With My Head In the Clouds


Jan Morgan-Swegle, Editor

Editor-Cape Fear Voices (Jan Morgan-Swegle)

One of my favorite things to do is ride in the car on a nice day and look at the clouds in the sky.  There is a freedom in their beauty that enhances my mood and makes me feel alive. And as many of us can attest, as I get older, I’d rather feel alive than the alternative.  


It’s no surprise that the older we get, the more we think about death. Along those lines,   I had a conversation with my husband the other day and he said, “I wonder if you can see the people who come to your funeral.”  


I never thought about that–I tend to wonder what happens after we die and before the funeral.  Do we just hang around the funeral home until it’s time for our service?  Do we sneak down to our “viewing room” and check out the flowers that people sent to us—or “trash talk” about the people who sent us small arrangements?  Do we head off to the afterlife right after the service?   


Are there big gates with a doorbell camera that you ring and say into the camera, “I’d like a room, please, I have a reservation.”  Is there a general announcement that we have arrived so those who went before us know to stop by and visit?


Do we have orientation? Do we get name badges on our wings?  Is there on-the-job training, or is Heaven just a long vacation?  


Personally, I think we will have jobs to do.  The first place I would go if I got all the way up  to Heaven would be the HR department.  I would  apply to be a cloud sculptor, although previous experience would be a problem.  


I would make shapes with the clouds to send messages to the people I loved in my life.  I would make hearts in the sky so my husband would know that I still loved him. I would make the shape of bunnies for our dog to chase.  I would shape a giant tear drop and send it to Ohio to tell my daughter I should have been a better mother.  And, I would make a giant football cloud for the first game of the season and send it to Charlotte for my grandsons to enjoy.  I would send a big white tilting watering can with little white cloud puffs  dropping down to the earth for my granddaughters in the Florida sun.  


Think of how people would smile if I made a wispy Santa Claus in the sky in June or a giant pumpkin in August.  Or think of the tears if I sculpted a flag cloud on Memorial Day to honor our country and the spirits of our soldiers  and heroes who have passed.  


I choose not to think of death as the end but rather as a change of venue to a better place.   I believe that we will see our families again and celebrate the close of our chapters on earth while we look forward to an endless afterlife with the ones we loved. 


Until then, I will continue to have  my head in the clouds examining them for the beauty, the peace and the entertainment they bring to me. 


And, if after I am gone,  one day you look up in the sky and see clouds shaped like something that reminds you of me—well, you’ll know I got the job!