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"Heaven is real"

Little boy nearly dies and tells a tale worth retelling:

While Colton was in surgery, Todd and Sonja prayed in separate rooms. They thought their son was dying and they blamed themselves.  

Miraculously, after a difficult recovery and another surgery, Colton survived.  But his story is far from over.

There were things Colton did and things he said after the surgery that were out of the ordinary, but none of it made sense until a drive past the hospital four months after the surgery.

His Dad jokingly asked Colton if he wanted to go back to the hospital.

Colton's response?   "You know Dad, the angels sang to me while I was there," the boy said.  

Todd remembers looking into the mirror and seeing his son's face being dead serious, with no smile or notion that he was joking in return.

Todd looked at his wife and asked, "Has he ever talked about angels with you before?"

Colton claims that while on the operating table he went to heaven and that he met his great-grandfather Pop. Colton says his grandfather didn't look like the man in the photo in his house, but instead looked like the man in the picture sent months later by his Grandmother, a young man without glasses. 

But perhaps the most shocking part of Colton's story, the baby he never knew about.  

One day while Colton was playing he walked up to his mom, and out of the blue asked, "Mom, I have two sisters, you had a baby die in your tummy didn't you?"  

Sonja was shocked and overwhelmed by what her little boy had just said. When she asked him who told him, he said, "she did Mommy, she said she died in your tummy."

Todd and Sonja had never told their son about the miscarriage Sonja had before Colton was born. After all, it was more than a four-year-old would ever need to know.

Colton went on to tell his mom that she was a girl and, "she looked familiar and she started giving me hugs and she was glad to have someone in her family up there."

H/T Deacon Greg.


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Comments (28)

Nice to read this. I just s... (Below threshold)

Nice to read this. I just spent the past 8 days at my mom's bedside at home as she was dying. As I think of how I held her hand as she died, it is nice to read about what is awaiting for her on the other side.

Thanks so much...

Sorry for your loss.<... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Sorry for your loss.

God Bless.

Many will find any kind of ... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Many will find any kind of an excuse not to believe this story.

Those of us who have faith can believe and be joyful.

Joy - it is one of the best gifts our God gives.

My father died yesterday - ... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

My father died yesterday - five months after mother passed away. They'd been married almost 68 years.

She lingered for a year under hospice care. He didn't stop taking care of her, doing everything he could. After she passed away, he started to go downhill. Thursday the folks at the assisted living facility suggested Hospice, and I met with them on Friday to sign the paperwork for it.

They didn't even get the chance to get him in the system.

Perhaps I've read too much Terry Pratchet - but I recall the ending of the book "Reaper Man", where the anthropomorphic Death is exceedingly kind to a lonely old woman who takes him in when he's forced to be human for a time - taking her to a dance where she has the time of her life, dancing all night long, feeling good and stronger and younger than she has in many years. Afterwards, he informs her that she is indeed dead, and reunites her with the shade of her smuggler fiance who was killed in an avalanche many years back. They fade away, together.

Now, with Death's help, Mother and Father now look like their wedding picture
- happy, healthy, smiling and with Mother dressed to the nines, ready and confident to face what comes together. And they're going to go out and have some fun, like they haven't in decades. San Francisco is wonderful on a sunny day in December 1942...

Is heaven real? Guess that depends... we won't really ever know, will we? But one can wish, and one can hope.

Is Heaven real. Yes, I thi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Is Heaven real. Yes, I think so. But most of us won't be able to report back by the time we find out for sure.

My parents just moved into assisted living, and while I will have them a little while longer I find myself looking at the picture from just a few years ago, when they were old but hadn't become old if you know what I mean.

JLawson I like your picture. It's good to remember our loved ones as the people they were, with vitality, hopes and aspirations.

What is truly amazing to me... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

What is truly amazing to me is the number of people that DON'T believe in some form of afterlife.

I often wonder why a soul is so lonely to believe that nothing exists beyond this incarnation.

I finished perusing Jlaws... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

I finished perusing Jlawson's comment and was moved by the hope, love and tenderness in it. But, I am left wondering about the two thumbs down...probably the errors of fat fingeredness.

Yes, this story is PROOF th... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Yes, this story is PROOF that heaven exists. There is absolutely zero chance that the parents are making up any of this stuff to sell books. No way.

I don't think it is made up... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't think it is made up. Neither would I call it absolute proof of anything. But I think that the scoffing is out of place. Your sniping just comes off as petty and ill-tempered.

