If anybody says dogs don’t go to heaven…

Once upon a time I read a book written by a woman who claimed to have died (unwitnessed) and gone to heaven.  I was willing to suspend disbelief until she stated the following~ only True Christians go to heaven.

My Christian friends will have to forgive me, but when I read those words I knew she was full of shit.

Anyone who has had an NDE, a Near Death Experience, will tell you heaven is not exclusive.

I’m Jewish, among other things.


I was part of a study about NDEs in children and adolescents.  I was asked a question, a silly question, which made no sense to me at the time.

The grad student doing the interview asked, “Do you wear a watch?”

I said, “No.”

She asked, “Why not?”

I said, “Because they just stop working.  They break after a few weeks.”

She asked, “What do you mean, they break?”

I said, “Well, they quit working. I went through nursing school without a watch because they kept breaking.  When I graduated from nursing school my aunt gave me a really nice Swiss watch.  Within six weeks it stopped working.  I took it in to be fixed twice, but the watchmaker couldn’t find anything wrong with it, so…”

She asked, “Did you buy another watch?”

I said, “I bought a couple of cheap watches, they broke too.  I’m a nurse, but I don’t wear a watch.  I depend upon wall clocks when I take vital signs.”

I learned later that people who have experienced NDEs all say the same thing~ They don’t wear watches.  Watches break or just stop working.

Weird, huh.  As far as the significance goes, your guess is as good as mine.

So yes, NDEs… I remember everything that happened when I was dead.

I remember when I was dead everything made sense– but if you ask me ‘what’ made sense I couldn’t tell you.  Maybe it was like this– I had no more questions.

I remember what I was told before I came back.

Yes, I left my body.  I watched everything happening below me.  I didn’t care about my body, it was nothing more than an empty shell.  I cared about my sisters.  I was sorry they had to see me die.

I was pulled away by ‘someone’.  He didn’t identify himself but he was very familiar to me.  We surfed on a wave of light and I remember reaching the speed of light and crossing over.  Before we reached the speed of light, I could still differentiate ‘things’.  Once we crossed over a threshold, all things became one thing and nothing at the same time.

I saw God~ I’ll describe Him tomorrow if you really want a description.  I saw what I suspect is His other aspect, like two sides of the same coin.  I saw heaven.  I saw what I can only describe as hell.

My companion stayed with me the entire time.

I didn’t want to come back here.  I begged to be allowed to stay, but I wasn’t dead enough.  And so I was sucked back into my body– which was the only time I experienced fear.  Claustrophobia would be a more apt term for what I felt.

I was sucked back in and smacked against the inside of my skull.  Panic stricken, I struggled inside my body. The man with me smoothed me into my limbs.  He sort of melded me into myself.

And then I felt pain.

There’s a baseball player whose father had an experience almost identical to mine.  Can’t remember any names, but when I read his account I recognized it as truth.

All right, that’s enough for now.  I am still super tired and have re-writes staring at me.

Be well.  Julia

P.S.  Thanks to the men and women in our Armed Forces and our Veterans everywhere.





It’s my birthday today. Sort of bittersweet.

We all have birthdays that give us pause.

I won’t tell you what number mine is, but it’s a milestone and I realize, at last, maybe, that there’s no going back…there is only forward.  No do-overs.  I sure wouldn’t mind the option of a do-over.

I once sat for a life reading done by a psychic who told me that I’d been born many times, had lived many lives, which I do know is true because…well, because I just do.  Apparently, in my very favorite life I was a nun.  She said I wasn’t forced into a convent.  I was a well-educated woman for the time and I wanted to be a nun.  Makes complete and total sense.  It explains why my mother’s nickname for me became ‘Sister Theresa’ after she found me inexplicably genuflecting at the age of three, on my knees in some old Catholic church we’d visited in Boston.

The psychic reader explained to me that I don’t have to return to this world over and over again.  I have the option of staying in the next, but she said I love the roller coaster ride of this life so much that I keep coming back.  If you knew me, you’d understand.  My life has been filled with drama and passion and love and hate and death-defying acts.  I’ve thrown caution to the wind and packed in a mother fucking ton of living.  Someday I’ll be old and frail and nobody will know the tornado that used to be me.  Nobody will be left who will remember how many times I screwed up, how crazy-insane-wild I could be, how brave and valiant and loving and neurotic and funny and how if somebody hurt one of my kids or tried to steal my man I unsheathed my claws and bared my teeth like a tigress.  No joke.

In Judaism, some rabbis teach that immortality lies in the hearts of those who cherish our memory.  Well, if you ask me, that’s a raw deal and a crock of shit.  You get what…maybe a generation or two before your memory fades from their consciousness?  Judaism emphasizes this life and moral behavior for its own sake, without the cudgel of hell or the idea of a reward in heaven as a pay-off.  I happen to agree – you should be good for goodness sake.  But I personally believe there is a heaven and it’s damn decent place.  I also believe each of us is granted many opportunities.  We should make the most of them.  Above all, we should cherish the time we are given and the people we love.  Yeah, we’re going to mess things up – that’s part of the deal so don’t be too hard on yourself.  How else are you going to learn life’s lessons?  And make sure to watch Glee and The Big Bang Theory.

So yeah, my birthday today is a mixed bag – happy/sad.  Sweet/sour.  Lots of changes in store for my family and for me over the next few years.  I’m going to Disneyland tomorrow and when I come home, getting the wrist tattoo I’ve wanted for years but couldn’t get because of work.  Then it’s on to the mainstream novel – as God is my witness I will get that sucker published!  (Yes, I know…Captured sequel first!)

P.S.  I was born on a Friday the Thirteenth at five minutes before midnight and the doctor told my mom that if she was superstitious, he could record the time as five minutes after midnight.  She replied, “Nah.”  I’m glad she did.  I love being a Friday the Thirteenth baby.