Archives For Heaven

Death is nothing at all

A Facebook friend, Helene Wilson Easterday shared this on her wall. I loved it and wanted to use it but I am so afraid of violating copyright that I asked her where she got it. She found it and it comes from ‘The King of Terrors’, a sermon on death delivered in St Paul’s Cathedral on Whitsunday 1910, while the body of King Edward VII was lying in state at Westminster, Canon Henry Scott-Holland. (So out of copyright protection.)

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!



If you have been following me for a while you know that I have literally read hundreds of books and articles about heaven since the losses I have experienced the last 3 years.

The very best is by author, Randy Alcorn called HEAVEN.

I love how Amazon tells you when you purchased a book. I bought this on November 2nd, 2011. That was 12 days after Jamie died and 12 days before Lillian died.

Twelve in the Bible means completion, I will write more of my thoughts on this later. Coincidence ? There are none.

Heaven Book by Randy AlcornReading Randy Alcorn’s book as one of the first gave me a good foundation for reading all the other one’s because it is a theology of heaven.

This poem by Canon Henry Scott-Holland in written in 1910 confirms what I have learned in my studies on heaven.

The parting  of our loved ones is not the end of our relationships, only an interruption.


Randy Alcorn in his book heaven writes a lot about continuity. He states:

“By observing the resurrected Christ, we learn not only about resurrected bodies but also about resurrected relationships. Christ communicates with his disciples and shows his love to them as a group and as individuals. He instructs them and entrusts a task to them (Acts 1:4-8). If you study his interactions with Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), Thomas (20:24-29), and Peter (21:15-22), you will see how similar they are to his interactions with these same people before he died.

The fact that Jesus picked up his relationships where they’d left off is a foretaste of our own lives after we are resurrected. We will experience continuity between our current lives and our resurrected lives, with the same memories and relational histories.

Once we understand that Christ’s resurrection is the prototype for the resurrection of mankind and the earth, we realize that Scripture has given us an interpretive precedent for approaching passages concerning human resurrection and life on the New Earth.”

Alcorn, Randy (2004-10-01). Heaven (Alcorn, Randy) (Kindle Locations, 1500, 2238-2239). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition. (txt emphasis mine)

If you buy Randy’s book, for no other reason buy it for his research on the doctrine of continuity.

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

I love this! My family and I have talked many times about the questions we have concerning Jamie’s accident, his declaration of brain death and what he heard while we were in the hospital room. We have asked each other hundreds of questions about each of them and their unexpected deaths.

I have questions about my husband’s last moments when he had a heart attack in his classroom. Was it quick? Was he having chest pains? Why did God take Lilly Bear one month after the devastating loss of my son? So many unanswered questions we ALL have.

The verse in the poem states, we will laugh at the trouble of parting. This is similar to the conclusion my family and I have come to that we just won’t care. We will be so happy to be together again and to see it all from our Father’s  loving perspective.

Death is nothing at all poem

Reading about heaven and life on the New Earth helps me deal with my grief more than anything I do.

Death, like birth, is only a transformation, another birth.
When we die we shall change our state, that is all.
And with faith in God, it is as easy and natural as going to sleep here and waking up there.

From – Journal Of A Soul – Death Is The Future For Everyone, Pope John XXIII

Happy Birthday Mike, your first in heaven.

Mike and Missy Caulk

Dear Mike,

I am sitting here this morning with a heavy heart thinking about and missing you on what would have been your 65th birthday.Yesterday when I went on a listing appointment, your voice popped on through the blue tooth connected in my car.  It was from Jamie’s funeral and you were talking about how much Jamie loved animals and how mean Dixie Mae is. I laughed as it was so funny and so typical of you to make people laugh at such a solemn moment.

Then I gulped.

It all came back as you said, “I’m next, no more cutting lines”.

But you weren’t next.

Lilly Bear was next and only a month later.

Then at her Celebration of Life service you again said, “I am next, no more cutting line.”

And you were.

Now you are at your true home with Jamie, and Lillian and the rest of our family that has gone on before us. Do you celebrate your earth birthday in heaven or the day you went home? Silly question for us on earth, huh? But, we will honor you today as we did for the 35 years we were married. I’m baking a cake…your favorite…german chocolate.

I am starting to really understand what the Apostle Paul said in Phil 1:23-24 when he said, “I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Desire to depart and be with Christ is far better?

Desire in the Greek means a longing, an insatiable lust.

Depart in Greek means to break camp, fold up the tent, pull in the anchor.

Far better in Greek means much, much better, more useful and profitable.

Caulk Family 1998I am quite sure before you and Jamie and Lilly Bear went home that I did not have a longing or insatiable lust to go home. Nor was I ready to break up camp and see dying in Christ as far better or more profitable.

