I Died and Went to Heaven

Last night as I slept, I was transported to a place I did not recognize.

It was evident in short order that I had died in my sleep, and I was in some sort of afterlife.

An Angel appeared at my bedside. I recognized it was an Angel immediately because it was a beautiful genderless “being” made entirely of Light and Cookies. It picked a small tollhouse off its robe and gave it to me.

“You’re in Heaven.”

I was very confused because I could hear anguished screams and full-on crying outside what appeared to be a billowing, white-silk triage tent. The tent was scented in warm vanilla and caramel like an After-Death Bath and Bodyworks or something.

I said “Well. If this is Heaven, what’s all the screaming about?”

The Angel replied: “This is where Lawyers go when they die.”

I was incredulous. “Lawyers actually go to HEAVEN??

“Yes. Yes they do.”

“Then, what’s all the screaming and crying about?”

The Angel considered the question and then stated, matter-of-factly: “We hate them too.”

I stifled a laugh.

The Angel continued. “We saw your treatment on Earth by one lawyer after another, through your various divorces. They are reprehensible souls released like wolves into an emotional battleground to feast on the hot, desperate tears of the dead and dying human combatants.”

“We decided you should see what happens to those lawyers when they die.”

“Uh. Okay?” I responded.

As we left the tent, my first sight was a group of lawyers having their whole “situation” being explained to them.

The Angel who was speaking to the dead attorneys wore a VERY sharp Armani business suit, and had a highball of Bourbon in his hand. His speech was slightly slurred and he was reading from a thick Legal Pad, he was “The Quintessential Attorney”; using impossibly long words with the most contorted and medieval sentence structure.

The dead lawyers, bewildered and confused, stared in silence at the Heavenly Attorney and blanched. Their eyes welled up with tears.

“We’re in Hell.” Said one.

The Heavenly Attorney corrected him: “Heretofore unto thee I say the appertaining words to inform the counselor of the situation to wit: The overwhelming majority of Lawyers being only ‘largely evil’ are sent to Heaven where they are apportioned by degree of alcoholism, disregard for human suffering, holding relief out like a carrot before a starving turtle, and the railroading cases on “favors” from the court or secret financial incentives from the participants of their respective litigations and marital contract dissolutions.”

He continued: “The worst of earth’s dead attorneys, the Defenders of pedophiles, murderers, cop-killers, government traitors, rapists and corporate environmental criminals – are sent to actual Hell. We have no idea what happens there, but it’s no where near enough.”

He continued “Welcome to Heaven. You will spend an “A-ttornety” being treated no more, and no less than the way you treated your clients in life.” He smiled while delivering his pun, but his eyes were lifeless, they reflected a soul that was dead inside (which happens within even a few short years to all slip-and-fall attorneys).

I smiled. Despite my being dead and surely missing the next episode of “Reacher, Season 2” I was truly excited to see what was in store for the dead attorneys.

First and foremost, they’re given a big, fat Heavenly Bank Account with a healthy sum of Heaven-Dollars. (Wtf?) They are given time to develop a sense of “financial” security and contentedness. They are encouraged that if their savings account simply goes up, increases by even ONE Heaven Dollar, they can buy their way out of “Lawyer Heaven” and be mercifully destroyed and released to Oblivion, once-and-for-all which they are assured: “Will absolutely be better than Heaven”. That soon, they will be crying out for Oblivion.

While starting out with a healthy Bank account, and knowing they only have to increase it by ONE mere Heaven Dollar, the “Game” starts with this:  Throughout their entire, eternal experience they’re spoken to in impossible-to-understand English and every time they don’t understand something, it costs them money to have the Quintessential Heavenly Attorney break it down for them. If they don’t have the words explained, they lose even more money to the myriad hidden clauses and conditions in the Fine Print they were given (and didn’t understand). Again, their eyes welled up in tears because they remembered this racket from their past life.

They are to spend practically an eternity in this state of limbo until finally they have spent their very-last Heavenly Dollar. As soon as this happens and they fall on bankruptcy, suddenly, it happens that solid, straight answers and reasonably quick results are produced and the dead lawyers are moved along to the “worst possible outcome you can get with your last twelve-cents”. Just like in real life Divorce.

