) - Is there a heaven? Who goes and who doesn’t? The majority of Americans say that they believe in heaven, but does anyone really know what heaven is like?
Yesterday's episode of the new day-time talk show Katie
took on these questions, and is generating quite a buzz across the country. Katie Couric
and her team explored the mysteries of the afterlife and talked to three people who say they’ve personally experienced what heaven is like, and one who says she can communicate with the dead.
The show began with Katie talking with Theresa Caputo
, star of the hit TLC show Long Island Medium
- the fast-talking suburban New York mother of two who communicates with spirits who have “crossed over.” It didn’t take long before Theresa began to sense spirits in the Katie
studio, demonstrating her abilities with the audience.
Mediums like Theresa have always been met with a bit of skepticism. Without scientific proof that they’re communicating with those who have passed away, many don’t believe in their proclaimed abilities. On the other hand, there are those who have faith that the messages conveyed from mediums are the true words, thoughts and feelings of their former loved ones. Theresa responded to her skeptics directly. "I find a skeptic sometimes get the best reading."
An overwhelming number of Americans believe in heaven, but some people say they know for sure… because they’ve been there. Dr. Mary Neal
, a woman whose survival story is miraculous enough, spent 15 minutes trapped underwater and lost consciousness. Her story of what happened next is nothing short of astounding. "There are no words to truly describe it," she said. She now has a book out "To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Angels, and Life Again."Colton Burpo
was just a little boy when he had a near-death experience that would change his life forever. His astounding story about his journey to heaven inspired the bestselling book, “Heaven is For Real,” which has been read by more than seven million people. Colton joined Katie with his father Todd, who wrote the book, and his mom Sonja.
For art prodigy Akiane Kramarik
heaven has always been in the details. Her paintings are complex, vibrant and inspired by an astonishing spiritual connection. At just four-years-old, Akiane began to have visions of being in heaven and meeting God. She began translating those vision on to paper because "it was way too complex to describe them through words."
The response to the show was immediate and widespread - and Katie
had clearly touched on a polarizing subject. Comments on the show's web-site, Facebook page, and Twitter account are still pouring in. There were many comments in support of Theresa and her work, and more than a few skeptical Tweets and posts. A poll on the Katie
Facebook page asked the question "Do you believe in heaven?" The answer shows an almost unanimous "Yes."
Katie Couric shared her own feelings on her blog after the show. "I thought today's show was so fascinating. I’m not sure where I come down on an afterlife. I’ve always wanted to be a true believer and I’ve always admired people who have a deep abiding faith, but for some reason it’s been hard for me to completely accept the notion."
So, what do you think? Is there life after death? Share your thoughts in the comments below or discuss with ABC50 on Facebook
show tapes are not available from WWTI-ABC50. Clips from the show can be found on the 'Katie' web-site.Katie is on WWTI-ABC50 weekdays at 3:00 PM