Bible Answer

Is my deceased family looking down on me and protecting me while they are in heaven?

For those believing loved ones who have died and gone to heaven, do they know what’s happening here on earth? Are they looking down on us or they simply focused on worshipping the Lord in His presence.

Unfortunately, contrary to proof in the scriptures, many people suggest that passed believers will be looking over or watching over their family members after death.

While many people claim that our relatives in Heaven are looking down on us (keeping us safe), we find the Bible tells a different story concerning what believers are doing in Heaven. Because Heaven is solely based on Jesus and fixing our eyes on Him we must determine that the Saints are not in Heaven watching over humanity, as we don't see this in the scriptures at all. Whether or not people in Heaven can see the relatives they left, the purpose of the race we run is not for any human, therefore, our goal should never be placed in human affirmation or human accolades but instead fixing our eyes on the Perfecter, Jesus Christ:

HEB. 12:1 Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us,
HEB. 12:2 looking only at Jesus, the [a]originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are confident that after death believers will have some level of memory of our past life. This memory we will obtain will be important to appreciate the grace of God extended to us in Christ. After all, how could we celebrate the Lord for His grace and mercy shown to us if we can't remember what we were forgiven for? On the other hand, the scriptures also indicate that the mistakes of our life of earth will not diminish our joy once we reach the New Heavens and New Earth. For example, the Bible says:

REV. 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 
REV. 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 

Perhaps we will remember past disappointments yet without sorrow. Nevertheless, we can say that though memories persist into Heaven, sadness and mourning do not.

In some religions, namely Catholicism, they do not know the state of the souls of their loved ones when they die, therefore they claim that prayers can help the souls in purgatory get to heaven faster. This is based on a false understanding of the Gospel (Good News) as this is not good news at all.