This post contains links to products that I may receive compensation from at no additional cost to you. View my Affiliate Disclosure page here.
Bart Mruz is the author of All My Clothes Were White: The Spirited Life, Pre-Heaven Visit, and Peaceful Death of My Mom, Jean Mruz.
Bart Mruz is the youngest of five children born to Walter and Jean Mruz. At the time of Bart’s birth, his siblings ranged from eleven to twenty-one years of age. After enduring the Great Depression and World War II, Walt and Jean raised their children to have faith in God’s goodness, compassion for others, and a strong work ethic. As a child and teenager in Fremont, Nebraska, Bart dreamed of writing for television and living on the West Coast.
However, his life took a different turn as he established a career in real estate and began a spiritual journey. After his mother’s passing, which featured signs, wonders, and miracles, he wanted to share her journey with the world.
It is a final gift from a woman who lived simply and touched the lives of many. Jean’s death propelled Bart to share the hope of what awaits us and to provide reassurance that our loved ones are safe and that our lives will continue in more perfect ways than any of us can comprehend while we are still on Earth.
I’m thrilled to feature Bart on the site! He was our realtor while we lived in Arizona and we all quickly became friends. We share similar backgrounds—he’s from Nebraska while we’re from Oklahoma—and I remember how close he was with his mother.
I read an ARC of his book and he really painted an image of her mother—I feel like I know her now! This is such a beautiful tribute to her. It was vivid, heartfelt and inspiring.
As 95-year-old Jean Mruz approached the end of her life, her son Bart dreaded the impending separation from his mom. Much to his surprise, her passing brought peace, joy, and reassurance.
During Jean’s final days, a series of experiences convinced Bart and his siblings that their mother was being prepared for her transition from this world to the next. Jean died as she had lived, in her own quirky and unique way. Complete with a pre-death visit to another realm. She even had some control over the timing of her passage!
After Jean died, Bart met others who were going through similar circumstances and shared his experiences with them. His words lifted their spirits and strengthened their confidence in God’s love. Inspired by their reactions, Bart felt called to write All My Clothes Were White to share Jean’s story in hopes of comforting others around the world.
Let’s get to know Bart as he talks about his writing journey, his mother and more!
Have you always wanted to write a book?
I have always wanted to write and spent most of my youth and young adult years writing. I had close calls writing for sitcoms but life and my life choices took me elsewhere. I have outlined many books, but my mother’s death propelled me to finish my first book.
All My Clothes Were White is a beautiful tribute to your mother. Tell us about your mother! What was she like?
She was unlike anyone I have ever met. And I do not say that just because she was my mom. She was one of the funniest people you could meet. Her one-liners and commentary on life, people, and events would make you laugh and eat up everything she said. Our family thought she was ten times naughtier than Sophia from “The Golden Girls.”
Mom had a very tough childhood and wanted to make sure her kids did not go through what she did. She had a heart of gold and her life goals were to be a good mother and raise her children to be good people. Her ultimate goal was to get to Heaven, and I address how she did that in the book.
Mom was a titan at overcoming health issues. She made it to 95 and never focused on her health problems. She was more interested in being a mom, grandmother and great-grandmother. You know your mother was great when people, even strangers, will speak about her and smile.
Mom also loved simplicity. Material things meant nothing to her. She could make the ordinary feel extraordinary. Mom also was a die hard Catholic and had a huge belief in Christ and God.
What is the message behind the book’s title?
Mom had a pre-visit to a spiritual realm the night before she died. I knew we were close to losing her but not that close. The next morning after her trip to the spiritual realm the hospital called me and said Mom would like to meet with all of us. She decided she wanted to die. I called my sister and we made a fast drive to the hospital. Our brothers came a little later.
When my sister Mary and I arrived, we were shocked at what we found. Mom was sitting up in bed and looked great. Then she started to tell a story about what happened to her the night before. The minute I heard her say “I was in this tube, and all my clothes were white,” I knew she had an out of body experience. The way she relayed the events, it was just beautiful. It was as if this 95-year-old woman was speaking in childlike wonder about what happened to her.
There was no fear, anxiety, tears, or panic. The room felt like magic. It was holy and beautiful. When coming up with the title to the book, I kept thinking about her mentioning the tunnel and that she was in spirit form and clothed in white.
The story is told in a dual timeline: you detail your mother’s life and also her spiritual journey prior to her passing. Why was it important to tell the story in this way?
I really wanted the reader to know how special this woman was. The best way to do so was coinciding vinettes about Mom and her life as we encountered different aspects of her pre-Heavenly realm visit. As the day of her death unfolded and she told her story, there were so many memories and things to share about her within the context of her final hours.
The reader will get to know the real Jean Mruz while also learning about her last day. She was a survivor of an alcoholic father and broken home in an era when children were chastised for coming from this background. More than anything Mom wanted to prevent her own children and grandchildren from going through what she did. It was important to tell why she was so loved by many.
And of course, I detail her humor and commentary so the reader can feel her spirit and laugh with her. So much happens at death for the departed as well as their family. She was magnificent and her Earthly exit was simply spectacular.
What do you hope are some of the key takeaways from the book?
There are so many people who do not get to say goodbye (for now) to their mothers. I think if I had lost mine suddenly I would be struggling and feeling the depths and panic of sudden grief. Mom lived her life in such a simple way. Her passing was amazing, beautiful, and a gift from God. I wanted to make sure that others could gain hope and faith knowing what my mother went through during her final 24 hours.
And that from her death and experience they will know they will see their mothers and loved ones again. Mom would be the first to hide from publicity or this story. But if her story helped others she would be thrilled that we shared it.
What is your advice for those struggling with grief and the loss of a loved one?
There is a Heaven. Our loved ones are simply gone from body for now. I realized by letting go of Mom that I was giving her soul back to the God who created her. It was a true blessing and privilege to know her, care for her, and be with her when she died. Letting go is very hard. Love never dies.
When the time is right and we have fulfilled everything we came to do on this planet, we will see our loved ones again. It will be more glorious than any of us could imagine. God has our loved ones. He showed me he had my Mom. He created her and she simply went back to Him. Have faith and do not be bashful about letting your grief come out. They don’t want us upset they are gone. They do want us to fulfill our lives here before we join them there.
Do you plan to write any more books?
Yes! I have two more ideas based on life experience. All My Clothes Were White was just the start! This book also helped me realize it is never too late to do your passion!
Click here to order All My Clothes Were White on Amazon.