Wrung out for what seems like an eternity, the dead lawyers are put in a room with actual Ikea Furniture to assemble. They have to pay for the furniture and assemble it, and when they have broken or lost all the pieces, or if cannot afford more furniture they have to sit on the carpet of “nails” which is the floor of their beautiful but desolate Heavenly Home.

If they actually get close to successfully assembling a piece of furniture to sit on, “Heaven’s Opposing Counsel” makes an emergency appearance and takes away the furniture just as the dead lawyer is twisting the LAST, assembly-finishing screw into the chair. And breaks the chair over the lawyer’s head.

This also seems to go on for an eternity. The lawyers are ONLY, finally, moved on to the next phase of their eternity when they openly and utterly manifest disabling PTSD when presented with an Ikea box to assemble, and dissolve in a torrent of impossible-to-stop bitter tears when they are unable to move the assembly along.

Broken utterly, they finally arrive at the Seat of God and their eyes widen, and for a moment they dare to conceive an Eternity of relative peace. Maybe try to get back to some “new form of normal”.

After a millennium of torment, they will finally be given the chance to present their Pleadings to the God of Lawyers.

Sidebar, y’all:  The God of Lawyer-Heaven is not “The” God. Oh, no.

This God is only elected by ballot, and possesses no special skills whatsoever over the dead attorneys. But having ascended to the bench in Heaven-Law (Just like in Divorce law) The God of Lawyer-Heaven can do literally anything he wants, anytime he wants to.

The dead attorneys are given a period of time to prepare their statements. They borrow money from the Heavenly Attorney, each destitute dead-attorney promising to pay him back when they’re done with this process.

The Quintessential Heavenly Attorney kindly agrees to these terms. But, (for a punitive amount of money) instantly liens the dead attorney’s Heavenly Home with the promise to remove the lien (for an additional fee) as soon as the unpaid amount is transferred. Just like earth’s lawyers, they charge a fee to lien their client’s assets and then charge again to lift the lien.

When the dead attorneys finally appear before The God of Lawyer Heaven, they are speaking to a pale, eternally-bored, black- robed character with absolutely no interest in being there. Just like back on earth. The God of Lawyer Heaven plays Candy Crush Saga on his smart phone. As the dead attorney wraps up his passionate, pleading presentation, his voice cracks as he begs: “If it please the court.”

Then, the Opposing Counsel Heavenly Attorney makes his appearance and asks for a continuance, and at the same time asks the court to make the dead lawyer pay all the legal fees around his case. To which the Judge (God of Lawyer Heaven) says “Ehhhh sure, why not; he’s a lawyer, he’s got lots of money.”

So the settlement and disposition of the dead lawyer’s suffering is capriciously NOT decided and NOT signed by the court.

As the Heavenly Lawyers go to Golf with their mousy, silicone drenched bleached-blonde spinner mistresses, and flasks of Bourbon under the seat of the golfcart, the dead lawyers go back home to their Heavenly Homes with their excruciating, nail-carpeted floors. Boxes upon boxes of Ikea furniture have accumulated for assembly on their stoops, and their Heavenly Credit-Card is stretching into seven figures. The prospect of buying their way out of Lawyer Heaven becomes an impossible, taunting, cackling joke that resounds from behind every cloud and tree.

“The continuance is truly an Eternity.”

The Angel who met me in the tent took my hand gently.

“The billing for “services” continues monthly and the dead lawyer is left with no action on his situation. Literally ever. The dead lawyer experiences crippling debt and a hopeless descent into a crushing, black, abject depression. They are given brown bottles of “Pappy” Bourbon (it’s really a thing) to bandage their emotional wounds.  But on opening the bottles, the fluid inside is just flavorless, Liquid-Sadness.”

The Angel said nothing for a while. I was lost, listening in joyous, rapt attention and only came out of my happy reverie when the Angel tapped me on the shoulder.

“How do you feel?” Asked the Angel.

“This is really great.” I said.

“We thought you’d like it.” said the Angel.

I smiled. “Oh, I really do.”

Finally I asked. “So, where do I go now? Where do normal people go in Heaven?”

“We’re going to Chuckie Cheeses, except: The beer is super cold, and served in frosted mugs. And, there are only cardboard cutouts of silent, well-behaved kids.”

I could not believe it.

The Angel added, as he padded away:

“Have a nice eternity.”

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.