Where is Katie Now?

Questions About Life & Death

 

 

     There is nothing quite so tragic as making funeral arrangements for a child.  It’s a grief that only a world full of evil could know.  As the saying goes, “No parent should have to bury their child.”  That might be a cliché, but it’s powerfully true nonetheless.

 

     I’ve witnessed grieving parents shaken to the core—choosing a coffin, buying a grave plot, and signing a contract—all so they could bury their loved one. Its’ the closest thing to torture I’ve seen, and no matter how I look at it, the process just doesn’t make sense.

 

     Yet as strange as it seemed to make those arrangements, the irony of laying a child to rest wasn’t the thing that struck me most.  Rather, what really got to me was that, despite the fact that our culture treats death as an endless mystery and uncertainty, everyone still things they know exactly what happened to the person who died.  This was certainly the case with Katie.

 

     “All her troubles are over now,” were some of the well-intentioned words we heard.  “Katie is in heaven with Jesus.” At Katie’s funeral, the pastor had her up in heaven, playing on a swing, looking down on us, and having an incredible time.

 

     Now, I understand that the pastor’s words were a comfort to many hearts, especially in the face of a terrible tragedy.  Yet I couldn’t help but wonder—how could Katie be so blissfully happy up there looking down on us—when we are so incredibly sad?  While this might seem like a strange line of reasoning, you might also know how it is when people are in such a state of grief: your mind works so fast that thoughts tumble over themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

The more I thought about it, the more this whole idea confused me. If Katie truly was up in heaven watching us, as the pastor said, how could she be so filled with joy when her parents were grieving their hearts out?  Katie loved her parents so very much; it seemed to me that the only way she could be so happy when they were so sad was if God took away part of her memory.  Then perhaps she wouldn’t know that those people she was watching, who were so overtaken with grief, were all her family and friends.

 

 Of course, this line of thought brought up a new set of questions.  If we go to heaven right after we die, do we then forget who we are?  While this seems like the only way we could be so blissful when our loved ones are wrapped in grief, why would we then bother to spend our time in heaven watching people we don’t even know?  On the other hand, if we do retain our memories and identities when we get to heaven, what would Jesus have to do to distract us or make us have fun when people we love are crying over our casket?

 

Yet Katie’s pastor seemed to suggest that Katie was still Katie, that she knew who she was and who we were, and that she was having a wonderful time.  This just didn’t make sense to me, however, and the more AI listened to his and other comments, the more questions I had.

Another person suggested that Katie was now with her grandma. They were together, playing in heaven, and watching over us.  Now I couldn’t figure out how they could be even remotely happy in heaven while watching their loved ones suffer, not only at that moment, but into the future.

Still, the most powerful moment for me came when I stood over Katie’s casket, looking down at her one last time. “If you’re in heaven right now,” I wondered, “why are you still here?”

 

 Have you ever stopped to consider how confusing many of our comments and beliefs about the dead—however well-intentioned—are? If you’ve never considered it, what do you think about it now? Does it really make sense?  It seems unlikely to me that I’m the only one who has ever wondered how our loved ones could be living so joyfully up in heaven while their family and friends are grieving and suffering on earth.

 

   

 

 

 

 

If your friends and relatives who have passed on are truly up in heaven watching you, what would they think if they saw you behaving badly? The thought alone can be somewhat unnerving. The idea that some-body in heaven might get to know us much better than they ever could on earth is really not a welcoming concept. Even if you have nothing to hide, there are some areas of your life you’d prefer to keep private!

 

At Katie’s funeral, the pastor’s statement that she was in heaven got me thinking about others who might be less fortunate.  If they don’t go to heaven, do they go straight to hell? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a funeral where the pastor even remotely suggest that the person has gone to hell.

 

This in itself seems strange, because a lot of preachers aren’t the least bit timid about saying that people who commit certain sins will go to hell when they die.  “Such and such group will burn in the eternal lake of fire,” they preach. Yet, when someone from that class of people die, I never hear anything about burning at the funeral. Even if the person who died wasn’t a Christian, pastors routinely suggest that they are in heaven. “They are in a better place not,” they say.

 

 So while in the churches it seems like there is a heaven to win and a hell to shun, at funerals it seems like there is only a heaven.  Which brings up yet one more question.  If the first stop after death is heavne regardless of how a person lived, does God transfer some people out of heaven, sending them on to hell at some later date? And if He does, how would we know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right after Katie’s funeral, someone sent a message to her grieving parents and asked if they would like to know more about Katie’s “new life” in heaven. The person claimed to be in some type of direct communication with their daughter, a paranormal getting messages straight from above.

But while the very thought of this person bothered me, the idea of what she said trouble me even more.  And I wondered—if people in heaven can speak to you, can the residents of hell dial your number as well? Is there a reliable rulebook for who can and cannot visit you from the grave?  How would we know that this medium was really talking to Katie?  Did she want money for her services?  How could we know that her intentions were pure?  We didn’t even know her.

 If a friend of mine died and started talking to me, how could I be sure that he was calling from heaven?  Would I simply have to believe whatever he said? The Bible says that even the devil can masquerade as an angel o flight (2 Corinthians 11:14). If we can be visited by people from both heaven and hell, couldn’t those from hell tempt you to do bad things just as surely as those who are watching from heaven might encourage you to do good things?

 Ultimately, how can we know if someone has gone to heaven or hell? And what right do we have to make a comment on the matter—especially since we often don’t have all the facts? For example, if a father who has been secretly abusing his children dies, would they want to know that he was looking down on them all the time from heaven, hoping the best for their lives?

Do you see the problems connected with the popular beliefs about what happens when a person dies? Do I make any sense? Without a doubt, there has to be some kind of truth about the situation, and I want to know that truth. Even if the truth were “nothing happens after death,” at least I wouldn’t have to wonder about it. At least when I heard differing opinions or ideas, I would know the facts.  After all, who wants to feel confused every time they walk out of a funeral? Who wants these questions to plague, and continue to plague, them while they are grieving?

 

I needed answers, and needed them badly, but where would I turn to get them?  How could I know for sure what happened to little Katie?

 

Final Thought.

 

No matter what we go through or whatever pain that we might bear, let’s reason together. The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion rather, He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:5). If we search for Him with all our hearts, we will find Him and the answers to life’s most perplexing questions (Jeremiah 2913) [will someday be revealed].

 The more I thought about it, the more this whole idea confused me. If Katie truly was up in heaven watching us, as the pastor said, how could she be so filled with joy when her parents were grieving their hearts out?  Katie loved her parents so very much; it seemed to me that the only way she could be so happy when they were so sad was if God took away part of her memory.  Then perhaps she wouldn’t know that those people she was watching, who were so overtaken with grief, were all her family and friends.

 

 Of course, this line of thought brought up a new set of questions.  If we go to heaven right after we die, do we then forget who we are?  While this seems like the only way we could be so blissful when our loved ones are wrapped in grief, why would we then bother to spend our time in heaven watching people we don’t even know?  On the other hand, if we do retain our memories and identities when we get to heaven, what would Jesus have to do to distract us or make us have fun when people we love are crying over our casket?

This study was taken from chapter two of the book, "Secrets Beyond the Grave" by Dwight Hall. You can obtain a copy at Remnant Publications or by doing a search at Amazon.  For a thorough study of the State of the Dead teaching from the Bible, please visit:  http://www.truthaboutdeath.com/  It truly is a rewarding study and will bring peace to the receiver.