The first conversation

“He’s in the ground. That’s where they put dead people.”

Lee had just passed. David could barely process it. Crossing the country to attend the funeral with Lee’s family, friends, and colleagues had been draining. It was a whirlwind trip for this periodontist, who had patients to see upon his return. And now his wife had a simple question that yielded his simple answer.

“I wonder where Lee is?” Pam had asked.

David was almost dismissive in his response. Dead people were put in the ground, and that was the end of the story. But Pam wasn’t so sure.

“Yes, I know where his body is,” she said. “I was wondering about his soul.”

“I don’t know of such things,” David responded. “I’ve always thought that you only go around once in life. Reach for all the gusto you can. Because when you’re dead, you’re dead like a dog.”

“Is that what you really believe?” Pam asked, somewhat incredulous.

“Yes! What do you believe?”

“Well I believe in a heaven and a hell, and when you die, you go to one or the other.”

This was new information to David. “That’s not what I believe,” he said.

And that exchange, seven years into their marriage, was Pam and David’s very first spiritual conversation.

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