What Does it Mean When My Parents Die? Will I See Them Again?

In a spiritual conundrum submitted to Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life, a reader named Tom asks:

I just stumbled upon your website in my spiritual search and I am glad I did. Over the last 3 years I have lost both my parents and these events have made me consciously aware of my own death. I used to feel more comfortable with what awaits us on the other side but I am now more scared than ever there may be nothing. I guess I am looking for some comfort that my parents are ok and I will see them again one day. Thanks.

First, my thoughts are with you, Tom, on the loss of your parents.

Rising from Death, from Death and Rebirth, by Lee Woofenden (copyrighted image)

Rising from Death

Both of my parents also died within the past few years. I wrote about their passing in an article, “When Death is a Celebration.”

It is very common for us to contemplate the meaning of life and death when our parents’ time of death arrives. Whatever our relationship may have been with them, knowing that they are gone changes our view of ourselves. There is no longer an older generation above us. Now, in a psychological sense, we’re on our own. Now we have to think about why we’re here on earth, and about where we are headed in life and in our own eventual death.

So your spiritual conundrum raises at least two issues that confront us at the time of our parents’ deaths:

  1. Are my parents okay, and will I see them again one day?
  2. What does my parents’ death mean for my own life?

Let’s look at these questions in reverse order.

The changing of the guard

First, this article is about when our parents die having lived out a reasonable lifespan, so that we, their children, are well into adulthood ourselves. I sense from the way you phrase things that this is your situation.

As long as our parents are alive, even if we ourselves are well along in years, there is a sense that the older generation is still present and available for us to turn to. In an odd way, this is true even if they can no longer take care of themselves, and no longer have their full mental capacities. We may even be taking care of them. But assuming they were reasonably good parents, even then we have a feeling that those who took care of us, and who we turned to in trouble, are still here with us—even if they may be hidden away in a deteriorating physical body and brain that prevents them from being fully themselves.

When our parents die, the reality settles in that they are no longer here. Whether they were healthy and with it right up to the end or spent years not being truly themselves before they died, there is a certain finality about death. The people who raised us and to whom we turned more times than we can count are gone.

This causes us to re-evaluate our own life and to realize, sometimes with a shock, that we ourselves are now truly the ones in charge. There is no parental safety net to fall back on. Whatever we make of our life, that’s what it is.

And of course, though we may have faced the death of friends and acquaintances, the death of our parents often hits much closer to home. It causes us to think about “ultimate things” in a way we may not have thought of them before.

In short, whatever the circumstances of our parents’ death, that event causes a paradigm shift in our consciousness, our sense of life, and our sense of ourselves and our place in this world.

The lessons of death

I sense that much of what you are feeling now is not only about your parents, but about your own life, and its meaning and ultimate fate.

Even though it can be uncomfortable to reconsider and question things that seemed so certain to us before, this is both a natural and a spiritual part of life.

Ultimately, it is not good for us to accept things just because that’s what our parents instilled into us. Yes, good parents can be a great influence for good in our own life. But as long as we are living on their borrowed strength and values, our life is not truly our own.

In a sense, the death of our parents is a wake-up call for us. It is a message from God, if you will, that we must now live our own life, make our own choices, and be fully responsible for ourselves in a way that may never have seemed quite so real when our parents were still alive.

In particular, anything we have accepted automatically and without question, just because that’s what we were taught, is not a full and strong part of our own self and character. Beliefs and ideas that we have simply and uncritically accepted from others are borrowed values. Perhaps in our parents’ character they were tried and tested in the crucible of real life experiences. But even if we ultimately accept many of our parents’ values, we must make them our own by trial and testing in our own life and experience.

In other words, no matter how fine and good the teaching and example of parents, teachers, ministers, mentors, and so on may be, those things are not ours until we have questioned them, tested them, tried them out, and hammered them into the shape of our own unique mind, life, and experience so that they are truly our own.

And of course, many of us also have the experience of trying and testing things our parents taught us or instilled in us, and finding that they no longer fit. Many of us have the experience of replacing what we were taught as a child and as a youth with different beliefs and values that make more sense to us, and work better in our own life and experience.

All of this questioning, testing, and working things out in our own mind is a healthy and necessary part of becoming the unique individual that we ourselves are.

So as uncomfortable as is your radical questioning of issues of life and death that used to seem so comfortable and solid to you, this is a necessary passage as you determine for yourself what your own beliefs, loves, attitudes, and actions will be in this life.

One way to look at it is that in dying, your parents have given you the gift of exploring life for yourself, on your own terms, and deciding for yourself what you want to believe and who you want to be as a person.

Though this can be a scary and discomforting time, it can also be an exciting and adventurous time of renewal, discovery, and reshaping your life!

Where are they now?

If what I’ve written so far makes some sense to you, then perhaps you will understand why I believe it is actually part of God’s plan that in the ordinary course of life, there comes a time when our parents are no longer with us. For many of us, this means we have to feel that our parents are gone.

But of course, the questions still linger:

  • Are they really gone?
  • Where are they now?
  • How are they doing?
  • Will I ever see them again?

Though there are many more questions we ask ourselves when our parents die, let’s look at these for now, and see if we can find some answers and some comfort.

Of course, we could debate these things, and argue over whether my responses to your questions are really true. If you’re in a doubting mode, please read the article, “Where is the Proof of the Afterlife?

Beyond that, I would simply say, listen to your mind, and to your heart. There is more to life than logic and proof. There is the experience of the sages and deep thinkers of all the ages. And there is a response within our own heart when we encounter something that has the ring of deeper truth.

So, sidestepping all the questioning, debate, and skepticism, for now I will simply give you my responses to these questions.

Are my parents really gone?

Your parents are gone . . . and they aren’t.

They are gone from this physical, material plane of life, and from this earth—and they will never return. There will be no physical resurrection at some future Apocalypse. (See “Is the World Coming to an End? What about the Second Coming?”) Your parents’ bodies, whether buried or cremated, will “go the way of all the earth” (Joshua 23:14; 1 Kings 2:2) The materials of which they were composed will “return to the dust” (Genesis 3:19; Job 34:15; Psalm 104:29) of the physical ecosystem from which they came.