Now i've just finished Imh... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Now i've just finished Imhotep's wonderings and admit to this. There are many reasons,some hard to shoo away, for not believing, but the most unanswerable one 'for' the hope of an afterlife is, for me, this...Science tends to eschew the idea of an afterlife but science also knows that by far the most vexing counter to this is that sitting on Mans' shoulders is the most unfathonably complex, most jaw dropping thing that is known to exist in our mindbogglingly complex universe. About 25 pounds of it. And it sticks around for about three score and ten then, supposedly, goes back to the same infinity of oblivion from whence it came. I mean, it's OK to chant, 'Vanity, vanity all is vanity, and the likes, but it does leave a question that 'Don, Dickie Dawson, clever man of Cambridge, doesn't answer...Why! And those why things are several...of course Why me?...What is, and why is, infinity...Why is time so shockingly real when it is only an abstract that has reality and purpose only when a mind is conscious of it. Beyond that, and regardless of that other clever Cambridge bloke in a wheelchair, time and, for that matter, nothing else exists without a conscious mind to see it. Another good, Why!

And in the absence of any answer a good holy book is as good as the tossing of a coin. Old Abraham's adventures are as bold as any and eventually lead nicely into a more warm and inviting promise that I could settle for. The book of that other bloke from further south though, whoa....even less helpful than Don Dickie's dark ponderings.

Beautiful story. ... (Below threshold)
914:

Beautiful story.

I see Bruce is a doubting Thomas as well as a tasteless clown.

Bruce H....you're a cheek... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

Bruce H....you're a cheeky bugger...does your mother still send you to bed with boxing gloves on?

Sorry, but ... no. <... (Below threshold)
James H:

Sorry, but ... no.

You can't offer up this as serious proof that some kind of afterlife exists. It's a child's subjective experience, recalled eight years later, after validation from his very, very religious parents.

If somebody already accepts the premise of a god's existence, some kind of afterlife, and so forth, that person no doubt draws validation from this story. But if somebody approaches it with even an ounce of skepticism, it collapses.

We are left with a child's recollections possibly altered over the course of time. We are left with parents who have every reason to encourage their child to remember certain things a certain way.

And ultimately, we have been offered no objective verification of this child's experience. No empirical evidence in favor of a heaven, an afterlife, or a god.

It is a pretty story, but not much more.

"We are left with a child's... (Below threshold)
914:

"We are left with a child's recollections possibly altered over the course of time. We are left with parents who have every reason to encourage their child to remember certain things a certain way.

And ultimately, we have been offered no objective verification of this child's experience. No empirical evidence in favor of a heaven, an afterlife, or a god.

It is a pretty story, but not much more."

Hmmm? I almost thought You were talking about Barry Soetoro for an instant.

It never ceases to amaze me... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It never ceases to amaze me how anti-religionists like Bruce and James H never miss a chance to be churlish and denegrating toward other people's experiences of faith.

Nice going guys. Congrats on being perfect asses.

And ultimately, we have ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

And ultimately, we have been offered no objective verification of this child's experience. No empirical evidence in favor of a heaven, an afterlife, or a god.

And this belief of theirs bothers you... why?

I watched my father die yesterday. I don't know if I believe in heaven - I certainly think it'd be nice if it exists, and if someone wants to believe in that with all their heart then I'm not going to tell them they're wrong. Are we simple biochemical creations with nothing before or after? I think the evidence points to that - but it doesn't harm me if someone else believes otherwise. (Unless they use that belief to kill me to get a hypothetical 72 virgins. I take offense to that.)

My parents were not religious at all - one might almost think (From talking to them) they would go the other way. Again, so what? If it comforts me to believe in an anthropomorphic Death (See "The Color of Magic", "Reaper Man" and "Hogfather" by Pratchett) reuniting my folks, would you find it offensive? I don't think such is the case - but it's a pleasant thought.

Do I have to believe that there is a great void that our essences dissolve into when we die so you will be happy? Does it give you satisfaction to take what a kid says he remembers, and attempt to stomp it into the dirt?

That ounce of skepticism you have seems to be pretty bitter stuff. Forgive me if I don't partake.

Jim M:It ... (Below threshold)
James H:

Jim M:

It never ceases to amaze me how anti-religionists like Bruce and James H never miss a chance to be churlish and denegrating toward other people's experiences of faith.

I am neither churlish nor denigrating. I simply find the child's story non-persuasive. Perhaps I stated my verdict in too strident a tone for your delicate sensibilities.*

If somebody is going to put forward a child's near-death experience as proof for the divine, then that person should be ready for somebody to criticize that proof.

Criticism includes a frank look at the source of the story, and a critical analysis

If the child's experience is put forward merely so the believers can sing a few hosannas and proclaim a miracle,** then this is mere propaganda, not a proof.


* There, now I'm being denigrating.
** Denigrating again.

I heard this story and some... (Below threshold)
jbinnout:

I heard this story and some detractors several months ago. I am reminded when I hear stories like this about one my mom tells. I was away at college when this happened, but I know the man and his family. I was in school with his youngest son. Art was a huge man. A lumberjack. Plaid shirt, black jeans, big red suspenders. He would stride off into the woods with a chainsaw slung over his shoulder, work all day and drink all evening. He lived a hard life, and eventually, it took a toll. He wound up in a hospital with chest pains and while being checked out he had a massive heart failure. He subsequently died on the operating table and was drifting toward a light through a tunnel, as is told in many of these afterlife experiences. But he had the distinct feeling of going down. Upon reaching the bottom, an evil being approached and said, "Art, I've been waiting for you for a long time." He immediately said "Oh no! Oh God help me!" The hospital team was able to revive him to be able to tell this story. His life dramatically changed for the next decade and a half. If you believe in heaven, you got to know there is a hell.