No heaven was just a destination, some place up there, I was going upon my death…nothing I longed or lusted for. Definitely nothing that caused me to want to pull up my tent here for and most definitely nothing I saw as far better.

But when you and Jamie and Lilly departed for home, Christa, Matthew,Andrew-David and I do long for that day when we will all be together again. Why do we have to learn what you told us in your Word the hard way?

We know your death’s are just a temporary interruption and not the sad end of our relationships. We haven’t lost you because we know where you are. Thank you for cheering us on in that great cloud of witnesses.

Paul continued on by saying  until it is our time, it is profitable to be here and to accomplish the purposes God has for us on earth.

Mike and MissyMike, I don’t understand how God is using us here through our great suffering to show His glory but somehow He is.

Thank you Mike for being a mentor to so many here and most of all your family. Your love and grace to all of us helped make us who we are.

My biggest regret was not thanking you and appreciating all the little things you did for me/us here on earth.

I’m learning now that it was the little things you did that make me miss you the most. I get so overwhelmed with all those little things that you simply took in stride. I hope you know now how very much you are missed and loved.

I hold on to scriptures that let’s me know God is Sovereign, that He knew the number of our days before we were even born. That your death, like Jamie and Lillian’s were precious in His sight.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

We’ll see you soon!

I love you,

We love you,

Happy Birthday!


What Does It Mean to Go Home?

November 29, 2013 — 2 Comments

What does it mean to go home?

starnes bar b queI’ve been pondering this for the last few days, as I have been at home in Paducah, Ky visiting family. I was born here, grew up here and lived here until I went away to college. I moved back for a few years after I graduated from University of Kentucky, while working as a school social worker in the McCracken County school system.

For the most part I have been gone 35 years. And yet…

When I come to Paducah, I still feel “home”.

As I drive down the familiar streets, memories flood my mind. I drive by a house that I spent the night in with my girlfriends, where we had sorority initiation, restaurants we ate at, schools I walked home from,houses we TP’d, and various other childhood and teenage memories of things I did growing up in Paducah.

Now if I wasn’t here in Paducah for Thanksgiving I doubt those memories would be popping up in my head as I drive around. The smells of Bar-B-Que…yummy. Everything that reminds me of a place I still call home.

The bible teaches that for Christians heaven is our home

the home I grew up in How can heaven be our home when we have never been there?

I know that when I travel, as much as I enjoy my time away from home, I’ve often said “this is a beautiful place but it doesn’t “feel” like home.” Or when I finally arrive back at my home say, “I am so thankful to be back home.”

I believe I do this because home is a place that is familiar. Home brings up memories of family, friends, gatherings, streets, houses…everything that is familiar. Jesus said heaven is our home, that means just as our physical homes on earth are familiar so will our heavenly home when we get there.

Currently I am in the process of updating some things in my home to… maybe or maybe not sell. Regardless, of what I am doing to redecorate…it is not the redecorating that will change the feeling of comfort I get when I walk in the door and sigh knowing I am home.

The first thing I always do whether I have been at the office for a few hours or a trip is get comfortable, I take off my clothes and put on “comfy clothes.”Home is a place I relax, feel comfortable and at peace. It is where I want to be.

Since the departing of Jamie, “Lilly Bear” and Mike I rarely want to go anywhere. I like being at home. I feel comfortable there, at peace.

earth is a shadowland If heaven is called our true home, and life on earth is a dot along a long line of eternity then heaven must have the same characteristic’s we associate with here on earth with home.

C.S. Lewis called earth a Shadowland. I love to picture Planet Earth like that…a Shadowland.  A shadow is nothing more than a reflection of the true reality.

Randy Alcorn, (my favorite author on the subject of heaven) said,

Home as a term for heaven is not simply a metaphor.It describes an actual, physical place —a place built by our bridegroom, a place we’ll share with loved ones, a place of fond familiarity and comfort and refuge, a place of marvelous smells and tastes, fine food and great conversation, of contemplation and interaction and expressing the gifts and passions God’s given us.

Heaven is a place not a spiritual realm we can’t relate too. Heaven is our home with all the love,feelings and smells we think about when we reflect on our earthly homes. Jesus said, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Our home’s and heaven are both places that are familiar, and comfortable.

Although we don’t know or understand everything about where we will live and spend eternity, Jesus left us too many examples of things we can know about our eternal home.

Sometimes it is hard to grasp where we will live I’ll admit that. But we know that Heaven is a place where we will be with those we loved on earth plus multitudes of people from every nation, tongue and tribe that we called according to his plan and purpose.