And yet, your parents themselves are not really gone. Yes, you knew your parents through their physical bodies, their actions, their words. But your parents were not their bodies. It was their minds and their hearts that made them who they are. And those things are not physical.

The spirit of your parents is still very much alive. Their true self is still very much alive. That’s because everything that made them who they are is not physical, but spiritual. It is their loves and beliefs, their character and their personality, their humor and their sadness, their wisdom and their silliness—and everything else that made them the unique people they are.

These things can never die.

What we here on earth call “death” is only the removal of the real person, which is the spirit, from the physical body that had housed it here on earth. From a spiritual perspective, physical death is the birth of a soul from the womb of the material world into the fullness of life in the spiritual world (see “When Death is a Celebration”). And though we cannot see spirits with our physical eyes, they are every bit as real and solid to themselves and to one another in the spiritual world as our physical bodies are to us here in the physical world.

Your parents are still very much alive. And if you were close to them, and they cared for you, they are still present with you even if you are not consciously aware of it. In the spiritual world, thinking about people brings their presence. If your parents are thinking of you, then they are still subtly present with you in spirit.

Where are my parents now?

Here’s the funny thing. Since your parents died within the past few years, they might be living a life very similar to the one they had lived before they died. If you like, you can picture them living in a house similar to the one they had last lived in before they died, and going on about their daily lives with one another and in their community.

Of course, they will no longer be with the people they left behind who are still alive here on earth. But they will be meeting and greeting old friends and family members who passed on before them. They will be reigniting old friendships, and finding joy in reuniting with the people whose passing they had mourned while they were still alive on this earth.

To answer this question more technically, it is most likely that your parents are now living in what Emanuel Swedenborg called “the world of spirits.” This is a vast region of the spiritual world situated between heaven and hell. It is where everyone who dies first goes immediately after death. Some stay there only a short time. Others stay for as long as the equivalent of a few decades here on earth. Everyone stays there as long as necessary to get their lives sorted out and to gain clarity about who they truly are in their real, inner self.

For more on the world of spirits and what happens to us after we die, please see the article, “What Happens To Us When We Die?

How are my parents doing?

During the course of their time in the world of spirits, your parents will gradually grow younger in body, until their spiritual body—which is just as real and solid there as our physical body is here—regains its youthful strength and vigor. Do you have pictures of your parents when they were young? If so, that will give you some idea of what they are starting to look like now.

It doesn’t happen all at once. But before long, they will leave behind all of the frailties of age, and feel young and strong again! That’s because in our minds, even when we are old we are still young. Toward the end of his life, my own father forgot everything that just happened more than about ten minutes ago. But he would regale us with stories of how he met his bride (my mother) over sixty years ago. He would tell us over and over again how she would put on her jeans and jump behind him on his motorcycle so that they could go for a ride together. “That’s my gal!” he would say!

Now, I don’t know if my father will get himself a pair of wheels in the spiritual world. But I wouldn’t put it past him! If you can picture your own parents in their younger years, enjoying the pursuits and pastimes that they did in those days, then perhaps you can gain some idea of how they are doing, and what they are doing.

Of course, there’s more to the spiritual world than fun and games. Your parents will now be opening up their hearts and minds in a way that they may never have been able to do fully while they were still alive in the material world. Social strictures and obligations often suppress our full personality, expression, and joy of life here on earth. In the spiritual world, those external strictures are taken away more and more, until we can fully express who we truly are, heart, mind, and soul.

Did you have a glimpse of who your parents were in their heart of hearts? If so, then you can get some deeper sense of how they are doing, and what they are devoting their lives to now that they no longer have to worry about social customs or money or death or taxes.

In short, assuming your parents were good people, they are doing better than fine. Every day they spend in the spiritual world, they are able to express themselves more and more fully, and live more and more of the kind of life they truly love.

Will I ever see my parents again?

If you’re with me so far, then the answer to this one is easy:

Yes!

When it comes our time to die, and we leave behind this physical world and enter the spiritual world, we will be able to meet and get together with all of the friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers who have died before us.

How?

Simply by thinking about them.

As I said earlier, in the spiritual world, when we think about someone it causes them to be present with us. Of course, it’s actually a little more complicated than that—but there’s no need to get into the complications now. In the spiritual world, when we think about someone and want to see them, it brings us closer to them. The very act of thinking about them carries us into the same spiritual “space” that they are in, so that we can see them and talk to them.

And of course, the ones we will think about the most, and most want to see, will be the ones we have been closest to in this life. In the spiritual world, there is great freedom to travel here and there, and to get together with anyone we want to see. (It is also possible to get away from those we don’t want to see.)

When our time to die comes, it is very natural for us to think about the people we loved who have died before us. And because we are thinking about them, it is very likely that they will be the first ones to greet us when we wake up in the spiritual world.

From the brief words in your spiritual conundrum, you seem to think of your parents with love and affection. And I suspect those feelings are mutual. So I fully expect that you will see them soon after you die. You will then be able to spend as much time with them as you want.

Where does all of this come from?

You may ask, “How can you speak about these things with such assurance? Where did all this stuff come from?”

These are not my own ideas. I did not pull them out of thin air. Yes, I’ve spent many years contemplating the afterlife, and coming to some of my own conclusions.

I’ve also read many accounts of near-death experiences, and found them confirmatory of what I had already believed about the spiritual world. I even wrote a book about near-death experiences almost twenty years ago, called Death and Rebirth.

However, if you want the real story of the afterlife from someone who spent many years exploring that realm while still living here on earth, the book for you is Heaven and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenborg.

Are you a bit skeptical?

That’s only natural.

For a little more background on Swedenborg before you take the plunge, see: “Who was Swedenborg? What Should I Read?” This post and video also offer links where you can purchase Heaven and Hell as a print or Kindle book, or download free PDF and E-Book (epub) versions.

