GROWING UP IN HEAVEN:
The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child
In Growing Up in Heaven James Van Praagh brings to light the amazing journey
of children who have passed from earth to heaven. Growing Up in
Heaven follows the path of a child's soul -- their time spent in heaven and their
connection to the living. In his most moving work James reveals the reality that
love trancends the physcial and material planes of the world.Growing Up in
Heaven lifts our spirits with the knowledge that our departed ones will always
be with us -- an extraordinary gift for all of us who yearn to understand life on
the other side.
GROWIING UP IN HEAVEN: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and
Chapter 1 - When a Child Transitions
When a parent dies, you lose your past;
when a child dies, you lose your future.
Death leaves a trail of various states of emotional upheaval and spiritual
awakening. The most important thing to realize is that we are never truly alone,
even when we think we are. Our loved ones are around to help us through our
most painful moments and to guide us out of the darkness and into the light of
our own strength.
I was recently at a memorial service for a friend’s mother, sitting by myself in
the hallway of the funeral home before the ceremony began. Suddenly, I saw
the spirit of a little girl about seven years old, wearing a light-blue dress, white
socks, and black patent-leather shoes. She was skipping up and down the hall.
When she went by, she looked at me and I acknowledged her. She turned
around, came back, and stared into my eyes.
I answered her in my mind. Hi. Why is my family crying?
Didn’t you die? I asked her.
I don’t know. I fell asleep and woke up here. The lady with the pink dress and
pretty smile is ready to bring me home. There is a pony waiting for me there. I
Then why are you here?
I am trying to tell my mommy and daddy I’m still alive, but they don’t see me.
What’s your name?
Kylie. Isn’t it a pretty name?
Suddenly the little girl turned around. Oops, got to go now! The shiny lady is
waiting for me.
And with that, the girl ran past me toward a glowing spirit on the other side.
The spirit greeted the little girl and took her by the hand. Together, they walked
into the light of their heavenly home.
As I headed toward the parking lot, I noticed a picture on a podium outside a
small chapel. I went over to check it out. There was Kylie, sitting on a stack of
hay in front of a horse and pony. I smiled, looked upward, and thought to
myself: I hope you’re enjoying your new pony, Kylie.
I would soon find out what Kylie was doing on the other side.
Through the years, I have counseled thousands of parents who have lost their
children. The loss of a child is a tragedy and perhaps the most difficult of all
things to comprehend. Parents are in denial and disbelief: “It is not natural that
my child died before me. It doesn’t make sense!” It is only natural that parents
expect their children to grow up, enjoy the jewels life has to offer, and have
children of their own one day. This is what we all know as the normal cycle of
life. But when a child dies, parents are unhappily forced to rethink everything
they once believed about what is “normal,” because their lives have been
irreparably interrupted by tremendous loss—including the loss of innocence,
dreams, and hopes.
Yet loss is a part of life’s cycle, and no one can escape it. Loss is part of our life
experience and, inevitably, we all must face some kind of loss while we are
walking on this earth. It is part of what makes us human. Loss can cause
myriad intense emotions—from sadness, to rage, and even hate—but all these
emotions are a natural part of our growing and evolving as a result of the loss.
The loss of a child goes deeper because it touches everything in our lives, from
our views of the world to the way we feel about those closest to us. Parents
often feel as if their children were grabbed from their arms, as though a thief
had come in the night and taken away everything they ever had. Many parents’
grief can be too intense to bear; and they feel thrown into a place of great
emptiness, not sure how they will survive. It is such an extreme paradox. Not
only do they have to face the loss of a child, but they must also continue to live
their own lives as fully as possible. Thus, bereaved parents deal with the
contradictory burden of wanting to be free of their overwhelming pain, while
being reminded of the pain every day. How are they supposed to deal with
feelings of guilt, anger, and powerlessness, yet move on at the same time? Is it
ever possible to recover?
I do believe that everything, no matter how horrendous, happens for a reason
and according to a soul’s plan. A soul’s plan is a unique blueprint for its
spiritual evolution. Certain paths in life are chosen by a soul to learn charitable
qualities such as compassion, kindness, peacefulness, patience, healing and
harmony. These paths may require endurance and persistence through difficult
situations—especially the death of a child. Each challenge is planned so that a
person will grow beyond limited human thinking and negative emotional
expression. Because every soul has free will, it can choose when and how it will
spiritually evolve beyond human imperfection, and it does so through lifetimes
of experiences on earth and elsewhere. The ultimate design of a soul’s plan is
the realization that we are all love created by Love. This is soul enlightenment.
Because our bodies and emotions limit our ability to understand anything
beyond our sensory world, we may not be able to understand the meaning
behind a death or a loss. However, we must never lose hope that in some way,
later on, we may comprehend why such an event had to occur and what its
benefits may be.
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If you have enjoyed this excerpt be sure to read the rest of "Growing Up In
Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child" by James Van