Chapter 16: Outside the Material Universe (Paradise Proper)
Honey Badger finally made it to Paradise Proper and saw more saved souls. Many were “ordinary” people who actually were extraordinary.
An ordinary person came over to Honey Badger and spoke to her about one of the inhabitants of Paradise:
“In early 2012, 55-year-old Shelagh Gordon died of a brain aneurysm. Her obituary appeared in The Star, a Canadian newspaper in Toronto, on Valentine’s Day. The Star devoted much coverage to her funeral and to documenting her life simply because Star employees wanted to tell the story of an ‘ordinary’ life and how it touched other lives. It turned out that the so-called ordinary life was magical in many ways.
“Shelagh died without ever being married and without ever having children. Her life partner was a gay man who would read in bed beside her — they wore matching reading glasses. The gay man whom Shelagh called her soulmate is costume designer Andy Schulz, who said at her funeral, ‘This is such a shock and a tragedy. I don’t know how anybody or anything is going to fill this void that I have.’ Their families regarded them as a married couple, but without the sex.
“Shelagh was known for her clumsiness and for her mishaps. She once needed to get her photo retaken for her work ID. She was wearing pants with an elastic band, and she was standing against a wall. A nail snagged her pants and broke the elastic band, with the result that her pants ended up around her knees. Workmate Wendy Campbell remembered, ‘She was crying, she was laughing so hard. We had to retake that photo 12 times.’
“Shelagh was known for breaking glasses, including wine glasses. Ellen Kaju, best friends with Shelagh since Grade 9, even bought a set of plastic wine glasses just for Shelagh to use. According to members of her family, if you heard something break at a party, you knew that Shelagh had arrived.
“Shelagh was also known for her thoughtfulness. Star reporter Catherine Porter wrote about her, ‘A bag of chocolates hanging from your doorknob would greet you each Valentine’s Day, along with some clippings from the newspaper she thought you’d find interesting.’
“Here are two stories about Shelagh’s goodness: 1) When her niece Jessica got engaged, Shelagh found out the kind of candle holders she wanted at her wedding. Shelagh went to five different stores scattered across Toronto buying 75 of those candle holders so that each table could have one. At Jessica’s wedding, which was held a few weeks after Shelagh died, Jessica vowed, ‘In honour of Shelagh, I promise to love you fiercely.’ 2) The Gordon women annually took a trip together down south. During one vacation, Shelagh’s youngest sister, Susie, said that the location was paradise, but it had one small flaw: it would be so much better to have their tea on the balcony instead of going to a restaurant. The next morning when Susie woke up, Shelagh gave her some freshly brewed tea.
“Everyone knows that Shelagh Gordon belongs in Paradise,” the saved soul said. “Anyone who disagrees gets a free ticket to a different afterlife destination. However, look around at the other saved souls here, and you may very well say to yourself, ‘What is he — or she — doing here?’ That is very common. When you dwell permanently in Paradise, chances are, a few new arrivals will look at you, Honey, and ask themselves, ‘What is she doing here?’
“However, to get into Paradise you do not need to be perfect. If people had to be perfect to get into Paradise, Paradise would be empty.”
 For More Information: Catherine Porter, “Shelagh was here — an ordinary, magical life.” The Star (Toronto, Canada). 16 March 2012 <http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1146928–shelagh-was-here-an-ordinary-magical-life>.
Copyrighted by Bruce D. Bruce
Note: This is an excerpt from the FREE eBook Honey Badger Goes to Hell — and Heaven by Martina Donna Ramone and David Bruce, available here: