Janet Massey was born October 21, 1953. Her long and happy life ended on January 4, 2034, when she quietly succumbed to old age, attended by generations of friends and family.
In her final moments, Janet was at peace. She had loved and lost many wonderful souls: her parents, her siblings, two husbands, and her eldest child. She missed each of them dearly.
She cried tears of joy as she took her last breath, aching for a long-awaited reunion with her departed loved ones in the afterlife.
Her old life compressed into a single instant, rushing forward, through her, and leaving a deep void in its wake. In every direction came silent, infinite darkness.
‘This is death,’ Janet’s consciousness mused.
Time had lost all meaning but it passed nonetheless, and an eternity later, Janet became impatient. She wanted to see heaven. She wanted to be home.
"I’m ready, God," she spoke wordlessly, "Take me to you."
And in that instant, the void began to drain. It pulled Janet down an impossible distance, sinking and sinking until she reached a barrier, solid but soft.
The world continued to collapse inwards and she felt a twinge of confusion as the pressure built and squeezed her against the invisible wall.
She squirmed a bit and, to her relief, it yielded into a narrow tunnel that moved to accommodate Janet’s form.
At the end of this tunnel, shining bright amidst the nothingness she had come to expect, was a light.
Old tales of near-death experiences came flooding back to Janet.
She recalled the tired but promising cliches: “I saw a light… I went into the light and saw my grandmother… so beautiful, so peaceful…”
Her inner monologue became more and more abstract as she was carried through the tunnel by unseen forces,
until she was mere inches from the ever-growing light and her thoughts were formed only in pictures.
At long last, the light filled her vision and she was blinded as two celestial hands reached for her and pulled her through.
This is it. The hands of God himself had come to deliver her to eternal paradise. Pure elation flooded Janet’s consciousness.
Then she felt everything around her fall still. Forcing her eyes to adjust to the bright splendor of heaven, Janet beheld the face of God, giant and looming.
For the first time since she died, Janet felt fear. This was not God. This was not heaven. She was not surrounded by the souls of her loved ones.
Instead, she was looking into the eyes of a middle-aged man in green scrubs. He lifted her up and his voice came loud and deep from behind his surgical mask: “Congratulations, Mrs. Marcus.
It’s a healthy baby girl!”
For the first time since she died, Janet cried.