I believe a person who has Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior goes immediately to heaven to be in the presence of the Lord when he dies. Though their body is in the grave and either ashes or decomposing, their soul and spirit (the immaterial part, the real person) goes immediately into the presence of God. – it is the measurable slight weight loss at death. Christ did and he was both man and God. Scripture said as much, it reports in Luke 23:43 that He said to the thief on the cross next to Him “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
And Paul says in Phil. 1:21-23. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;”
I admit to also having the desire to be with Christ (and Pat) and live in Christ. But according to Luke 17:21 (KJV) “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” You don’t have to die to join your departed spouse – she is in the kingdom of God within you here and now. Pat dwells in me and I dwell in her here and now.
I realize some Christians may call this heresy and cite other texts that support their view. My texts are also in the Bible. Then there is this, a favorite from Cynthia Bourgeault in ‘The Wisdom Jesus’: “A lot of Christians … assume that the Kingdom of Heaven means the place where you go when you die — if you’ve been good. But the problem with this interpretation is that Jesus himself specifically contradicts it when he says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you” (that is, here) and “at hand” (that is, now). It’s not later, but lighter — some more subtle quality or dimension of experience accessible to you right in the moment. You don’t die into it: you awaken into it” You reach it by searching within yourself.
I have experienced my wife’s presence within me and I assure you she is NOT sleeping in wait for some future Judgement Day. She is very much awake and communing with me. Nor are the Communion of Saints, whose fellowship we rejoice in during Communion asleep – they are very much awake giving us that fellowship we pray for during the Communion service. “It is Christ Himself,” Lewis said, “not the Bible, who is the true word of God.” So listen to what your soul is telling you. Don’t use Scripture as a weapon.