Death and Heaven

Asking for a friend who has a difficult relationship with a parent - “when we die, assuming we get through Purgatory to Heaven, do we have to see a parent or relative who we disliked or despised here on earth? How would it be fair to be stuck with them for all eternity?”

My provisional response has been that Heaven is all good and I am pretty sure even people we dislike will be new and improved in Heaven as will we also be.

Thanks for any wiser, more scholarly insights.

The friend is imposing earthly attitudes upon the heavenly being. Anyone who is in heaven will be a perfected soul of love in reflection of Jesus Christ, with whom they will be fully united. This is also the case for the family member, who would neither be “annoyed” with any attribute of anyone else in heaven. Hebrews 12:10 and the surrounding verses and whole chapter talks about how the chastisement we receive from God will conform us to the holiness of a “son.” The spirits of the justified will be made “perfect” v.22. Anyone in heaven would be overjoyed to see anyone else in heaven, because, despite any faults anyone had on earth, God’s transforming power has purified them forever.

I think it might have been Mother Angelica who said that when we get to heaven to expect a lot of people that we never thought would be there!

Well, if we still despise them, we probably need to go back to Purgatory for a spell more. After that, we will probably be more willing to be with someone whom we previously despised. We’d gratefully be with them, I think, at that point!

I understand the lowest flames of Purgatory are greater than any pain on Earth. So, that, in itself, would be motivation to want to get along. By the time we all get to heaven, any impurities would be burned off, on both parties.

I think that expresses it very well.

Don’t tell your friend this, but Purgatory will purge him/her of that uncharitable attitude toward the parents. There will be no dislike, nor anything to dislike. There will be love.

My father was an alcoholic, they divorced when I was 14. about 10 years later he quit drinking with the help of a someone who befriended him. Years later, after I was married and had 5 children I met my father again. We became reacquainted and I found him to be a really nice man and grandfather to my children. We spent 5 years making up for lost time and he came back into the Church and had a priest with him when he died. If that can happen on this earth, imagine how much better when in Heaven. I know my Mom greeted him when he entered Heaven as she never stopped praying for him and always told us to pray for him. I am thankful for the years I had to get to know my “real” dad. How different life might have been is he had never started drinking. God Bless, Memaw

Heaven is not some kind of a family reunion where seating is assigned based on who we are blood to! It is a life, ostensibly greater than the life we now know.

While there needs to be forgiveness on all parts, we will not be “stuck” spending our life Everlasting with certain people just because we were family to them.



The tribal aspect is bit much on the journey isn’t it? :slight_smile:

I think our attitudes would be a lot different than that or we wouldn’t be there at all. We will all be united in Christ and happy to be there. Probable be a bit surprised to see some we may have judged to harshly and not allowed for God’s Grace. A priest told us at a class once that some people may gain more grace in a few moments than others may in a lifetime. Look at the “good” thief on the Cross. I would be happy to spend eternity beside him. God Bless, Memaw

Exactly, so beautifully stated. Your mother never gave up…: “For all things are possible through Christ”.
We should never give up on anyone either. God’s mercy is boundless.
If they are in heaven, we will be reconciled to them.
You can’t approach the altar of the Most High with anger toward anyone.
We will be reunited with our loved ones. And we will praise God together, in
love, for love of Him.
Thanks, Memaw


I had “Praying Hands” put on my Dad’s headstone to represent my Mom’s prayers. God Bless, Memaw

There is no sin in Heaven so you would not be despising anyone.

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