Where is the spirit of my departed husband? Does he see me crying and know my grief?

Email Received:

Early last month my husband, who was a believer in Jesus, had a major debilitating stroke. It affected all of his cognitive function and mobility, so he had to go into hospice care, where I spent 24/7 with him.

A few weeks later, he took a noticeable turn for the worse. At 3:14 a.m. the next morning, I knew I was going to lose him. I told him, "I love you, dear." He looked at me and quite clearly said, "I love you so much." Those were the last words I understood from him. Our final words to each other were a great blessing to me.

Where do you think his spirit is now? I wonder if he is dismayed at seeing me cry so much. The grief is overwhelmimg. Thanks in advance for your prayers.

Ted's Response:

I understand that you are experiencing a great deal of sadness and grief, and I am sorry to hear that. I have no doubt that there was an intense love between the two of you. Assuming that your husband knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior, then he is in heaven with Jesus now. As such, whether or not he is able to observe you and perceive your sadness, it should bring you great contentment knowing that he is more joyful and jubilant than he's ever been before.

The apostle Paul indicated that when we are absent from the body, we are present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). So, presumably, your husband's spirit is there now. His cognitive function and mobility are fully functional, and he is ecstatically happier and more at peace than he's ever been. His primary focus is on the wonderful and beautiful things that surround him in heaven, particularly the glorious radiance of God.

I don't think anyone knows for certain how much, if any, of the attention of those who have passed on is focused on us. The Bible seems to be silent about this topic. They are in a totally different realm and in a different time frame than we are. They aren't "here" anymore; they are "there" and are totally captivated with being in a breathtaking paradise. They are feeling the tremendous love of God like they never felt in their mortal bodies here on earth.

I know that we still want to have a connection with them, and we would like to think that they are watching us and thinking about us. Some like to feel that the spirits of those who have passed on are still "with them in spirit." If that is the case, it isn't like we perceive it to be on our simple human level. It is beyond what we can comprehend.

I feel that those who have departed have been given the knowledge of how magnificent it will be to be reunited with their loved ones and friends again. Together with the ones they most care about, they will be able to experience the astounding presence of God and the Kingdom of God to come. This great hope brings them ever-increasing happiness and contentment.

However, we must remain here on earth, in our mortal bodies, moving forward on a one-dimensional time line with daily fears, problems and hassles. It is more difficult for us to be content and certain about the future without the presence of those who used to be with us and without their daily love and comfort. For us in the here and now, life goes on day after day, year after year, and decade after decade. Times of trouble and desperation can seem endless.

That is where our faith comes in and is incredibly valuable to us. We need to be aware that, one day in God's perfect timing, we will be reunited with those who have ascended to glory. Together, we all will experience incomprehensible love, comfort, happiness, contentment, and joy that we cannot even begin to fathom right now, and all of that will continue for all eternity.

From the perspective of the infinite God and those who are with Him, our mortal life here is but a mist or a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14). That's why it is so important to spend as much of our time as possible focusing on Him and revealing to those who also are going through difficult times the supernatural love He is showing to us so that they can experience it as well.

At the present time, in our mortal lives, we need to grow ever closer to the Father and Son and to welcome the love, counsel, and comfort of the Holy Spirit. We need to trust that God is fully aware of what is going on in our individual lives. He can and will take care of us, wipe away the tears from our eyes, and give us the blessed assurance that we do have an eternal future with Him and with those we love who are with Him now.

I'll pray that, at this very difficult time, God will be near you and will give you a peace that passes all understanding. As Paul wrote:

6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.. (Philippians 4:6,7)

Be blessed and comforted in our wonderful Almighty God.

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