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People I Might Meet in Heaven

I’ve often wondered that if there is life after death and if we do get to meet some of the folks from our lives even after we are gone, who are the ones that I would like to meet. Of course there is a long list of family and friends; there are 500+ people in my business and social online networks. When I ask others, for most people, the spouse would top the list.

While this is not an excerpt from the famous work of Mitch Albom, asking this question to myself just helped me be cognizant of those relationships in life that deserve to be invested in forever yet have been lost in the layers of a busy lifestyle, distance or maybe just a “Can’t care so much” attitude. For the current discussion, I would skip the popular choices and focus on some other not so apparent relationships that make all the difference.

The Parents:
You must be thinking why I included Parents here because they should also be part of the popular list. I did it because they are the most taken for granted. The one relationship where choice is least and commitment is the most and yet how many of us can really say that they are still ‘connected’ with their parents.
They could hear our soft cries as a baby over blaring music. Whether it was a bad test, a hurtful remark, a tired day at work or a bout of venting out, they were always there to hear about it and to say ‘It’s ok”. Even in the cell phone age when you talk to them everyday, they begin counting time right from the moment they get to know you’ll be visiting them for your next vacation.
I somewhere read a statement for parents - No one will wait for you as much as they have and no one will love you more than they did. I couldn’t agree more. Amazingly, they never get tired of telling us how much we matter to them; but somehow, most of us don’t say the same to them because it’s supposed to be just understood.

The Best Friend during teens:
We don’t remember in which class/grade they actually became our best pals. Suddenly going to school had a different meaning. Gone were the early morning excuses, stomach aches, fever and unexplained headaches. We wanted to be there not because we loved classes, but there were these friends who now seemed to understand us more than any one else. At the awkward age when we were trying to figure out the world for ourselves, when disagreement was the most common emotion in the family, when self esteem took a hit at even the silliest of comments, these friends were the solace we looked forward to.
They did not befriend us for looks, our family’s financial status, our intelligence or smartness. They just happened to become friends and they stood by us.
While most of us would have a big group of buddies during our teens, just one or two of them stay on with us for life. The rest just become a member of the facebook/twitter network.

The Roommate:
People who have stayed away from family for education or for work, may have this set of people in their lives. These are the people with whom we’ve shared every small bit of our life for a few years. Caring like a parent, quarrelling like a sibling, counseling like a bosom pal, they played all these roles when we were away from family.
Not everyone is able to find a roommate that they really gel with. This relationship needs as much investment as marriage. They have known our darkest secrets and our biggest achievements. They have dealt with our best and our worst looks. They have seen us pirouette in merriment and they have also been there in our low moments. If you were lucky enough to have found a good friend in your roommate, this person would truly be one of your most trusted advisors for life.

The Mentor:
This could be a super-senior in college, a professor, a supervisor or a senior colleague. Someone who we really regard as an ace in their field, and who, we would credit some achievement in our career to. We generally don’t realize how much they matter to us when we are directly related to them in our profession. But they are the ones who we always attribute having learnt something from after having moved on in life.
The relationship with this set of people continues for most of our later years. We turn back to them for advice whenever we get stuck at some point in our careers. Miraculously, they are able to touch the throbbing nerve within a short conversation. Connection with them becomes stronger after the formal professional relationship is over; after you have passed out of your professor’s class or after you have left that organization.
If you have someone like this, show them that they matter during both good and bad. Don’t just call when you need advice; share your good news also with them. Wish them on special occasions; tell them when you achieve something. While they generally would not ask you for help in return, if it ever comes to that, give it priority and go all out. You will always need them more than they need you.

The Challenger:
The challenger is someone who you came across during your high school, college or working years. This person has some characteristic, be it position, power, finances, looks or any other characteristic that you have respect for or are striving to achieve.
At some point of time he/she would have typically shown through behavior that they do not consider you worth their time or attention and you would have decided to someday turn the tables. They would not have meant to hurt you and might not even be aware of their behavior. I call them the challenger because their behavior challenges us to do better and we don’t have negative feelings towards them. It’s just that we want to show them that “we too can do it”. And in most situations we do succeed.
If you have been able to gain the respect of such a challenger later, keep in touch with them. Their presence in your life provides a sense of achievement. They would always have respect for you in the longer run since you have proved them wrong against the odds. And never tell them the incident that earned them the place of the Challenger. They did not do it intentionally, and may feel guilty that they hurt you in some way.

These are just some of the people who make a big difference to our lives, yet most of the time, get a back seat in our memories. Our life would not have been the same without them. Its not that they don’t matter to us, just that somewhere we stopped showing them that they did. Look up a long lost relationship and revive it today. I am not sure about heaven, but life is to be enjoyed with people who made it worthwhile, not with a crowd of strangers.
Like the myriad chapters of life, this list too goes on. It could be the nanny, tutor, cousins in the extended family, first school teacher and so on. I would leave them for next time…


  1. i would think of another inconspicuous being whom i might meet in my heaven (well - ok, let's be frank - it would definitely be hell) - would be what i call the 'permanent fixture' a.k.a. 'the bad habit' a.k.a. the 'soul-mate' - someone we cannot live with, and certainly cannot live without... for all you know, in our lives after death that's the person who will accompany us in all our haunts and escapades ;)


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