Shirley's NDE.Itís four am. Sheís standing off to my left in the quiet darkness of my bedroom. Iím not startled by her presence. Sheís been here many times. I call her my water angel. Her beautiful figure emanates light and love. Her tiny hands reach above her head as water flows from a vessel yet she never seems to get wet. She is standing there just letting the water flow. Her appearance is almost Oriental, although she could be Tibetan, maybe Indian, or Mexican. I cannot tell, nor do I know why she comes to me. She has been with me since my heart attack and near death experience in 1984. I need to record everything that happened. Iím afraid that if I commit it to just memory, I will forget too much. It was so beautiful; I donít want to forget any of it.
Itís eight am and cold as heck outside. The room seems to spin beneath my feet. I feel so tired. How am I going to make it through the day? I wonder while brushing my teeth. I could have taken the day off to relax but itís not my nature. I have been driving myself full out since the divorce and I canít stop now. I worry about what will happen to me if I do slow down, I know that the thoughts, the anger, the hate and the pain, theyíll all be back if I start babying myself. I need to work. I need to be busy. I need to earn money. If I let my guard down for one second, I could easily become a street woman, living from one dumpster to the next.
I bring my thoughts back to the present, quickly dress and gulp down a coffee with mom, we are sharing a house together, since we are both on our own. She a widow and I a divorcee with three grown children. Are you going to the office today? she asks. You donít look well. Yes mom but only for a few hours. I have a date with Ron tonight. Weíre going to visit his brother and wife. Maybe play some cards. My chest feels so sore. I am having trouble getting up from the chair. Whatís wrong? mom asks. Oh mom itís nothing. I must have pulled a muscle, my chest hurts. Well take it easy, youíre always on the go. Sure mom, see you later. I stayed longer at the office than I had planned to and Ronnie was waiting in the kitchen when I arrived home. Ronnie I thought, how patient you are, how concerned. I didnít want to love him. Been there, tried that. No more relationships and no more pain for me. Besides, he is a farmer and thats the last thing I need in my life a farmer working a full time job. I had other plans, I wanted to travel and be free and freedom to me meant a fat bank account. God my chest and shoulder hurt. Maybe I should take a couple of Tylenol before we leave for Ronís brotherís house I say to myself.
Ronnie, a nature lover, pokes along driving the back roads searching for deer, ducks, big trees, you name it, he loves to discover it. I find this trait in him annoying. I am a get to where youíre going as quickly as possible, sit down and unwind. type of person. He is an unwind all the way there type. Despite myself, I enjoy the slow drive into the country. I only wish I could see the beauty that Ron sees as he stops to watch three deer feeding in a grove, a few feet from the tree line. Or when he noticed a huge maple tree with half of its leaves still remaining in November and I comment: Wonder why the wind hasnít blown them off the tree, it must be sheltered from the wind. It blows mostly from the East this time of year, Shirl. Theyíre the bad storms, never trust an East wind and the farmer was right to this very day I still don't trust a storm coming from the East. Itís late when we arrive, but the house is warm and inviting. Ronís brother and wife have been quietly watching t.v. but they promptly turn it off. Soon the laughter and warmth of this house have me feeling safe almost like Iím tucked in. I love being with these people to this very day. We begin a game of euchre with me, the bad player, winning. I wish the pain would ease up. Not only does my chest hurt, but my arm feels riddled with pins and needles.
Dear God, Iím on the floor, I canít get my breath. I feel as though Iíve been kicked in the chest. Blackness. Weíre on the way to the hospital, more blackness weíre at the hospital and Iím being examined by a doctor and starting to come around. I feel nauseous, but the pain has eased off. The doctor confirms my suspicions. I had, in his opinion, pulled some chest muscles. He tells me, go home and have a good nightís rest. Youíll have a sore chest for a few days, but not to worry about it. I feel relieved to know that Iíll be okay but I have trouble getting off the gurney. My left side feels numb, and I canít get a deep breath. I want to go home I thought as Ron helped me into the car for the drive back to his brotherís house. Iíd stay there until I felt better and no way would he accept no for and answer. I didnít feel much like arguing anyway. Even though the pain has eased off, I cannot get comfortable; I want to turn over and just stretch out in bed, but donít have the strength. Eventually, I do fall into a deep sleep and feel no pain.
