THE HOLDING PLACE
There’s a kind of anteroom to the Left Door, a desolate gray expanse filled with lost souls who’ve been separated from their faith, hope, and joy by oppressive depression. They shuffle silently around in no direction, heads down, eyes empty and lifeless, never acknowledging each other or the hopelessness that’s trapped them there.
The Holding Place is like the purgatory I learned about in parochial school, and it’s sometimes, but not always, the temporary destination of spirits whose death was caused by suicide. It’s simply not true—in fact, it’s a cruel lie—that all suicides lead to eternal damnation. Again, God would never inflict such vindictive judgment on any of His children. Some suicides are inspired by revenge; others are an ultimate mean-spirited demand for attention or an act of self-centered cowardice (the latter typical of murder-suicides). And those particular suicides can look forward to a quick trip through the Left Door and another immediate incarnation without enjoying a moment of the blissful peace of Home between lifetimes.
But as we all know, some suicides are the result of mental illness or untreated chemical imbalances that create severe, crippling, mind-altering depression, and in the perfection of God’s universal laws no one is held accountable for actions that aren’t their fault. (Injustice is strictly a human invention.) A great many of these blameless, unplanned, despair-induced suicides, I promise you, make it straight through the tunnel to the Other Side. Others, often confused throughout their lives on earth about their faith in God and their occasional attraction to the Dark Side, find themselves in the Holding Place, where, if they can overcome the desolation around them, they can still choose between the doomed cycle of the Left Door or Home, where God’s embrace will always be waiting for them.