You negged Me James H and c... (Below threshold)
914:

You negged Me James H and compelled Me to neg You.


Yuor welcome!

JLawson:I am very ... (Below threshold)
James H:

JLawson:

I am very sorry to hear of your loss; and please note that I direct nothing at you. I hope that you and your family can find some strength to carry you through.

I do not find it offensive that other people believe in an afterlife. Their belief neither helps nor hinders me. If a person gains some strength or contentment from that belief, then so be it. It is of no matter to me.

But I do find it absurd that somebody should accept this child's eight-year-old recollections as definitive proof of an afterlife. The flimsiness of the argument -- that always offends.

Incidentally, it's interesting that you refer back to Pratchett's work here. In the Discworld novels, particularly Small Gods, Pratchett has a lot to say about organized religion and religious doctrine. And the Death of Discworld reflects a kind of spiritual wilderness many wander in. Pratchett paints an anthropomorphic Death who rages against the arbitrariness of life and, indeed of his own office.

One wonders how much of Pratchett's own attitude lies there.

Took some Googling, but I f... (Below threshold)
James H:

Took some Googling, but I finally figured out why this story bothers me so much. It reminds me of Marjoe Gortner. A book called Heaven is Real is not quite the same as the full-scale cons pulled by Gortner and his family. But I'm bothered that this child's story is related to a too credulous audience. The circumstances -- an innocent child, the amount of time that's passed since the near-death experience, and the fact that the parents (at best) are very credulous witnesses and (at worst) are trying to exploit their child to sell books -- all of these leave me inclined to intensify my usual skepticism.

Christians are constantly c... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Christians are constantly challenged in many ways. One is the frequency with which we are presented with people who are just difficult to love.

No matter how low a person may be, how much a pathetic bottom-feeding wretch, how utterly without redeeming virtue of any sort, how black of heart and empty of soul, we are challenged to love them all.

Oh well - He never said it would be easy.

"One wonders how much of... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"One wonders how much of Pratchett's own attitude lies there."

(Re Small Gods) True, you do. It was the power of belief that turned small gods into Big Gods. Om goes from being incarnate in a tortoise to a Being that can go to Dunmanifestin and take on the Big ones.

Thank you, James, It's appreciated.

Medical diagnostic tests re... (Below threshold)
Olsoljer:

Medical diagnostic tests reveal that at one time I suffered a "silent" heart attack. I do remember passing out a couple of years prior to the diagnosis. I don't believe anyone could call me a Christian, and while I do believe that Jesus was a wise man, knowledge that the bible was/is a "hand picked" collection of manuscripts compiled to suit the Christian religion (hence the exclusion of the testament of Judas, Mary Magdalene etc.)precludes me from putting much faith or belief in it.
Having said that, while I was unconcious I saw what appeared to be a doorway with a woman standing in it. Her dress was a brilliant white I could hardly look at, but not nearly as bright as the light coming from beyond the doorway. I felt a unbelievabje sense of peace. While no verbal conversation took place, I received the distinct impression that it was not time for me to be there, and that I had to go back until it was time.
When asked about his belief in God/Heaven, Albert Einstein said that energy is neither created nor destroyed, that upon death your body reverts to the chemicals of which it is composed, and that life was a force, therefore it must continue to exist or return to whence it came.
What is somewhat odd is, since that experience, I have not feared dying.

It is so easy for some to t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It is so easy for some to take a truly inspiring story and shit all over it. These kinds of people are in the constant negative group. A four year old I would wager does not have the vocabulary to convey in words what he saw or felt.

I also hear from people like Bruce and Bill Maher that people of faith are stupid. Actually, I think believers possess a depth of thinking and use of the brain that non believers do not possess. So all the restrained people who do not believe feel compelled to belittle those that do. Believers do not mind this. We pray for those that do not believe and believe that some day, they will. ww

Jennifer and JLawson, I'm s... (Below threshold)
Taxpayer:

Jennifer and JLawson, I'm sorry to hear of your losses. My father died in 2006, and it's given me great comfort to think of him with his parents, his brothers, his sister, his second wife--all sitting on a gigantic front porch, sipping tea and talking history and politics, as they did when they were here.
And I really don't care if someone else doesn't believe it. I hope you ignore them, too.

JLawson - My condo... (Below threshold)
apb:

JLawson -

My condolences on your loss. I have the faith that believes you're being watched over, and waited for - and that you'll have a joyous reunion someday. Best regards.

Let's hope heaven is not fo... (Below threshold)
Allan Pool:

Let's hope heaven is not for real. We're simply not made to exist in an environment without contrast. There has to be bad things happening to make the experience of good things possible. This video illustrates the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLEwr49YTDs




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