2 Cor. 5:1-8

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Heaven will be familiar just like Paducah is familiar. It is our living hope

We will know we are home.

Losing “Lilly Bear”

November 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

"Lilly Bear"Two years ago today, my precious daughter Allyssa’s baby, “Lilly Bear” went home to heaven.

How do you rank the worst days of your life, when the past two years has seen the loss of my precious son Jamie at 27 and my husband Mike just five months ago.

But the day “Lilly Bear” died is one.

Lillian Elizabeth was 13 weeks ago, I had put her in her crib for a nap as Mike, Christa and Allyssa had gone to watch Michigan play Nebraska at the U of M football game. The weird thing was that no one really wanted to go…they went to honor Jamie as he had been so excited about Nebraska joining the Big 10.

I was at home watching her until Ryan’s mom was coming at noon.

Ryan had made her a formula with the purified water we drink in our home and measured it all out. She had just eaten and he didn’t think she would wake back up for an hour or so. But…like most babies… perhaps she realized mommy and daddy were gone so she did.

I got her up and I picked out her outfit for the day. “Would you like to wear your Michigan dress, Lilly?” “How about the Michigan sleeper”? “No, ok then your white sleeper with pink bows on it?”  She smiled and so I put it on.

I brought her into my bedroom and gave her the bottle, holding her in my arms. Since I nursed all my babies at least a year, I wasn’t too familiar with bottle fed babies so I held her like I did my nursing babies.

She drank most of it, I laid her down and turned on the fan lights above my bed and she was kicking and talking to the lights…something she had just discovered. After a while she got fussy and I picked her up and took her downstairs to change the scene and put her in her baby seat. Allyssa had texted me and asked me how she was doing, what she was wearing and to take a picture of her, which I did.

Lillians crib After a while she was fussy again and I picked her up and walked around with her where she fell asleep on my shoulder. Ryan and Allyssa had been working on getting her to sleep in her beautiful crib so I walked her back upstairs and laid her in her bed.

Michigan was having a fly over for the game that day and I could see and hear them from my bedroom and Christa and I were texting back and forth. It was close to game time so I decided to walk downstairs and watch kick-off on the big TV. I grabbed her monitor and sat it beside me on the couch. I went up and checked on her about 30 minutes later and she was still sleeping peacefully.

Ryan called and said his mom was running late and I told him no problem that the baby was asleep. I had just looked down at my phone and it was about ten minutes until one when I heard all five dogs start barking and I knew Liz must be here. I opened the door and said, “come on in I’ll go get the baby as I walked up the stairs.”

I walked into her room and peaked over to see if she was still asleep. I then slowly rolled her over to pick her up and she was blue. I started screaming and running with her downstairs yelling, “call 9-11 Lillian is not breathing.” Andrew my youngest son heard me all the way in the basement and bounded up the steps.

The next 45 minutes were absolute chaos.

It is just too horrific to even go into details on. There are scenes, people, EMT’s in my head that I will never forget and will forever be with me. I still have so many questions that I don’t believe will be answered this side of eternity. I don’t understand why when she was the light in our life after Jamie had died (only a month before). How can this be happening again?

Why, Why, Why? The bright light that brought such a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts as she learned new things everyday.

The thing I do know is that He hears the cry of the afflicted, (JOB 34:28) and that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us. (ROMANS 8:17). When I focus on the shortness of this life…and know that someday we will be all be together again I carry on. I know that life on planet earth is a small dot on a long string of eternity.

I know that if it weren’t for Jesus who suffered and died for us on the cross that being together again with Lillian would not be a possibility. I am grateful.

Do you know Jesus?

I am not talking about head knowledge that you know he lived on earth, but do you have a personal relationship with him? He is not just a God in the etherial realm, but is He a living breathing God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, that you can have a personal relationship with. Do you?

Today is a sad day, we remember Lilly Bear and miss her like crazy. It is a day we can’t help but be sad about on all we missed with her here on earth, but it is also a day that we reflect on the fact that God is good and present even in the midst of our great sorrows.

Jamie and Lilly BearHappy Angel-versary to my precious granddaughter, Lillian Elizabeth Caulk in heaven, I know you are fine and happy especially with your grandpa who loved you and missed you so much.  You are enveloped in God’s love. We love you and miss you so much especially your mama Allyssa and daddy Ryan. Lillian Elizabeth Caulk

We will see you soon, precious one.


My daughter,Christa Caulk blogs here: Letter to Heaven, My Beloved Jamie | Pocket Full of Memories.

In this letter to heaven she writes a letter to heaven for Jamie Caulk, her brother. She has such an amazing writer style, so heartfelt.