‘Nobody gets too much heaven no more’

I watched the recent Barbara Walters special on “What is Heaven?” at work. (If that ain’t a paradox. …!) And it hasn’t been far from my mind ever since.

I was joking with one of my fellow editorial gods today that journalists don’t go to heaven. The establishment calls us the Fourth Estate, but I really think that’s foreshadowing of our destination: the Fourth Concentric Circle (of hell). And we debated whether or not to even capitalize it, but we know we’ll meet again there and be able to debate it for all eternity!


I miss my grandfather so much, and heaven is something I hope exists because I need to know that there is a reward for him for all the good he did while he was in this world. I don’t want “heaven” to be a concept someone created for heartbroken people like me, who need to cling to the hope that our loved ones can somehow live forever, even if it’s not right here with us.

But what if this is all there is? I think I may start living my life that way, if so. I don’t know that I expect my heaven to be a “reward” so much as a “reprieve” — a hiatus, if you will, between lives. (I’m a six — an old, old soul.) In my grandfather’s heaven, I hope he’s jamming with Johnny Cash and his hands don’t hurt anymore when he plays his electric guitar. I hope he’s writing songs and serenading my grandmother while he and Johnny are touring heaven and headlining all the best concert venues.

My heaven is to see my grandparents again. I don’t need much more than that. I do hope to have a glass of wine and a cigarette with Anais Nin and Henry Miller. I hope I can be a vigilante of sorts, too — I look forward to being someone’s spirit guide and sitting on their shoulder, helping them along the best course in life. I’ll have time for my friends and I’ll be able to dream to my heart’s content.


After seeing my bully this weekend and knowing that glorious people like my grandfather are too good for this world, yet the assholes among us seem to never die, I wondered what the assholes’ idea of heaven is like. I mean, do they actually think they’re going to get in? Are they going to look God in the eye and declare that they are worthy because they’re good people? Are they fucking kidding themselves?

And what if they get in? Do they live in the Anacostia (or other bad area of town) section of heaven? Does the asshole who was rotten to me get access to me, when clearly I’ll be in a slightly better neighborhood? Is this where the idea of a caste system in heaven, as on earth, is actually a good idea?

My concept of heaven is to never, ever have to run into people whom I believe should be burning in hell. But if their idea of heaven is torturing me for all eternity because I was able to avoid them on earth, whose heaven wins out?

In the Babs special, some people seemed to convey their belief that you end up with the partner you choose, not necessarily the one you had in life. The married man might choose his mistress. So what happens to his wife who wants to be with him, or was there someone else on whom she’d had her heart set?

Would I have the balls to tell someone I loved them if we met again in heaven, if we didn’t have a chance to get that far on earth?

I read in one of Allison Dubois’ books that you look the way you want to in heaven. (Heh — it’s about time!) I picture my grandparents from 1950 when they got married. So young and bright and full of hope. She could have been a model, and he was a dashing young bachelor just back from the war and working to make a good life for them. Although they loved Mom and me more than anything in the world and I will always think of them as nurturing, I want to see them forever as carefree and happy and hopeful.

And I hope they somehow know that I’d give anything to have them back here with me, if I could have my way about it.

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