A friend of mine sent me a kind message regarding my book and then shocked me as she revealed she knew one of the girls in the book whose afterlife experience had been recorded. My friend Mira was asking me for more details, but I was the one eagerly seeking to learn more.
“What was her name?”
“What details do you have that you could share?”
What I received was unexpected. I could have expected a photo, but she also sent me the sweetest letter, written by Mariam to Mira decades ago, in English, describing how much she adored her and missed her.
In 1999, while Mira was in Egypt hoping to see her friend, Mariam struggled with whether to skip a planned trip with her choir to spend more time with Mira, or to remain faithful to her religious obligations and see her afterward. While Mira was excited to see Mariam, she left it to her to make the decision.
Mariam went on the trip with her choir, but never saw Mira again. The bus carrying her and the choir was tragically in an accident. Mariam, along with dozens of other loved ones, died that day.
I did not know Mariam, nor had I ever seen her or any of the faces of those that departed. When I came across their story, they were invisible distant souls. But now, suddenly, it became very real for me. Mariam was a sweet girl, with normal hopes for the future, with parents anticipating wonderful future moments of happiness as well: their daughter would finish school, excel in her career, get married, give them grandchildren, and live to an old age, surpassing their own; but instead her parents outlived those dreams.
Usually a tragic accident such as this one would simply leave the bereaved family coping with thoughts about what they’d lost, and often their curiousity would venture into the unknown: what happened to them after they died?
Normally, such a question would remain unanswered, forever a nagging mystery. But this time, there was an answer. Of course, that’s why their story was included in my book. God revealed the answer to the saintly Coptic nun Mother Erene (may God repose her soul), who was compelled to gather the families of the loved ones together to tell them about the vision she saw.
After hearing about Mariam, I too was felt compelled to share the choir’s afterlife story, and so I put together a video with English subtitles of Mother Erene in that gathering with those familes, telling them what she witnessed. You can watch her tell the story herself in the video below: