twenty when my uncle Gary passed away unexpectedly, and it
changed my life forever. He was always my favorite uncle because
of his sweet and jolly personality. Gary was borderline mentally
retarded, but he never considered himself handicapped in any
way. He was kind to everyone, and never met a stranger. I
was devastated when I received the news that Gary was gone.
The news got worse when I found out he had died from an accidental
overdose of pain medication. Gary had a longtime addiction
to pain medication which began after a car wreck ten years
up in southeastern Kentucky in a deeply religious family.
I always attended church, and took everything the preacher
said to heart. The sermons were often about fire and brimstone,
as well as sin and punishment. My perception of God at that
time was a God of wrath and punishment. I felt that even though
Gary's death was an accident, it was brought on by his own
actions, actions that were sinful, and I really feared he
was in Hell. My heart ached, and for weeks I prayed for God
to have mercy on him.
a couple of weeks after Gary's death I got to see him again.
He came to me while I was sleeping. He was standing in front
of me with a beautiful light in the background. He had the
biggest smile I had ever seen. I ran to him and said, "Gary,
I can't believe you are here! What are you doing here? Let
me look at your face. I don't ever want to forget what you
at me with that big grin on his face and said, "I just
wanted to let you know that I am all right, everything is
O.K." He didn't actually say, "I am in heaven,"
but there was no need to. It was perfectly clear from the
moment I saw him.
no doubt that my experience was not just a dream. From that
moment on, my understanding of God completely changed. I now
know that God is a forgiving, loving, merciful God. I truly
feel that my uncle was sent by God to ease my pain and doubt.
It is truly my most treasured experience.
Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org
July 29, 2007