OAKLAND — During a celebration of Aaron Mullen’s life on Saturday, Jane Greenblatt, one of Mullen’s caregivers over the last 12 years of his life, shared a story with the assembly at the Lighthouse Ministry Center.

Greenblatt said that when hospice arrived in Mullen’s final days, two people came to the Mullen home where he had been in a coma for the past 21 and a half years.

One of them was a woman named Michelle who had gone to school with Mullen, she said.

As caregivers do, Greenblatt spoke to Mullen, telling him that Michelle had come over and asked him if he remembered her.

“After leaving Aaron that day, she went home and that night Aaron came to her in her dreams,” Greenblatt said. “He said to her, ‘I want to pass. I want to do this and I want to do it right but I don’t know how to do this.’

“And she said to him, ‘It’s OK, Aaron, you’re going to do a fabulous job. It’s going to be wonderful.’ She said, ‘Just listen to the angels when they come down to get you. Just follow their direction.'”

Greenblatt said the young woman woke up and realized she had just had an encounter with Mullen and it touched her deeply, as it did Greenblatt when she heard the story.

“It was just two days later when Aaron went to heaven,” she said.

Aaron Lee Mullen had changed addresses.

That was the message Saturday afternoon at Lighthouse Ministry where about 80 people celebrated the life of Mullen, who died April 9, at his home.

Speakers quoted Scripture for comfort and encouragement, noting that life on this Earth is but a temporary time before eternal life with God.

“There is a heaven,” Alton McClamma told the assembly in the opening prayer. “It is not just some imaginary place, for this world is not our home.”

Mullen was 40 years old. He had been shot in the head in a dispute among teens in October 1994, just a few months after graduation from Messalonskee High School. He was cared for by doctors, nurses and staff from local hospitals and from Home, Hope and Healing, Care and Comfort and others, including his mother, Angela Mullen, and his sister, Tammy.

Becky Bickford sang “The Anchor Holds” and “Amazing Grace” during the celebration, as men and women wept openly.

During the songs, Mullen’s mother walked to the open casket and placed one hand on her son’s head and lifted the other hand high in praise to God. She then went back to her seat and cried. In the casket next to Mullen’s head was a Maine State Police trooper’s hat. Mullen wanted to be a state trooper after high school.

The casket was surrounded with live flowers. A portrait of Mullen was set on an easel.

Before the opening of the celebration Saturday, Angela Mullen said she is not relieved or released by Aaron’s death. There is release for her son, but not for her. Not yet, she said.

A eulogy was read by the Rev. Nancy Pais before “Shelter in the Arms of God” was sung and played by cousin Faith and Jerry Washburn. Another cousin, Becky Violette, performed “Master of the Wind.”

At 4:30 a.m. on April 9, Aaron Mullen answered the call from God that he had promised to accept when he found God years earlier, Pais said.

“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” she said, adding that over the more than 21 years Mullen was in the coma, he had many conversations with God.

“Life at best is tough and then you die,” Pais said. “So make your reservations now by finding God.”

Mullen’s uncle, the Rev. Herbert Mullen Jr., took to the podium to speak in a powerful voice, telling stories of salvation. “He has moved in with Jesus,” the he said, as he broke into the song “Steal Away to Jesus” without accompaniment. Rose Webber then rose to sing “Serenaded by Angels” as more hands in the audience were lifted skyward.

“Trust God,” Bishop Dean Marston Sr. said. “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body. God will not fail you. Make sure you know where you’re going to spend eternity.”

As the celebration was closing, many from the officiating group on the altar rose together, accompanied by keyboard, drums and guitar to sing three songs, including “I’ll Fly Away” in a rousing, hand-clapping session.

Angela Mullen’s name has been corrected in this story.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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