Life's Mysteries: Near Death Experiences
My Precious Sister with Me In Texas
Near death experiences raise the eyebrows of some as accounts of them are shared. That is probably as it should be. We all have our take, our opinion, our belief on such matters. Some think that believing in near death encounters is as ridiculous as believing in UFO's.
Believing in something because someone says it true, without anyway of verifying the voracity of the storyteller is foreign and beyond comprehension to the minds of those who have not had the experience .
When I decided to share this experience and was selecting the category, this popped up: Category: Religion and Philosophy → Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences → Near-Death Experiences Para---beyond, normal---the usual...
"....claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation."
I settled on this category because it is in fact a retelling that comes without scientific explanation. To me, it is like faith and love. I cannot see them, I cannot touch them but I know they are real and they exist. For that reason, accepting the retelling of this profound encounter was not difficult for me. The story that rests within this article was shared with me by my sister not long after it occurred. It was many years later before it was actually written. After hearing her recount this experience, ny answer to the title's question is: for sure, I do.
Perhaps you have had a similar experience or know someone who has.
I believe there are two sides to the phenomenon known as death, this side where we live, and the other side where we shall continue to live. Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.— Norman Vincent Peale
Three sisters on the front row (from left to righ)
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has written several books on the topic of death and death-related experiences. She has included in her writings her observations and beliefs on this topic. She is said to be a pioneer in this field.
Dr. Kuhler Ross speaks in her writings of "learning to live in the knowledge and understanding of death and that in doing so we learn to fear it less. Perhaps we learn to value less the transitory stuff on the planet and appreciate more the unseen things...love, kindness, faith. Our value for acquiring more will diminish and our need to give more of ourselves will rise to the surface."
She speaks of life as being a dress rehearsal of sorts, a time of learning, and death is graduation. She shares in one of her writings her desire for her family to celebrate her death---the quote is shared later in this article.
You can read more about Dr. Kubler-Ross at the following link:
Normally we do not like to think about death. We would rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life ... now ... and come to face the truth of your self. Death is like a mirror in which the true meaning of life is reflected.— Sogyal Rinpoche
Consumed now by stress
One pack turned to two, two to three and finally I was at five packs of cigarettes each day. I knew this was not good. I felt conflicted about it. This just did not sit with being a Christian. I felt that this was a poor example to set as a Christian witness.
The pressure was on and I found no way out of this cycle my life had become. My life was not much different from the lives of many others who fill their plates to overflowing and then find stress has consumed them.
Too much to do
My sister has shared her story with me and is allowing me to share it with you. What follows is her recounting of her near death experience. This is her personal encounter.
Perhaps I did not know it at the time. But I was driven. Driven to excel. Driven to succeed. Driven to accomplish. For no other reason except that I wanted to prove to myself I could do that which I set out to do and to do it well.
On the way to achieve, I scaled mountains and blazed trails and left pieces of me along the way. I was working full time, going to college to become a paramedic, and raising a family. There was little time for study. There was no time to relax and unwind and reduce stress. There was time probably but I never took it.
My way around no time was to drink gallons of coffee and smoke an endless chain of cigarettes, lighting one off the other as the nights progressed and I grew wearier.
Day of reckoning
One evening I was coming out of the doctor’s office with my daughter. We had been there to get her physical so she could go to work. As I walked across the parking lot to the car, I felt as if I had been kicked in my gut. I asked my daughter if she thought we should go back inside.
She said, “No, Mommy. You are probably just hungry. Did you have anything to eat today?” I had not.
We settled into the car and the pain continued. It felt as if the proverbial elephant was sitting squarely on me. I knew it was an MI (myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack).
I explained to my daughter what to do. First she should call her Daddy and have him send paramedics and a local squad to send oxygen.
I then explained to her what to do if I could not drive. She was not a licensed driver at the time.
Soon Bill, a four year friend, arrived on the scene. He was the attending paramedic that evening. He began evaluating me.
He said, “Ok, Miss Almost-A-Paramedic, what do you see?”
I managed to get out… “…a lot of pvc’s ….not good.”
After that things are hazy. My heart stopped. I was in cardiac arrest. For 17 minutes efforts were made to resuscitate me.
Angel at the Wheel
Those attending me did not know it but I was not there with them. My being, my essence, my soul was now traveling through a tunnel. It moved me toward a warm, commanding, loving, effusive light.
I arrived at a most wondrous veil beyond which were loved ones. I could sense their presence. My sister, Mary Jane, my Grandmother, and many others who had left this life and gone before me.
A loving, reassuring heavenly Spirit was there in and among those I loved and was just beyond my reach.
I remember saying, “I’m coming home now, Lord.”
The reply came back from this beautiful loving Spiritual Being,
“No, Child. It is not time yet.”
This place where I found myself overflowed with joy and warmth and love that defies description. I can only say that I did not want to leave. The love I felt was unlike any other I had ever experienced at any time.
It is not possible to describe how bathed in love I felt. Perhaps compare it to someone you love more than any other and multiply it by a million. You may then have an inkling of how much love surrounded me there at that time.
Returning to my earthly home, I found I was back in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. After care was taken to stabilize me, I was transported to a city cardiac care hospital where I received medical support and treatment for 21 days.
My doctor came in to me on the fourth day of my hospital stay and informed me that nicotine toxicity had caused this myocardial infarction.
As you may guess, I never smoked another cigarette after that day. I remember the date, February 27, 1987. An ordinary winter day that turned out to be anything but ordinary in my life and the lives of my loved ones.
My daughter who had been with me at the time the MI occurred came to visit on day five of my hospital stay.
I thanked her for getting us safely back home. Her whole demeanor changed and she had become pale and was shaken by the words I had spoken.
“But, Mommy,” she said.
“I was too frightened to move. I did not do anything.”
It was at that moment I realized that an angel had been at the wheel beside me in the car that evening.
A Closer Walk
"This was a new day in my life. My journey to find the love we all seek. Each day since then I have tried to walk a little closer to the Lord.
I know I am not free of sin. But I know without a shadow of a doubt, I am forgiven," she added.
"I've told my children that when I die,
to release balloons in the sky to celebrate
that I graduated.
For me, death is a graduation."
- Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Selected quotes from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
"And after your death, when most of you for the first time realize what life here is all about, you will begin to see that your life here is almost nothing but the sum total of every choice you have made during every moment of your life. Your thoughts, which you are responsible for, are as real as your deeds. You will begin to realize that every word and every deed affects your life and has also touched thousands of live.
Dying is an integral part of life, as natural and predictable as being born. But whereas birth is cause for celebration, death has become a dreaded and unspeakable issue to be avoided by every means possible in our modern society. Perhaps it is that in spite of all our technological advances. We may be able to delay it, but we cannot escape it. We, no less than other, non-rational animals, are destined to die at the end of our lives. And death strikes indiscriminately -- it cares not at all for the status or position of the ones it chooses; everyone must die, whether rich or poor, famous or unknown. Even good deeds will not exclude their doers from the sentence of death; the good die as often as the bad. It is perhaps this inevitable and unpredictable quality that makes death so frightening to many people. Especially those who put a high value on being in control of their own existence are offended by the though that they too care subject to the forces of death.
Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived."
Our lives are enlarged by reaching out and embracing the experiences others share with us Learning of the wondrous journeys to the other side that some have taken should bring us comfort and assurance. We should feel that all is well with our souls as they do.
Mary Jane (in the center) was waitng for her when she made her journey.
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