We struggled with the subject of suicide and hell for some time. As bereavement therapists, it is our prime objective to comfort the bereaved and give them hope based on evidence that they will be reunited with their loved ones in Heaven. Yet we cannot hide from the truth or the information we have. There are times when this has, in the past, produced conflict. For example, if the parent or loved one of someone who has committed suicide comes to us for help, we really don't want to tell that person that their loved one has gone to hell because they committed suicide - and yet Near Death Experience accounts from people who have committed suicide are far from pleasant or encouraging.
The answer to this terrible dilemma came following reading "Hope Beyond Hell" by Gerry Beauchemin - in which he tells us that the word eternal has been seriously mistranslated and hence misunderstood.
"the Greek word aion...is mostly translated "eternal", "everlasting" and for "ever" in the King James Version. However, some translations read "age abiding", "age during" or "eon" . Robert Young, author of the highly respected Youngs's Analytical Concordance, in his literal translation of the Bible, always translates it 'age' and never once as 'everlasting' or 'eternal' .
We also found it hard to accept that a loving God would be less compassionate than us. If we (with all our imperfections and flawed human compassion) can think it unfair that someone be cast into quite literally eternal damnation, then surely an all loving God with supreme love and compassion should be more compassionate than us?
Yet, anyone who takes a walk through the drug dens of major cities can surely see that people sometimes choose a hellish existance, for whatever reason. If someone was to create a hellish life for themselves on Earth, then are they ready for Heaven? What would Heaven be like if there was not the spiritual equivalent of a dress code? Not very Heavenly, we would guess.
Instead, we believe that there are states beyond death that are preparation processes for Heaven. NDE survivor, Howard Storm, in the video below, talks of the need for a purging of the negative parts of us before our entry into Heaven.
Fr Rod describes hell as a prison where Jesus comes every day, opens the door and invites us out. When we can accept that invitation, then we can go with him.
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
We would be very grateful if you would consider donating to the Bereavement Rescue Centre Appeal. We are now at a stage with the Bereavement Rescue Centre project where we must pay for various services relating to the Planning Permission process (Ecological Surveys, Architect drawings and Planning Application fees). We expect to have to raise at least £1200 in order to get through planning before we can apply for a grant to enable the building of the Centre.