The Hereafter



The Hereafter




A few months before my dad’s suicide, I told him about a biography that Jess Stern had written concerning Taylor Caldwell’s life. She and her husband had made a pack that whoever died first would give the other one a sign that there was a hereafter or life after death. When they moved into their last home together, they had planted a flowering bush next to the back deck but it failed to bloom. Every spring they would agree that they needed to dig it up and plant something else, but like a lot of us do, they never got around to it. When her husband passed away, the morning of his funeral she went out on the deck to drink her coffee and the bush was in full bloom!


 I have always believed in heaven and have had many experiences that made this belief stronger. To name a few, My twin had a near death experience when she had Guillion Barre’ Syndrome in which she witnessed life after death and I suffered a still birth after carrying my baby for several months and never doubted that she was in heaven. My dad, who had glaucoma, told me one morning that my mom (who was deceased) had come to him with a patch over her left eye. He felt strongly that she was trying to tell him something. I called his doctor immediately and scheduled an appointment that day where we discovered that the pressure had jumped dramatically in his left eye.


My dad was 82 years old when he committed suicide. He left a note saying he did not want to live without my mom any longer. He went on to say, his doctor had found a tumor on his bladder and had scheduled chemo. His best friend had died from bladder cancer and it was a terrible slow death and he did not want to be a burden to his children during the process. He was a man who felt that he was always in control, but when my mom passed first, he was not in control, he was devastated.  He was the one who had health issues, therefore he was suppose-to die first. Instead, he was left broken hearted. I’ve always felt that suicide is a very selfish act and yet I had witnessed the pain he was in. The note did little to console those of us, who were left behind.


In our bedroom I had a beautiful big Christmas cactus sitting on the cedar chest  that had been in that spot for two years. It had only bloomed in November.  The morning of dad’s funeral, I awoke to two beautiful blooms. After two days, one bloom fell off.  Two days later, the other one followed.  Mom and dad both died in March, two years and two days apart!


Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.





To leave a comment, please sign in with
or or

Comments (1)

  1. kimmaddox

    All I can think of when someone takes their own life is the moments and days and months of anguish that preceded their act, and I am grateful they are no longer living with that anguish. I remember very clearly when PawPaw died. From my young place in the world I saw a great love story and an incredibly brave man. I love you so much, Aunt T.

    March 10, 2014