Remembering John Burhani: My Best Explanation of Heaven

Simply More Than a Life Well Lived


Having done 12 years of catholic education, my religious beliefs run hand in hand with my religious skepticism. And I’ll spare you the “I’m not really religious, but I’m spiritual” stock answer as well.  Truth is, ask 100 people, get 200 answers when it comes to any type of explanation of the afterlife.  Let me toss number 201 at ya.  John Burhani is my explanation of the afterlife.  Allow me to detail.

To call John a “free spirit” would be a no-brainer.  In fact, I’m certain he was referred to as such in life and in death.  John was a doer.  A Sailor.  An Artist. An Adventurer.  A Dreamer.  But while of this earth, things like life and responsibility and basic needs always take precedent.  To a large degree, none of us are true “free spirits” because of the reality of the world we live in.

What if the “free spirit” tag that would quickly be placed on John and people like him only applied to the afterlife?  And would it be applicable to people who, unlike John, never truly found their life’s passion because they were busy living life?  Well in my version of heaven, that is exactly how this all plays out.  The belief that our departed loved ones are “in a better place” simply has to be something more than words spoken at a memorial service.

John Burhani is now the wind in a sail that ensures a bucket-list voyage is completed without bad weather.  He is that moment of clarity that allows young artists to understand that their gift is not just their own and needs to be shared.  He is that extra strength needed to push that cancer survivor up another personal hill to climb.

His life on earth was simply a precursor to the value he now brings to daily life.  He is now free to be that spirit.  His soul can be where its understanding is needed.  His passion can be where its experiences can enhance earthly lives.  To assist those left behind, family and strangers alike, to navigate this world as we know it and to aid in the quality of “life” until that time comes when each one of us gets our chance to be free.

John Burhani lived a life so full that even the least of the believers could see what a special person he was.  And among the countless theories that exist about what happens to us after we pass, may I suggest we become more like John Burhani.  Our passion becomes clear and changes other people’s lives for the better.  It was easy to see what John was, it was present in every fiber of his being.  I contend to you that the human soul, when free to enhance the lives of others, is the reward we chase in our earthly lives.

John Burhani was living his heaven on earth, I can’t even imagine how much he is enjoying my version of his afterlife.  And if the stock answer holds any water, he truly is “in a better place”.


Please click here to find the information on the upcoming fundraiser for the John Burhani Memorial Art’s Fund 

Please click here for last year’s submission John Burhani: An Original Masterpiece