Beyond that, all I can say is: Read the book! Then decide for yourself whether the spiritual realm that Swedenborg described in vivid detail over 250 years ago makes sense to your mind . . . and to your heart.

This article is a response to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader.

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in The Afterlife
183 comments on “What Does it Mean When My Parents Die? Will I See Them Again?
  1. estela cabrera says:

    Lee

    When you talk about “spiritual” world do you mean “heaven”? Any books that you can recommend about this subject. I miss my mom so much and I feel guilty about going on with my life and she is not here. We had so many plans and now I just feel completely lost without her.

    • Lee says:

      Hi estela,

      All of your feelings are very understandable. It’s a huge change, and it’s going to take time.

      I would suggest, however, that your mother would want you to go on with your life, and do good things with it. If nothing else, that way you’ll have some good stories to tell her when it comes your time to join her in the spiritual world. But more than that, I believe she would want to see you happy and fulfilled in this life even if she can no longer be with you here. She loves you and cares about you, and wants you to be happy.

      The spiritual world, as I believe in it, includes heaven, but also hell and a place in between called “the world of spirits,” where everyone who dies first goes to get sorted out before finding their final home in either heaven or hell.

      For starters, I would recommend that you read this article:
      What Happens To Us When We Die?
      There are several more articles linked from the end of this one that you might also find helpful.

      If and when you’re ready to delve more deeply into learning about the afterlife, I would recommend:
      Heaven and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenborg.
      This, I believe, is the most complete and satisfying account of the afterlife ever published.

  2. Peace says:

    Dear Lee,

    I am a Hindu. I lost my Grandma recently whom I loved a lot and missing her badly. Will I ever get a chance to meet her again(probably after my time)?

    Thanks in advance..

    • Lee says:

      Hi Peace,

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s death. It is hard to lose the people we love, even if there is a time for everyone to leave this earth. From my perspective, it doesn’t matter if you are a Hindu or any other religion on the face of the earth. I believe that you will see your grandmother again when it comes your time to leave this earth, and spend as much time as you want with her. Meanwhile, she is rejoining family and friends that went before her, and growing young again in body as well as in spirit.

      • Peace says:

        Dear Lee,
        Thanks a lot for your reply.
        Few questions,will i meet her irrespective of heaven or hell, and will she have the same body above as when she left or there will not be any physical body?

        Thank You.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Peace,

          You are very welcome. In answer to your further questions:

          Hell would be an issue only if either you or your grandmother is/was a wicked, selfish person. Assuming your grandmother was a good person, and that you don’t live an evil, selfish life either, you don’t have to worry about that.

          But yes, even people in hell can at least briefly visit with people in the world of spirits, where we first go after we die. However, over time relationships separated by the divide between heaven and hell will fade as the one who goes to heaven makes new friends and gains a new family in heaven, and the one who goes to hell becomes fully immersed in the hellish culture that exists there. In heaven, everyone sees each other as brothers and sisters, and sees God as their father and mother.

          Your grandmother will have a body, but it will be a spiritual body rather than a physical body. However, it will look and feel just like a physical body. Though you may at first see her as an old woman the way you knew her here on earth, in the spiritual world her body will grow younger until she is once again a young woman in body, even while retaining the wisdom she had gained through her long life here on earth, and through continuing to grow in wisdom in the spiritual world.

          For more on our body in heaven, please see:
          Will My Body be the Right Weight and Appearance in the Afterlife?

        • Peace says:

          Dear Lee,
          Thanks for your reply.

          Regards,
          Peace

  3. Only daughter says:

    My mom passed away a month ago. We were inseparable, we spent our whole life together and never ever wanted to be apart. She said we were intertwined…like the same person, the same heart. I know she would want me to be strong like her and live on but she was my only happiness in this world. Whats the point of living if i cant share it with the only person i want. And she was the only love and truth ive ever known in life. I just want to die so i can be with her. Im afraid shes alone or scared or confused that shes now a spirit and away from me. Life feels pointless and empty without her, im all alone and feel lost. If the meaning of life is to love and be loved and have happiness, how can i without her?? I feel like im paying a debt of grief and pain for the rest of my life in return for having 36 years of pure love and joy with her. She said she would always be with me no matter what even if she passed away. What if shes not with me, what if shes forgotten me???

    • Lee says:

      Hi Only Daughter,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s death. I hope this article has been some help and comfort to you.

      Please be assured that your mother is fine, even if she will miss your physical presence. She is in a brighter world, where there are loving angels to help her in any way she might want or need. Whatever physical illnesses or disabilities she might have had toward the end are now gone. She will have the full use of her mind and her (spiritual) body—in fact, even more than she ever had here on earth, because she is now free from the limitations of this physical world.

      To get an idea of what she is experiencing now as she enters her new life in the spiritual world, please see this article:
      What Happens To Us When We Die?

      Although you and she are now physically separated, she is still with you in spirit. She can sense your feelings and something of what you are going through. She knows how hard it is for you right now. She can feel your pain. She will hope for you to be able to move forward with your life and do something good with it, so that she can feel that you have some sense of happiness and fulfillment in life. I know it’s hard. But for her sake, do keep putting one foot in front of the other each day, until you can find some comfort and peace.

      Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

      • Only daughter says:

        I feel like no one understands our deep connection. I dont want life without her,shes all that mattered to me.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Only daughter,

          Yes, and she is still with you, even if you can’t see her with your eyes. If at any time you sense her presence, that is not just a hallucination or wishful thinking. She is with you in spirit.

        • Only daughter says:

          Can two spirits remain together forever in the afterlife?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Only daughter,

          Yes. In heaven people who love each other and are very close to each other live near each other, or even in the same home.

  4. Pamela says:

    Dear Lee,

    Both of my parents passed away in 2018, six months apart from each other. I also lost my canine soul mate in between them. I am having extreme difficulties with all of this loss. My question is: Will my parents always be my parents inn heaven. It’s funny to think that if they are, we will be the same age? I heard that everyone never ages passed 36. Hard to imagine my parents being the same age as me. I would love your thoughts on this.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Pamela,

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss of your parents, but happy to hear that they died so close to each other so that they did not have to spend long apart. My own parents died within nine months of each other. (See: “When Death is a Celebration.”)

