When I die, I think I’ll go to med school

Do you think we will be able to have more children in heaven?” I ask Tim one afternoon. The idea of a house full of rosy cheeks and dimpled fingers appeals to me, kids running in all directions. Gifts from above.

But I hesitate. If we have another child here, I’ll have to surrender a year of my life to vomiting and bleeding, to fewer connections with my older children to nurture a life within my womb.

I worry: Will I have the energy and space to cultivate deep relationships with my older daughters? Will there be enough hours to love Tim like I want to, to travel ’round the world in his arms and notice as the wrinkles carve wisdom around his eyes? Will I be able to give advice to my little sister, to reach out to the weary new mother with a baby on her hip, to read aloud books to the elderly as their earthly lives shimmer? Will I be able to do this, that, and the other thing?

One of the hardest things about living on earth is the intolerable finiteness. The clock ticks on, unforgiving, unrelenting.

I expect that heaven will be the ability to try a million different things. So, when I die, I think I’ll go to med school. I’ll build a gorgeous library for children – with floor-to-ceiling windows. I’ll sit in a cabin in the woods and write twenty-five novels. I might even put on a tap dance performance and compete in a tennis league. I’ll host a book club and have dinner parties at a long wooden table, with twinkling lights overhead and thornless bouquets of roses scenting the air. 

Two weeks ago, I told a friend that I hope heaven will simply be having “all the time in the world.” She smiled back, “That’s exactly what it will be: eternity.” Yes.



  1. Sarah R says

    Hi Stephanie! It’s nice to see your writing again. This post in particular struck a chord as our family works through some similar decisions. I wish you peace in whatever decision your family makes!

  2. Darcie says

    I have to agree with you that the finiteness of this world is intolerable. Love how you put that. I also love the version of heaven you described. If you are proved right, I most definitely want to be a part of your book club when we get there :)

  3. says

    I do like this perspective, but I do have to say as I’ve gotten older (just having a birthday it’s fresh on my mind) that I see how much time we really do have… and how we are in control of what we do with that time. I guess it’s making me realize what is still possible, or maybe I’m having a sense of urgency to do what I can while there is still time! :)

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