Thank you doesn’t seem to do justice to the response one of my previous columns about where we go after dying received. From personal letters of dealing with a tragedy to books, articles, invitations to attend various churches across Muscatine county, and even a postcard, the personal stories that were shared with me were so powerful and emotional.
Sometimes, when I’m stopped at work by someone that wants to talk about a column, I’m left speechless. This space is something I take time to prepare each week, but once I hit send on the email, I almost forget that it’ll be printed and delivered to over 22,000 households. So, if I have ever come across as surprised during a conversation about the column, please know that’s why.
I was genuinely overwhelmed (but in a good way) by the feedback regarding the “Where Do we Go” column. I still don’t have my answer with respects to exactly what does happen once we take our last few breaths. What I do have is a better understanding and deeper appreciation for what my family, friends, and strangers I’ve just met believe happens. I’m still processing my personal beliefs with respects to the topic. I’ll continue to read, listen to others, and hopefully arrive at a conclusion that can satisfy my quest for what happens next.
One friend of mine said, “Tony, you just need to find the right church and all of your questions will be answered.” While I respect their opinion on the matter, I’m just not certain that even finding the right spiritual home would be able to fully answer the question.
Plus, if I’m being honest, the past few weeks haven’t been easy. I watched my dear friend Chris Boar lose her husband Dan. It was a complete shock to their friends and family. Life is precious–I get that, and I’m not sure it will ever be easy to accept why some of our loved ones are taken so suddenly.
I came across an article about a man who was deemed clinically dead for three minutes before being revived. Here’s what he described happening, “the feeling was so foreign to me. It just felt like every single problem I had, every single issue no matter how big or how small was just gone. It was all gone. Every single care I had was all gone. Like the weight of the world was completely lifted off my shoulders.” Since the release of that article, folks with similar near-death experiences have come out in support of those remarks.
I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessed with death because I genuinely love my life. I wake up each day with purpose surrounded by a family that I love and a strong desire to take care of. If anything, I’d like to live to be 100 so I can continue enjoying my family and working to also improve the lives of others across Muscatine county anyway that I can.
I’ll also do my best to continue to use this space each week to pose tough questions, share my thoughts, and even occasional funny moments that seem to occur while raising young children. Just know that I value your time spent reading and the feedback you provide.