      In answer to your question, your parents will be your parents in the spiritual world as long as you need them to be.

      Still, every good parent looks forward to the time when their children will be adults and their own people, living their own life, no longer dependent upon their parents. Isn’t that the goal of raising children to adulthood? Further, in heaven, everyone things of God as his or her divine Father (or Mother), and thinks of other angels as brothers and sisters.

      If you were very close to your parents, it is quite possible that you will continue to live in the same community of heaven that they do. However, as “time” (in heaven there is no “time” as we know it) passes, you will more and more think of one another as beloved brothers and sisters, and the former parent/child relationship will fade in favor of looking together to God as your divine Parent.

      I know this may not be exactly what you want to hear at this time in your life. And so I’ll return to my original statement that in the spiritual world, your parents will be your parents as long as you need them to be. You will meet them again when it comes your time to die, and you will have “all the time in the world” to reconnect with them and make up for lost time.

  5. Pamela says:

    Hi Lee,
    Thank you for your reply. My parents, as commonly told by their children, were everything to me. I took care of them for the last 10 years as they were both very sick. The love bond between us was so great. There is nothing better than the “Pure” love between a parent and their child. And that is what I had, and what I am truly going to miss. I could always count on them. Everything could go to “hell and a handbag” but as long as I had them in my life and their love, it was okay. But now that they are gone. WOW, the grief is so intense. Even having my beloved beagle, Heidi by my side (I called her my copilot) because she helped me navigate my life after my dad passed. And now she is gone.
    Your right! I don’t ever want to think differently. When I go to heaven, I want my parents to be my parents and not my brother and sisters. It is hard to think with my logical brain right now, as I am being ruled by my heart now.
    I just want the relationship that I had with my parents to continue in the next life. I would hope that God would see the intense love bond I had with them and would grant me this. I know that God is everything, our “Creator” our “Heavenly Father”, but I also have another father and mother that raised me here, on this earth. I guess what I am saying is that I could “physically” have my mom and dad’s arms around me when I am sad. I could “physically” see and hear the words of love from their mouths. I have not had that “physical” relationship with God here. I would hope that he would not take that away from me. Don’t get me wrong, I do love God, but am I being selfish by saying that I want both?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Pamela,

      You will be able to have your parents’ “physical” arms around you in the other life for as long as you need that. We have spiritual bodies in the spiritual world, and they are just as real, touchable, and huggable as our physical bodies are here on earth. So that part of your longing will be fulfilled.

      The more immediate issue you face is the grief over their passing from this world to the next so that they are no longer physically present with you, together with the loss of your dog, so that you are left alone. This is difficult and very painful. That’s all there is to it.

      All I can suggest is that as hard as it is, you continue on with your life, and find reasons to move forward and accomplish something here on earth. Your parents will not want to see you spend the rest of your life pining away for them. They will want you to have a life here on earth, and some satisfaction, and yes, even joy in your life—as hard as that may be for you to conceive of right now.

      Be aware that your parents are still with you in spirit, even if they are not physically present with you. They can still feel your feelings and sense your thoughts—and even more than they could here on earth, because they are now in the spiritual world, where thoughts and feelings become visible and are seen and felt very distinctly. When you are sad and grieving, they feel your sadness and grief. When you are feeling happiness and satisfaction, they feel that as well. So even if for yourself you would never move out of your current grief, for the sake of their happiness in the spiritual world I would encourage you to gradually move toward some happiness and satisfaction in life, whatever that may mean for you.

      I know it’s hard. There is no “easy guarantee” on life. But facing the struggles of this life is what builds the character we bring with us into the next life.

      Besides, you’ll want to have some good stories to tell your parents when you arrive there!

  6. Pamela says:

    Thank you very much Lee for your words of wisdom and encouragement. As hard as it will be, I will try to get on with life. God Bless!

  7. Bill says:

    Thank you for posting this Lee. It gave me some comfort in a time in which i needed it the most.

  8. AJ749 says:

    Hi Lee this has been pondering my mind for a while, How can you tell the difference between a real ADC by relatives who have passed on or if your talkingg to a lying spirit/ devil?

    As alot of people in the spiritualist community who were tricked by spirits posing as their relatives say it was like talking to them and of course the spirit later showed who they truly were.

    Plus alot of ADCs such as the one we talked on here about on the Egohan website with judy and barb had their relatives talk for a long period of time and their wasnt much symbolism within them, and alot of people who talk about deceptive spirits say that this is what they do

    • Lee says:

      Hi AJ749,

      I’m not an expert on after death communications. But in general, I would say that if people are relying upon them for their faith and for their understanding of the spiritual world, that is not a good thing. But if people simply gain some comfort from the sense that their loved ones are still alive in the spiritual world, that’s fine.

      Yes, I would say that usually valid ADCs aren’t about talking a lot and conveying a lot of information. But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. The reason I’m inclined to accept Judy’s ADC is that the person on the other side directed her to read the Bible and Swedenborg. Lying spirits do not want to send people to other authorities that might contradict the misinformation they are feeding the person on earth. Lying spirits want people to rely upon their word only, and accept everything they say without question. They will generally discourage people from turning to other sources, especially the Bible, and will commonly claim that what they are saying supersedes the Bible. Padgett and his successors, for example, believed that they were “correcting the errors” of the Bible by saying, for example, that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father, and that Jesus was merely an especially evolved human being.

      As I’ve said previously, I believe ADCs will be less likely to be deceptive for people who have an already established structure of faith that informs their thinking, whereas they are more likely to be deceptive for people who are wandering in uncertainty, and latch onto ADCs to give them a sense of certainty and structure in their thinking on spiritual subjects.

