Give your children the gift of religion
"We emerge then we remerge."
However, among all the really good responses about what dying is like there was, in my opinion, a truly great response -- a clear winner. Appropriately, it came from a nun named M from St. Joseph's Convent in Brentwood, N.Y. It also came via snail mail on a nice piece of paper, written in beautiful handwriting. This form of communication seems to me so much better than an email that can be erased by the click of a mouse.
This is what sister M wrote to me and to us all:
"Dear Rabbi Marc,
"In response to your invitation concerning thoughts on what dying is like, I want to share with you what a child of 11 years shared with me when I cared for pediatric AIDS patients. A boy very ill with the disease said to me, 'My mom is not here now and I want to ask you what is it like to die?' I responded, 'What do you think it's like?' He said, 'I think it's closing my eyes to sleep, and then waking up in God's arms.' I only responded, 'Javier, God already told you the answer.' He smiled and died a few days later."
Our conversation is over. No more homework on this topic. The answer to the question of what dying is like has been definitively answered by a child named Javier, may his memory be for a blessing.
Dying is like falling asleep and waking up in the arms of God.
(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including "Religion for Dummies," co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman.)(c) 2019 THE GOD SQUAD DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.