If you’ve read A Reluctant Spirit or have heard me talk, you know that I no longer fear death. I see this event merely as a transition, when we leave our physical shells behind and experience a realm of freedom and love.

It’s not that I wish for an early death. No. I see having a body as an opportunity to experience the richness of life and to help us grow in ways that would otherwise be difficult.

Heaven offers the ultimate freedom

I believe heaven is where we are in close proximity to God’s unconditional love. I also see it as a freeing existence, one without the confines of a physical body. No pain. No limitations. And, since physicists say time is a human construct, I believe we’ll be free to travel back in time, to the future, or visit our loved ones on Earth.

Hell exists when we are scared to face the Great I Am

After mentally processing my Goldfield Hotel experience, I came to the conclusion that hell is something we impose on ourselves when we are fearful of facing the Most Supreme Being. I believe an emotional hell of our own making would be mountains worse than one of fire and brimstone.

I’ve held on to this belief for years, but had never heard anyone posit the same idea. That was until last fall when I attended a talk given by a hospice psychologist. She said in the years she’d presided over hundreds of transitions into the afterlife, every death, except for one (which I’ll detail later on in this post), had been a good death.

What’s a good death?

When my dear great aunt passed away, I was at her side holding her hand. My experience with death prior to that time had been more distant—hearing other family members’ stories or witnessing the passing of a beloved pet. I found my aunt’s crossing to be a peaceful event—one where she’d bestowed amazing love that I continue to carry with me to this day. (See The Most Precious Gift)

That is what I consider to be a good death.

What’s a bad death?

The hospice psychologist shared the story of the only bad death she’d witnessed—one that has haunted her for years. The man she was attending fought death to the very end, but not in a gallant fashion. He was angry. No friends or family visited him. He confessed that he’d lived a life where he’d behaved badly. He committed acts he could never forgive himself for. He was inconsolable. He didn’t want to hear about God’s love and forgiveness. Instead he’d shouted. He’d cursed. And he insisted he would never—never—go to His Maker. He died an angry, frightened man.

The psychologist said she prayed for him for years, petitioning that he would relinquish his anger and fear to move on to the light.

He’d created his own hell. And only he could release himself from it.