      I also think that even valid ADCs are meant to help and strengthen the particular individual who receives them, and perhaps their immediate family and friends. They are not meant to be the basis for wider groups of people to form their faith. That’s why I think that a spiritualist church is not such a good idea. God has given us written revelation in the form of the Bible, and now also Swedenborg’s writings, from which we can learn and form a structure of faith and spiritual knowledge in our minds. The Bible is more about motivating and leading us to salvation. It speaks especially to our heart. Swedenborg’s writings are more about understanding the Bible and various spiritual subjects. They speak primarily to our head. Even if we are coming into a more spiritual era when more people can have valid contact with angels and spirits, I still don’t think that other-world communication is meant to be a source of widespread beliefs and doctrines. Rather, it is meant a source of help, comfort, and inspiration for the individuals who have that contact, and for their loved ones.

      • AJ749 says:

        Hi lee loved the reply, the more i think about the comment you made regsrding lying spirits/devils only wanting people to listen to them the more i see the truth in that as nearly if not all channeled / spiritualist messages ive seen or read have the person listening to their views like james padgetts writings but never say read the bible look at chapter 3 of it to back up their statements like Parts of Judys ADC and Of course all of Swedenborg

  9. Annie Howell says:

    Reading this really helped me. My grandmother died nearly a week ago and she raised me a lot of the time. I gain comfort in the knowledge that she is in heaven but I do worry that the love and fun we had in life will not be the same in heaven. I worry that the bond we shared on earth might be lost forever. I don’t want her to miss me and be sad but i don’t want her to forget me and the love we shared

    • Lee says:

      Hi Annie,

      Glad you found the article helpful. About your grandmother, she is the very same person in heaven that she was on earth, complete with all of her memories, except that now she will be living in her spiritual body, which will get younger and younger until she is a young woman again. That in itself will likely change the nature of your relationship with her when it comes your time to move on to the spiritual world. But as for the love and fun you had together during her lifetime on earth, that will still be there. In fact, it will be even greater, because there won’t be earthly and physical barriers blocking the full expression of her personality and yours.

      Yes, she will miss you. But she is also rejoining the people she loved that have gone on before, and that will give her happiness. Since you and she were close, she will think of you often, but with a new perspective now that she is in the spiritual world. It may also be possible for her to sense your thoughts and feelings from time to time, especially when you are thinking of her.

  10. Pamela says:

    Hi Lee,
    My name is Pamela and I have written to you before. I lost both my mom and dad and my canine soul mate last year all within 6 months. I so extremely close with my parents especially my mom. I am still struggling but I am attending a grief group now. Lately I have been reading about NDE’s but along with it were articles about reincarnation, also being hypnotized and doing the past life regression. I would like to know your thoughts on this matter. When I started reading about this, I started to panic!! I felt worse about everything and my grief spiraled. As far as reincarnation, I do not want to come back!!!! And when I read about a man that crossed over and met his beloved uncle, and then for his uncle to say, “You can’t go with me, I am on a different level, or realm. You have to go with these people.” And the man was totally devastated. Is this what we have to look forward to….seeing our loved ones and then being ripped away from them because they are at a different level than us? I don’t what to think anymore. My heart is so broken, and I am in constant anguish. When it is my time all I want is to be with God and Jesus and with my parents and my co-pilot (dog) and never to be parted again. I want the continuation of our loving relationship to continue on in the next life. To always be with them. They have been such a positive in my life as well as the 3 greatest loves of my life…..please help.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Pamela,

      Good to hear from you again. I’m glad to hear that you are getting some help and support in moving on with your life here on earth after losing the three beings that you love most. It’s not easy.

      About reincarnation, as popular a belief as it is, it’s basically a physical-minded perspective: the idea that we must return to a physical body in order to continue our development as human beings.

      Not so.

      We continue to learn and grow to eternity in our spiritual body, in the spiritual world, after we have finished our time in time in the “womb” of the physical world, and are “born” through physical death into our real, ongoing life in the spiritual world. About that, see: “When Death is a Celebration.” And for a long and detailed article explaining exactly why reincarnation is a mistaken belief, and what the truth is, please see:

      The Bible, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Reincarnation

      I hope this article will quell your fears, and give you new hope. If, after reading it, you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  11. ana says:

    Lee.

    I lost my dad a month ago and nothing makes sense to me. l miss him so much because he was my best friend. I feel incomplete. l love your comments on Life after death because l feel better. l have a question for you: why don’t our love ones try to contact us or give us a hint that they are not gone forever, instead they should tell us that they are still around and avoid us to cry and suffer a lot. Everybody says “nobody came back to tell us the story”. l would appreciate your feedback.

    • Lee says:

      Hi ana,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your father’s death. And I’m glad this article is giving you some help and comfort. It is always hard to lose the people we love. But if we have some idea of where they are going, and some assurance that we will be able to see them again, it takes away some of the sting, though certainly not all of the grief. We miss them.

      The main reason people who have died and gone to the spiritual world aren’t allowed to contact us here on earth is that we live in a very materialistic culture. Contact from spirits would push people into believing something they haven’t come to really believe in on their own. It would therefore take away their spiritual freedom. That’s why God does not allow most people these days to have any contact from people in the spiritual world.

      Also, once people start having contact from the spiritual world, it often pulls them away from focusing on doing their work in this world, and being with the people who are still here with them. As long as we are still here on earth, we have work to do, and we must focus on that rather than getting drawn away into a wistful desire to be with the people who have gone to the spiritual world before us.

      I know it’s hard. But in the long run, it’s best to keep alive the memory of your father while continuing to live your life here on earth. Though I’m sure he understands your sorrow, he would not want to see you spending your days pining away for him. Instead, he would want to see the one he loves living a good life and becoming a good person, who has plenty of good stories to tell him when the time comes for you to join him again in the spiritual world.

