There is absolute hope we will be reunited with loved ones someday. The Bible doesn’t have a Book of Heaven like it does on Jobs so discern if my understandings are wrong compared to other biblical interpretations taught. I have written elsewhere if you want to review Bible passages to defend what I say. I am confident you will be with your loved ones unless they are evil to the core. Some may choose a second death than spending eternity with a loving Creator.
Hell is the greatest barrier to such hope, but we can say unequivocally that Hell as a place of eternal, sadistic torture does not exist. No human would think this up and neither does God according to the Bible. Anyway, it is relationally impossible that God would treat his enemies worse than us. Sheol, wrongly translated as Hell in the OT, was a place of darkness occupied by the dead regardless of beliefs. Even Job, a righteous man in God’s eyes, desired to go there to escape tremendous suffering (10:21-22). The best translation for Sheol is Sheol.
Gehenna, wrongly translated as Hell in the NT, was a real valley in Jerusalem symbolizing a place of slaughter and judgment. Gehenna was the place of burned Israeli children sacrificed to false gods. Jesus used Gehenna to symbolize the horrors of adversaries of God who disposed of their enemies into the burning, worm-infested valley. Simply avoid a valley near Jerusalem close to death if concerned about going to Hell. The best translation for Gehenna is Gehenna.
Heaven is not eventually living on earth with God in blissness. God said He was never going to destroy the earth again like He did with the Flood. The NT spoke of the last days happening in the generation of their readers. The last days mentioned by Jesus were not the end of the world but the Old Covenant and temple system passing away. The New Covenant ushered all entering God’s presence immediately as Jesus overcame the grave for all by resurrecting.
Paul gives hope that our eventual citizenship after death here on earth will be in heaven where God will transforms our bodies (Philippians 3:20). Jesus promised Paradise to the thief on the Cross. But, the Bible doesn’t focus on the future but encouraging us to change in the present to make a better world. Jesus says the Kingdom of God was coming in His readers’ lifetime (Mt. 16:28). We can currently live more peaceful lives by considering heavenly than worldly wisdom. John 3:15 refers to eternal life as being in Christ, thus referring to a quality than future destiny.
Jesus might know a little about life after death. What the Hell did He really say? When asked directly how to have eternal life Jesus said simply to love God and love others as yourself (Lk.10:25-27). Jesus didn’t advise one to get on their knees and offer a confessional prayer. Jesus was suggesting one can have the hope of immortality now by beginning to live by the golden rule. No one lives perfectly so Jesus was simply conveying that one begins to live forever when they consider God’s ways which are always in their best interests.
God created heaven on earth initially, but freedom is necessary for authentic relationships. Heaven then became our hope after we created Hell on earth. But, will all enter Heaven? Even saints on earth have regrets! Apparently, God’s justice will have an educative component and cleansing effect after our life here on earth for all. Some have never heard about God. Some had poor role models as parents so wanting nothing to do with a Heavenly Parent on Earth. God will invite all after death to join Him in a way we couldn’t. Who in their right mind will not accept such an invitation? I doubt any reading this or their loved ones. So be very hopeful. And consider that Heaven can start now despite the world we live in if we understand what God is really like.