What I Saw in Heaven
A truck crashed into my car and I died for 90 minutes. When the doctors revived me, I knew I had visited heaven.
BY: Don Piper
When I died, I didn't flow through a long, dark tunnel. I had no sense of fading away or coming back. I never felt my body being transported into the light. I heard no voices calling to me or anything else. A light enveloped me, with a brilliance beyond earthly comprehension.
In my next moment of awareness, I was standing in heaven.
Joy pulsated through me as I looked around, and at that moment I became aware of a large crowd of people. They stood in front of a brilliant, ornate gate. I have no idea how far away they were; such things as distance didn't matter. As the crowd rushed toward me, I didn't see Jesus, but I did see people I had known. As they surged toward me, I knew instantly that all of them had died during my lifetime. Their presence seemed absolutely natural.
Who I Saw in Heaven
They rushed toward me, and every person was smiling, shouting, and praising God. Although no one said so, intuitively I knew they were my celestial welcoming committee. It was as if they had all gathered just outside heaven's gate, waiting for me.
The first person I recognized was Joe Kulbeth, my grandfather. He looked exactly as I remembered him, with his shock of white hair and what I called a big banana nose. He stopped momentarily and stood in front of me. A grin covered his face.
I have no idea why my grandfather was the first person I saw. He wasn't one of the great spiritual guides of my life, although he certainly influenced me positively in that way.
After being hugged by my grandfather, I don't remember who was second or third. The crowd surrounded me. Some hugged me and a few kissed my cheek, while others pumped my hand. Never had I felt more loved.
I wasn't conscious of anything I'd left behind and felt no regrets about leaving family or possessions. It was as if God had removed anything negative from my consciousness, and I could only rejoice at being together with these wonderful people.
They looked exactly as I once knew them—although they were more radiant and joyful than they'd ever been on earth.
My great-grandmother, Hattie Mann, was Native American. As a child I saw her only after she had developed osteoporosis. Her head and shoulders were bent forward, giving her a humped appearance. The other thing that stands out in my memory is that she had false teeth—which she didn't wear often. Yet when she smiled at me in heaven, her teeth sparkled. I knew they were her own, and when she smiled, it was the most beautiful smile I had ever seen.