The Next Place

Today, May 18th, marks the third year of my little sister Christine's death. It's amazing how time goes by so fast but the memory remains so fresh and so new. I remember the weather that morning, the feeling of fear, the pain I felt in my chest, the confusion and the anger. I miss her everyday, but on this day three years ago, I felt my world crashing down on me. My best friend was taken from me, she took her last breath and she was gone.

The day after her passing I was gifted with a book that helped me find peace in it all. I read the book over and over and keep it on display in my living room. I decided to read it this morning and once again, it warmed my heart and made me feel calm.

The next place that I go will be as peaceful and familiar as a sleepy summer Sunday and a sweet, untroubled mind.
And yet... it won't be anything like any place I've ever been... or seen... or even dreamed of in the place I leave behind.
I won't know where I'm going, and I won't know where I've been, as I tumble through the always and look back toward the when.
I'll glide beyond the rainbows.
I'll drift above the sky.
I'll fly into the wonder without ever wondering why.
I won't remember getting there, somehow I'll just arrive.
I'll know that I belong there, and I'll feel much more alive than I have ever felt before.
I will be absolutely free of the things that I held onto that were holding onto me.
There will be no room for darkness in that place of living light,
Where an ever-drawing morning pushes back the dying night.
The very air will fill with brilliance as the brightly shining sun and moon and half a million stars are married into one.
The next place that I go won't really be a place at all.
There won't be any seasons - winter, summer, spring or fall.
Nor a Monday,
Nor a Friday,
Nor December,
Nor July...
And the seconds will be standing still, while hours hurry by.
I will not be a boy or girl, a woman or a man.
I'll simply be just simply, me. No worse or better than.
My skin will not be dark or light, I won't be fat or tall.
The body I once lived in won't be a part of me at all.
I will finally be perfect.
I will be without a flaw.
I will never make one more mistake or break the smallest law.
The me that was impatient, angry or unkind, will simply be a memory, the me I left behind.
I will travel empty-handed.
There is not a single thing I have collected in my life that I would want to bring except...
The love of those who loved me, the warmth of those who cares.
The happiness and memories and magic that we shared.
Though I will know the joy of solitude... I'll never be alone.
I'll be embraced by all the family and friends I've ever known.
Although I might not see their faces, all our hearts will beat as one,
The circle of our spirits will shine brighter than the sun.
I will cherish all the friendship I was fortunate to find, all the love and all the laughter from the place I leave behind.
All these good things will go with me, they will make my spirit glow.
That light will shine forever in the next place that I go.

-Warren Hanson

My Dear Sister, I love you and miss you more everyday.


  1. this is so beautiful. thanks for sharing :)

  2. Could not imagine losing my sister. So sorry for your loss.. Sending you lots of loving light!

  3. This is incredibly sweet, and I'm really sorry for your loss. I couldn't imagine losing my sister either. I think nearly everyone has experienced the loss of a loved one, all we can do is praise their life :) Great posts, I followed :)

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  4. Sorry to hear about your sister. We know your pain, we lost our brother almost 10 years ago and we miss him everyday. That book is such a beautiful book.

    1. Dearest Rach, I just wanted to tell you how much I love that you shared this part of your life and especially the significance of this book on your blog. I cried as I read every word of your post, understanding each and everything you felt that day. It never goes out of memory. Long before she had been sick, I remember us saying to each other that we wouldn't know what we would do if we lost her and we did not want to imagine having to live without her.Sadly that day came. Here we are three years later. None of it was easy, but we got through her death. We have used many important tools along the way to guide us. Our faith, strength from each other... Including our family and friends, and we use the beautiful memories of our life with her

    2. Cont'd.... .her. She would be so proud of you Rachel. Or I should say... She is very proud of you and so am I. Lots of love from your other sister, E xoxoxoxo

  5. My Dearest Rachel,
    I too am very proud of you! Your talent for writing, expressiveness of thought and your ability to capture the full attention of your reader, is indeed a great gift. Not everyone posesses a gift such as yours. Thank you for sharing your sister's story and her memory. She "is" very proud of both her sisters, and would be especially jubilant of all your accomplishments. She would be so involved with your happiness and the plans being made for your upcoming wedding. Sharing the book given to you, "The Next Place" is a gift you offer your readers, as it is a comfort to think the writer believes passionately in the "The Next Place" and had the generosity to share it with the world. Thank you for reminding me how talented you are. Thank you for helping me realize that we need to take a step back sometimes and really look closely at the people in our lives, and what they are truly capable off, and just how proud we are that we have the distinct pleasure of knowing that person. I am talking about YOU! Thank you also, for reminding me of where your sister is. I love you for your sharing, your ability to express your words and for being you. Keep up your great writing,

    Love Your Mother xxoo


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