  12. mikey says:

    im not sure where to strt or ask questions ive read yr article up above when my mother passed i felt that she was very near and at night i would wake between the hours of 2 n 243 but when i told my mom i feel u near and that its ok to cross over and that i’ll be fine i dont’ feel her but shes constantly on my mind i sometimes talk to her and ask how shes doing and i let her know i truely miss her and i love her its been 9 years and since she has been gone so much as changed like i hvanet dated since 2012 i hvae no intersts in dating i have inertsts in exploring the world and havn’t done it yet my father is still alive he has angry not towards her which doesn’t make much sense to me he tells me things that angried him i have never told him to try and talk to her i kow he loves her he did his very best in taking care of her but he still has angry he says things like your mother didnt love me which is not true i know that she did but trying to talk to him is like talkin to awall his stubborn n bullheaded i sometimes wish i can find comfort for him if she was alive she would have been 67 my father is 72 and is in good health i wanna talk to god and ask him to please touch his heart cause his hurting but i haven’t said a prayer just yet but i will i just hope mymother is beside him and is trying to comfort him from the other sde i’m so happy that i found your site cause there allot of questions about the other side i just hope thing will change for my father before he goes at least an understanding on how he was raised and the heart ache he went thru his mother up lifted him when he was a baby and his dad was fairly old before he had died and when he did die noone wanted to care for my father so he was sent to boystown join the army and made a carer out of it then became a truck driver i sometimes tell him that forgiving someone has to come from his heart its easy for me to say u must learn to forgive but he has that wall up i truely believe the way life is right now between my father n my brother was done unpurpose to fix the relationship betwen us 3 i hate gettin upset from the things he say but ty for sharing your thoughts and your beliefs i will truely continue to read on and hopifully find the answers i been seeking im gonna go for now again ty for making this site happen i will be exploring your links and what you have suggested for us to read

    • Lee says:

      Hi mikey,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for telling your story. I’m glad the articles here are helping you.

      It’s a difficult situation. Older men, especially, can be hard to crack. They’ve seen a lot and been through a lot, and men are usually not as willing to face and express their feelings as women are. Still, if he’s a good man, he will gradually come to terms with these things. Even if that doesn’t happen during his lifetime here on earth, it will happen after he dies and passes on to the spiritual world. And then he can also rejoin your mother, and he will know for sure how she really feels about him.

      Meanwhile, it’s good that you still care about him. I’m sure that means a lot to him even if he can’t necessarily say so. Just knowing that there’s someone “in your corner” makes a big difference for people.

  13. Luna says:

    How can we know that all this is true? Is there any evidence besides our non-material consciousness? And how can we know such a heaven exists?

    Of course I want to believe it, but personally, as a scientifically oriented person, I can’t truly believe it unless there are some pieces of evidence.

    And also, why do some Christians always tell me that in heaven, you’re supposed to put god at the top of everything else? How could you put God before the family and friends who supported you through everything? I understand putting God at the top WITH your family and friends but how could you put God before them?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      Here is an article that deals with the issue of proof and evidence of spiritual things:

      Where is the Proof of the Afterlife?

      Science is designed to study the nature of physical phenomena in the material world. It isn’t designed or adapted to study spiritual phenomena. However, there are certain principles that still apply to spiritual things.

      If you are a scientifically oriented person, then Swedenborg’s teachings will be good material for you. Before his theological period, he had a long and distinguished scientific career. One of the recent biographies of him is titled, A Scientist Explores Spirit. (The link is to the Kindle edition on Amazon.)

      In response to your other question, there is no conflict between putting God first and having a good relationship with our family and friends. In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus says that as much as we do something for one of our fellow human beings, we have done it for him. The difference is that when we put God first, then when we interact with other people and do things for them, we are thinking especially of their long-term and spiritual good, not just their short-term pleasure. In other words, putting God first prompts us to do what is ultimately best for other people. Here are two related articles:

      1. How Do I Love My Neighbor?
      2. How do I Love God with my Whole Heart?
  14. Luna says:

    Lee, do you believe that people who were born with a bad heart can change into a person with a good heart if they truly wanted to?

    If so, how?

    And also, on the subject of NDE’s, how can we only trust the good ones and believe the bad ones are fake? How can we say that only the ones in which people saw their family members, and the people who saw a light at the end of the tunnel and warmth are real, and the rest about people being ripped apart by demons or falling into a fiery pit is fake?

    Lastly, even if the afterlife is real, how can we be sure that it is an eternal heaven and hell, and not some other afterlife (such as temporary heaven and hell and then reincarnation, or a heaven and hell decided by the actions you have committed?)

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      In a sense, we’re all born with a bad heart, in that we’re all born wrapped up in our own pleasure and pain. We have to grow out of that state into one in which we think about other people’s pleasure and pain as much as our own. That’s what our lifetime on this earth is for: to get a new heart from God. To let God replace our stony heart with a heart of flesh (of warm love for God and the neighbor). Here is one article I wrote about how to change from a bad person into a good person:

      What does Jesus Mean when He Says we Must be Born Again?

      About hellish NDEs, it’s not necessarily that they are fakes, but rather that they are “dramas.”

      When we go to a horror flick or a post-apocalyptic dystopia movie, it’s not a “fake.” Rather, it is a drama illustrating a fear that dwells in the human heart. In the spiritual world, such dramas are very easy to create, only they’re not just shown on a screen; they are full-immersion experiences, like using the holodeck on Star Trek. People experience scenes and events as if they are actually happening. And for them, they are happening. It’s just that it’s in a spiritual “movie theater,” not in the regular “outside world.”

      These experiences are not “fakes.” They illustrate real issues, feelings, and fears of the human mind and heart. Though it may not be clear why, there is some reason that particular person is experiencing a taste of the traditional hell. The flames represent evil desires that burn in us. And so on. They are cautionary tales. People who have them come away changed by them.

      Even people who have heavenly NDEs aren’t necessarily experiencing heaven as it really is. Dr. Eben Alexander’s NDE has some fantastical scenes that aren’t at all like what Swedenborg describes heaven to be. But they, too, were likely spiritual dramas representing something in Alexander’s mind and heart.

      Keep in mind that these people are in the spiritual world only briefly. They do not have time, as Swedenborg did, to get their bearings, and figure out what ordinary life in the spiritual world is like, and what it is all about. They are being given an experience that they need in order to move forward on their spiritual journey. That experience may be more like a spiritual movie than like walking around in the streets outside of the movie theater.

