“WAIT HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I haven’t had time to meet my lawy…”
The room began to “develop” like an old Polaroid. I watched as faint lines of a judge bench, a jury pool and witness stands became a full-fledged courtroom, eerily similar to the one I watched on Law and Order SVU.
“Everything is nothing. What you see is all an illusion developed from your programming, memories, perception, expectations, etcetera.” I marveled at the metaphysics of it all and almost forgot about my impending doom.
“This courtroom looks familiar because it is your own creation. Here, your flesh is operable…. just, be prepared. You don’t exactly look your best, right now.”
“What do you mean?”, I looked down to see puddles of water dripping around me. I realized I was soaking wet and bruised and bloodied.
“I can’t go to my life’s trial like this!”
“You have no choice. If you are not One with the One when you die you don’t transform into your Eternal Being. We patch you up enough to allow you to stand trial with your flesh, but we’re not here to play dress up and fix your boo boos. Follow me, please.”
She appeared out of nowhere in front of me and began to walk towards the one of the tables, where she sat down.
“Oh great. YOU again…. or should I say ME again.” I huffed. This was going to go wonderfully horrible!
I settled into the chair, soaked, utterly uncomfortable, but delighted to feel my flesh again! Funny how I often failed to appreciate it when I was alive.
I turned my attention back to my attacker, “How am I on trial when YOU murdered US?”
I/She sighed, “…you humans like to dwell…. I’m your lawyer, now. Be thankful and get over the death thing. Everyone dies. Yours is the only species that makes a huge stink about it like it isn’t a necessary constant in life. If things don’t die, things can’t be born…and if you spent more time connecting with the One instead of fulfilling and following your own selfish desires, you’d not be so attached to people…to this world…and you’d celebrate when the hardship of life was done…and you’d cry when it began.”
She shifted gears.
“The Jury is veiled. You need not see them. Shall we begin?”
As she brushed me off, the doors swung open and a line of similar women appeared. They were me. They were ALL me. Different ages – periods in life. Some I recognized; oddly, others, I did not.
“Hold up… why is she going over there?” I watched as one of my “selves” went to the prosecutors table and sat down. “And why isn’t the judge facing us?”
“Why are you so concerned with things that don’t concern you? The judge is doing what judges do. You focus on yourself.”
“But why am I prosecuting me?”
“Ah, that. Of course, you were expecting “the devil,” she laughed, “…here’s a little secret- the “devil” you feared so, was always you.” She smiled in a way that made my chest tingle and my stomach churn…
BANG BANG BANG.
The gavel sounded. The judge still hadn’t turned around. Interesting.
“Why are the witnesses sitting behind us?”
“These ‘witnesses’ are more like records…or…evidence. They are you, at the exact moments in time we will reference in trial. Therefore, they are the best to tell the story, because they perpetually live in that moment and can honestly explain it in the moment. This ensures perception, suggestion, and memory failures don’t taint your testimony as does in human courts.”
Damn. I couldn’t even lie if I tried. Not that I thought I could lie in Eternal Court…but…
The judge called order in the court and everything proceeded as normal. The “prosecution” ripped me to shreds in the opening arguments…and my defense was as weak as a newborn in an arm wrestling contest.
I frowned, “You were terrible in the opening argument; I could have done a better job than that!” I whispered with all the fury a whisper could muster, “why didn’t you tell them about my charity work? What about my bible study classes? I was taking theology classes…that had to count for something…right?”
“Do you want to do this? Because I can gladly step aside,” she threatened. I honestly considered it as they called the first witness…
“We’d like to start with the fatal night in 2003. The night of the rape and the subsequent crash in which you killed three people.”
I saw my 19-year-old self-walk to the stand. I was scantily clad in a mini skirt with matching bikini top. My blonde weave trailing down my back. I stumbled. Giggled. Plopped in the witness stand with a dazed look. I was high. Ecstasy was my drug of choice at the time. I cringed at the over-sexualized look I encouraged on the “me” who sat in the witness stand; and shuttered as her testimony began with the worst possible words…
“…it was one thing to be raped as a child but she defiled me as an adult.” She pointed at me and started to cry, “It was one thing to be raped again as a young woman; but, what she made me become after that was something I never wanted to be…”
I looked at my “lawyer”, “You know what…on second thought. I think I may need your counsel after all….”
Pt. 3 coming soon.