To my surprise, I’ve had people ask me at the reference desk “what happens after death” or “what is heaven like?”. I’ve had to tell them I think there is no valid, provable answer, but we do have books on different religions that discuss their idea of the answer, as well as books on near-death experiences that claim to know the answer. Then, on television, I saw a brief interview with Eben Alexander who has recently written the book Proof of Heaven: A Neursurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. He said that he always discounted near-death experiences until he was in a coma for seven days and, as a neurosurgeon, knows that it was not possible for it to have been a dream. He now feels it is his duty to let people know what heaven is like; I couldn’t resist reading the book. I’m still not convinced that it wasn’t his mind creating impressions, but am certainly hopeful that Heaven is for Real, which is the title of another book by Todd Burpo, a little boy’s story of his trip to Heaven and back.
Ever since Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about Death and Dying: it has certainly been a popular subject. Raymond Moody is another author who has written about near-death experiences. We also have books that discuss the science of near-death experiences by medical doctors. Most of these books can be found in the philosophy section under the Dewey Decimal number of 133.901 or the religion section in 231.7.
Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Chemung County Library District