      About your final question, I know your heart is burning and your mind is churning on these questions. Once again, I strongly recommend that you get a copy of Heaven and Hell, and read it. If money is an object, you can download free digital and audio versions at the Swedenborg Foundation website here:

      Heaven and Hell: New Century Edition

      You need to equip your mind with definite ideas about the afterlife. You can question and debate them in your mind as you go. But there is a certain amount of “raw data” that you need to get into your head before you can even have enough substance to form clear thoughts on a subject. Heaven and Hell will give you that raw data about the afterlife. Then you will have the basis to draw your own conclusions, yea or nay.

  15. Luna says:

    My father has discriminatory views against a certain group of people because of the view of his certain country. Generally, he still believes in doing kind things for other people, and has a basic idea of what’s right and what’s wrong, and usually makes the decision to choose what is best for others. Will he end up in hell for his discriminatory views?

    *He never talks bad about this group of people out loud.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      Of course, discriminatory views are not good. But as long as your father refrains from acting upon them, they will not be held against him, especially if that was how he was brought up to think. It would be best for him to recognize that those types of thoughts are wrong, and to change his attitudes. But if that is more than he is willing and able to do, then simply not treating the people he is prejudiced against badly will be sufficient. God doesn’t require us to be perfect. Only to live a decent life, not mistreat each other, and do the right thing in our interactions with other people.

  16. Luna says:

    Why doesn’t God let angels and spirits talk to us if we can’t recover from a death of one of our loved ones?

    I know usually that God wants us to learn a lesson by going through the whole process of grieving, but what if a person doesn’t have the will to learn that lesson? Some people don’t get over the grief for the rest of their lives? Why doesn’t God send those people signs that their loved ones are okay? I know God wants us to go through suffering to help us learn as his “children” but, what is the point if someone just suffers from that pain forever, never knowing that there is an afterlife and they will see their parents again? How come God just lets them suffer for the rest of their physical lives? Why doesn’t he give those people signs that they will see their loved one again?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      It is not that God doesn’t allow it, but that most people are not receptive to it because they don’t really believe in a spiritual world and an afterlife. This skepticism or lack of belief blocks angels and spirits from communicating with them in any way.

      As I said in a reply to one of your previous comments, for people who truly and sincerely seek spiritual knowledge and understanding, the information and knowledge are available. If people aren’t seeking or open to that knowledge, it’s not God’s fault, but their own fault and the fault of this materialistic society.

      • Luna says:

        However, some people do actually seek that knowledge but never gets it and still continues to suffer. Why is that?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Luna,

          This is why it is important for people like you and me to accept the truth when we find it, and then share it with people whenever we see that they are suffering and seeking comfort and answers.

          You now have access to the answers that such people are seeking. The real question is not whether God will do anything about it, but whether you will do anything about it.

  17. Luna says:

    I don’t mean to sound rude, but how can we trust your answers over the ideas of billions of other people? I want to, but there are billions of other people out there that don’t support your ideas. I mean there are millions of Christians out there saying all non-Christians go to hell. There are also hundreds of millions of people out there saying there are devils and fire in hell. There are millions of people out there saying there is reincarnation out there. How do we know can we believe you over billions of other people?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      Nothing you have said here so far is rude. Please don’t worry about that.

      How can you trust my answers? By seeking the truth with your whole mind, and by consulting with your own heart.

      Do you believe that all non-Christians go to hell? Do you believe that a God of love would create a world that operates in this way? Do you believe that God would create a hell with literal devils and fire to roast people to all eternity because they believe the wrong thing, and were brought up in the wrong religion and culture? Do you believe that God will erase our personality and our relationships, like erasing a file, and have us start all over again by reincarnating us?

      Read what I have to say here. Read the Bible in the light of it. Read what your own heart is telling you. Then decide for yourself whether you believe what I am saying, or whether you believe what those millions of people out there are saying.

      There is much darkness on the earth. I can only offer you the light that I have been given by the Lord. It is up to you whether to accept it.

  18. Luna says:

    Do we have to love our parents or kids more? Of course, it would be much easier to love them both in the same way, but that is almost impossible, but if you love your kids more, then you will feel guilty about not loving your parents as much and vice versa. Although I don’t have kids of my own, will loving your parents more then your child be punished by God?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      First of all, God doesn’t punish us at all. Other people punish us, and we punish ourselves, but God doesn’t punish us. So please stop worrying about God punishing you for this or that. Bad behavior itself is what will bring punishment upon us. That’s why it says in Psalm 34:21–22:

      Evil brings death to the wicked,
      and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
      The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
      none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

      Not God, but evil itself brings death (and punishment) to the wicked. But people who take refuge in God will not be condemned (or punished).

      The real question is whether something we are doing is wrong and evil. And it is wrong and evil if it hurts people and causes damage. Loving our children more than we love our parents may not be the perfect state for us to be in, but does it really hurt anyone or cause any real damage?

      As parents we must love our children, so that they can grow up healthy and happy and good. That’s why God puts it in our heart to love our children. And if, while we are actively raising our children, that takes precedence over our love for our parents, that’s only natural. Our parents themselves, if they are good people, will want us to put our best love and energy into our children. Remember, our children are their grandchildren. And it is common for grandparents to love their grandchildren even more than the children’s own parents do.

      • Luna says:

        But what if we love our parents more then our children?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Luna,

          If it causes us to neglect our children, then that is a problem. But if we are loving and caring for our children, then whether we love parents more than children, or children more than parents, isn’t such a big issue. The important thing is that we love them.

  19. Luna says:

    In the Bible, God said that he would wipe every tear from our eyes. Does that mean if someone makes us sad he will just wipe them from our memory or something?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      Those statements are in the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 7:9–17 and Revelation 21:1–8. They are from John’s vision of a future state in the spiritual world. What he says there is figurative, not literal. Basically, wiping every tear from our eye means taking away our sadness, sorrow, and pain.

      This doesn’t necessarily happen by taking away the memory of people and things that make us sad, though that does sometimes happen even here on earth, as old painful memories gradually fade away, and are replaced in our active awareness by new and better memories. It can also happen, however, by our getting a different perspective on past and present experiences, so that things that used to make us sad no longer do, because we see them differently.

