All of us will have to say goodbye to a loved one at some time. As much as we try to avoid it, and as reluctant as we are to discuss it, each of us will need to release the hand of the one we love into the hand of the One who loves us most. But what happens when we die? What happens to us between death and Christ’s return? Paul answers, ‘We don’t want you, my brothers, to be in any doubt about those who “fall asleep” in death, or to grieve over them like men…who have no hope’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13 PHPS). Scripture is surprisingly quiet about what happens to us in the period between our deaths and the resurrection of our bodies. (It doesn’t give us enough information to satisfy our curiosity, just enough to whet our appetite.) Paul wrote: ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labour for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far’ (Philippians 1:21-23 NIVUK). Bible scholar Anthony Hoekema says, ‘What Paul is saying here is that the moment he departs or dies, that very same moment he will be with Christ.’ Ultimately, heaven is the greatest healing of all! Our loved ones may have had pain here on earth, but they’ll have no pain in heaven. They struggled here, but they’ll have no struggles there. We might ask why God took them home, but they don’t. Now they understand. They are, at this very moment, at peace in God’s presence.