From: Mary Zimmerman
Iím sure my feelings and thoughts join together with so many others who have lost loved ones...how are birthdays celebrated in heaven? I think perhaps its just another happy day for them, itís no longer about parties, birthday cake or presents in heaven but Iíd like to think your family there would connect in a special way. Duane does have a lot of kinfolks around him including several siblings and a very special uncle, Uncle Jim, (my brother). He passed away at the age of 57 in South Dakota on his yearly apple run.
Duane was killed July 6, 1976 in a car-milk truck collision just two miles from home, just shy of his 17th birthday, August 20 (which is my brother Jimís birthday as well). Our family gathered at Mass that evening (for him) and then at our house. It all seemed awful sad for me, yet the wound was so fresh and deep that healing had not yet started, nor did I think it ever would. I entertained those thoughts for a very long time afterwards. At all the future gatherings and events there was always an empty chair. Eventually I was able to partly fill the gap in my life by reaching out to others having just received the same pain Iíd experienced. Right now my heart goes out to the Anna Mulkey family. I share their pain.
Eventually, God inspired me to write some books sharing my pain, to reach out to others who were now experiencing a broken heart as I did. I shed many tears in the process but it was a therapeutic experience for me. I guess thatís just how God works. He eventually used my sufferings (once I gave them to Him) to help others.
I know its a whole different life in heaven. We tend to think of our loved ones as they passed on. We hear it said one is about middle age and that one day a glorified body will again join our soul which brings up the question - what is a soul? My opinion is its sort of a replica of oneís body, as some people who have had death experiences recognized some of their loved ones.
Itís hard to anticipate that there is no time in heaven, itís just the eternal present. I guess that means we can leave our watches and alarm clocks behind, huh? I hear the music in heaven is just out of this world, very true, huh? Duane loved music so Iíd guess he adjusted very well to his new home.
Duane. I canít help thinking once in a while about what might have been your occupation. Would you have married and given us some more precious grandchildren? Perhaps, as I know you had a lot of admirers, (the last one being a girl named Dawn), and I know you loved children. Dawn, Iíve often thought about you and hope your life has been a happy one.
What does everyone do in heaven? Iím thinking maybe your job is to be a greeter - you loved everyone. (I hear sometimes our loved ones come to meet us when we die). What a comforting thought. Duane, keep your eyes open. Eventually Iíll be there. But tell God Iím pretty busy yet.
Duane I wish you all the happiness in the world, I mean heaven, and also peace. The peace you so diligently searched for in this world I hope is now yours as you have come into the inheritance of heaven...the pearl of great price.
Duane you are in my daily thoughts, prayers and forever in my heart. Please pray for us your family, ask God to give us love, peace and joy and to help one another as we walk the journey of life, to one day join you for all eternity.
Happy Birthday Duane, my son. Forever in my mind, heart and prayers. ĎTil we meet again...your Mom.