      Of course, these statements are about people who have engaged in the struggle to become better people, and have been victorious and successful through the power of the Lord working in them. People who don’t engage in that battle, or who give up and give in to evil and selfishness, will not have their sadness, sorrow, and pain taken away by God because they have chosen to live a life that leads to sadness, sorrow, and pain.

  20. Luna says:

    I am worried my parents and I might go to hell. I don’t know if this is true, but one of my Christian friends told me that there is an excerpt in the Bible that states the road to heaven is narrow and the road to hell is wise. I am worried that means more people go to hell then heaven.

    How selfish do you have to be to go to hell. Sometimes I am selfish and don’t think about other people in my day to day life. And in one of the articles, you told me that if one only cares for his family, then it doesn’t have any real value because you think of your family as an extension of yourself. If this is true, does that mean my parents and I are down a spiraling path to hell because we all exhibit traits of selfishness, especially me?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      As long as you are making a real and honest effort to overcome your selfishness and become a better person, you will not go to hell, because in that case you will be on the road toward heaven, even if you haven’t actually arrived at heaven yet. Just keep working on yourself day after day. Over time, you will see the improvement, and you won’t be so worried about going to hell.

      About the narrow road to heaven and the broad road to hell, please scroll down to the section titled “Matthew 7:13–14: The narrow gate” in this article:

      Response to a Calvinist Critique of my article “Faith Alone Does Not Save”

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      I should add that loving our family and taking care of our family is not wrong. It’s only when we don’t love anyone else except our family that it really becomes a problem. If your parents generally live a good life, and they do things for people outside their family as well as people in their family, then I don’t think you have to worry too much about their going to hell.

  21. Luna says:

    Will we still be able to look at our parents as our parents? Won’t it be kind of weird and awkward if we have to look at our parents as brothers and sisters? You say that of course it is hard to accept now, but I believe that even in the future it will be hard to accept because our family will never look the same again.

    • Luna says:

      Especially in non-christian cultures, is it okay to look at God as our Creator rather than Father, and then look at the rest of our Earthly relationships in the same way as we did on Earth? It is already kind of awkward to see our parents as young as us, (not saying it’s a bad thing, just saying it is a little bit off), so it would be kind of weird to see our parents as brothers and sisters.

      • Lee says:

        Hi Luna,

        Once again, on this, I would just say, “Wait and see.”

        Incidentally, your parents might very much enjoy having young bodies while still having the wisdom of their years. Personally, I’m pushing 60, and I’d be quite pleased to have the body I had when I was 25. But I would never want to go back to being as inexperienced and foolish as I was at that age! 😀

    • Lee says:

      Hi Luna,

      Right now this will be hard for you to believe or accept. But as you grow up and grow older, your relationship with your parents will change, even during your lifetime here on earth. All I can say now is, “Wait and see.”

  22. Sam says:

    Hello Lee!
    From what i’ve read of your website you say people in the afterlife are friends based on similarities. But what about friends or family who are very close but not very similar?
    Some of my most trusted/closest friends are nearly polar opposites of me, yet we greatly enjoy spending time togather.
    I am very scared that in the afterlife, that won’t be the case because our charecter isn’t similar. If you could offer me any type of comfort i’d greatly appreciate it.
    -Sam

    • Lee says:

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question, which is a good one.

      In the afterlife, what draws people together into the same community with one another is not particularly similar personalities or characters, but rather what Swedenborg calls our “ruling love.”

      Our ruling love is whatever we love and care about most in life. Though it’s never exactly the same in any two people, it does fall into one of four general categories: God, other people, worldly things, and self. If worldly things (material possessions and pleasures) or self are what we love and care about more than anything else, then we will make our eternal home in hell. If God or other people is what we love and care about more than anything else, then we will make our eternal home in heaven.

      Within those general categories, as I said, there are as many variations in ruling love as there are people. However, there are also many general categories and subdivisions within those categories.

      For example, for some people the ruling love may be giving children the knowledge they need to live a good life. Naturally, people who become elementary school teachers would commonly have this as their ruling love. But what about all of the other people needed to make a school run? There is the school board, the principal and other administrators, the secretaries and office staff, the librarian, the physical education teachers, the music teachers, the maintenance staff, and so on. Each of these requires a different personality and character to do the job well. But together, in the ideal world (which is what heaven is—almost!) they will all come together and work together in order to provide a good learning environment for children.

      In the same way, in heaven, just because people have a common ruling love, that doesn’t mean they have the same personality, the same character, the same skills, the same job, and so on. For any town or city in heaven to run well, it needs all kinds of people, with all different skills and personalities. What they share in common is a common love to accomplish some good work, whether it is raising children, or teaching, or guiding newcomers who have just arrived in spiritual world, or keeping the evil spirits in hell in check, or any number of other jobs that need to be done in a healthy human society.

      In short, the residents of any particular town or city in heaven are not all the same. They are just as varied as people are here on earth. But they all work together with one another to accomplish common goals.

      For an article that takes up some of these ideas specifically in relation to partners in marriage, please see:

      How to Know if Mr. or Ms. Right is Right for You: Pointers from Gloria and Emilio Estefan

      I hope this helps.

      • Sam says:

        Hello Lee!

        Thank you for the reply, altought i still am a bit confused.

        What if i don’t know what my family/friends ruling love is, or if it is diffent from mine? Will i still be able to see them or visit them, or spend time with them in the afterlife?

        -Sam

        • Lee says:

          Hi Sam,

          Just like here on earth, in the spiritual world you can visit people who live in other towns and cities. In fact, it is much easier to do so than it is here on earth. All you have to do is think about someone with a desire to see them, and you become present with them.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Lee & Annette Woofenden

Lee & Annette Woofenden

Featured Book

God and Creation

By Lee Woofenden

(Click the cover image or title link to review or purchase on Amazon)

Join 1,160 other followers

Earlier Posts
Blog Stats
  • 2,970,711 hits
%d bloggers like this: