1. Those little piles of colopods, demodex mites, head lice, firmicutes, and bacteroides, left behind when Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Charles "went upstairs"? Crush them underfoot. Resist the temptation to sell them as relics. If God thought they were special he would have let them accompany Gertie and Chuck. They are atheistic parasites, plain and simple, so crunch them up. Just be careful about the Athlete's foot fungi –– and especially any vaginal flora. It might be Candida, left here by those going to that, the best of all possible worlds.
2. If you have an adolescent in the house who was left behind, this will be a difficult time for them. Teens tend to think of themselves as Wronged, Misunderstood, and Unlovable, Oafish Sub-creatures (and also at times Golden-skinned Demi-urges who must be feared and obeyed and not messed with). To discover how, yeah, the Almighty does sorta kinda think you are, officially, Not All That? will either make them sullen and snappish, or else they will act out and leave the kitchen a total wreck.
Be sensitive. Unless you just can't take it anymore, in which case go ahead and have one of your semi-regular set-tos and this time really let them have it, and you're not kidding. You've had it, buster. You'll go on strike, and see how long they last without clean laundry and a well-stocked 'fridge.
Just understand: missing out on eternity in paradise is hard on young people. It also gives them the perfect excuse not to study for their SATs, so keep on them about that.
3. Compassion will be in short supply, so everyone has to acquire some thick skin. Unless she secretly looks at nude body-building web pages, that sweet little old lady at the Te-Amo, whose smile and spirit of lovingkindness makes life worth living every morning when you stop to buy the Times, is likely on the long line to meet St. Pete right this minute, doing the crossword and chatting with your dog groomer. You will never see her or any of the truly generous and soothing and up-beat people again. Get used to it.
4. Heaven is probably over-rated. What do you do up there –– hover? After you commiserate with St. Agnes for an eon, bask in the eternal rays of the eternal dawn for an epoch or two, meet Honest Abe and MLK, and spend an interminable time listening politely to Liebniz mutter about Monads, what's to do? Everyone is 30 years old, no one has sex, or a satisfying crap, or tells wickedly funny jokes, and everyone is "fine". Get me the hell outa here!
5. Self-righteousness is no longer a problem now. This is a good thing. We are all the schlubs God abandoned, all of us. No one can affect sanctification. Once this settles in, maybe little miss shit-don't-stink will come off her high horse and let my sister-in-law join her Mah-jong group.
6. We can now vote on a new holy book. I nominate "White Jazz" by James Ellroy. Sure it's a dark look at the underbelly of American history during the 60's, full of secret conspiracies and amoral anti-heroes. And yeah, unless you read the prequels you can't appreciate the stream-of-consciousness prose and dense, splatter-tang colloquialisms. But it's a masterpiece of prose style by our greatest living writer -- I just assume he wasn't taken by the Lord; read his books, there's just no way –– and it's a testament to our true nature. And everyone's life will seem better by comparison.
7. Our true nature is all we've got now. Perhaps we can finally solve the energy crisis. And start seriously funding public schools, encouraging them to be competitive, like our colleges used to be and our grad schools still are. And let's settle on just one interface for phones, ATMs, and especially card swipe machines. I am so sick of fumbling in front of minimum-wage slackers when I pick up my Ambien.
8. A mega-church would make a great AIR performance space.
9. It's all up to us, now that all the unimaginative sycophants are doing the Big Hosanna in Heaven. Yahweh's busy being adored, so maybe he'll leave us in peace for a while, and we can legalize pot, spay some animals, cancel those God-awful MTV mind-rot shows. And pass decent universal health care, what with 3% of the Republicans gone.
10. And maybe we can take a week off, for Christ's sake. I mean, would it kill us to take a little downtime?