Ron walks into the bedroom with a hot coffee and says, good morning sleepy head, itís after ten, are you feeling any better? You gave us quite a scare last night. Well Ron I do feel better, if you donít mind, Iíll have this coffee in the kitchen. I canít get up, my whole left side is numb, Ron, what the heck is going on? Panic sets in as Ron races me towards the Kingston hospital. He is not taking me back to the smaller hospital that I had been treated at last night. He wants me to be seen by a specialist in a larger facility. The top guns are how he refers to the doctors in Kingston. These words are music to my ears. There is no waiting involved when we arrive at hospital. I am placed on a gurney and rushed off to a room so quickly that I feel dizzy watching the ceiling lights whiz by. The only thing I can truly recall about the hospital are hands and questions. Can you feel this prick here? Can you lift your leg? Now the other leg can you hear me? Are you in pain? I just need to sleep and sleep I did. I was surprised to discover that I had been in ICU for two days. The nurse is moving me to a semi-private room. I feel much better and can move both my arms and legs now. Iím going to be okay. I think about what Ron had said about top guns for doctors. I am so caught up in my thoughts that I do not notice Ron sitting by the window. He looked terrible. The man is exhausted. I donít think he has the strength to get up from the chair, as he approaches me, I see raw pain in his eyes. He stands over my bed, this giant man, holding my hand, begging, please Shirl, donít leave me, please. I knew then that I never could. My strength was diminishing and we decided that he should go home and get some rest. We had both had a busy weekend. Itís four am and Iím wide-awake.
The pain, Oh God the pain. Iíll ring for the nurse, maybe she can help. Blackness. Pain. Iím being ripped apart, no air. The warmth. I feel a soothing warmth from my head to my toes. A gentle pop of release and then I feel absolute freedom and it feels so natural.
I am above the bed about four feet. I see the body lying on the bed. Iím not sure who it is and go closer to it. I just hover there looking at the red hair spread out across the pillow. She is dead. The eyes are open and vacant. Sheís dead and I feel so natural, so warm and free from the coldness and pain of that body. I can see myself from all direction, the front, the back, the sides. I see things about me that I never realized before. At first, I didnít even know myself. Suddenly, a man is standing beside me. He is wearing a long gray robe with silver thread woven throughout the fabric. There is a dark gray braided belt tied about his waist. The belt is not sewn to the fabric, nor is it tied tightly enough to keep it up in place itís there, hanging down. Heís an older man and I seem to somehow know him. I can feel he is totally trust worthy and extremely spiritual. He spoke to me, and tells me that he has been with me throughout my entire life, I am having trouble with this concept why had I not seen him before. Suddenly I want to see Ronnie and my children to tell them goodbye. I no sooner think this then I feel myself leaving the hospital. I can feel the wind upon my face as I race head first, horizontally to Ronís house. He is sleeping and I can hear his gentle snore. I can feel his breath upon my hand as I touch his cheek goodbye. Have the strongest urge to move on. The man in the gray robe is fading away gradually into the distance. Iím alone. I hear a rushing sound. It grows louder and louder every part of me is vibrating. I am above the hospital bed my dead body beneath me about 20 inches. I can hear music itís the sweetest music I have ever heard it is from a chime. I can feel myself being lifted up as though I was being sucked into a giant vacuum hose the blackness is total. I have never seen such blackness. I feel myself moving forward through a dark tunnel, My hands behind my back, my face looking straight up, the speed Iím moving is incredible. I sense that I could have stayed in the tunnel if I had chosen to, I can see people in the distance, did not approach them. I cannot express the warmth and love I felt while in the black tunnel. I can see a speck of light in the distance. The kind of light you would see if you held a black box with a pin hole in it up to the sun. I want to reach the light and begin to travel even faster towards it. As I get closer to the light I can see the figure of a man standing in the light. When I get even closer, the light becomes brilliant itís even brighter than the sun. Nobody in human form could have looked into that lightÖas my eyes adjust I see a man and run toward him, the lights surrounding him is brilliant and bursting off into white lights for some distance. And then the glow from my body seems to be drawn into his and he holds his arms open and I race into them. My heart is beating so fast, I didnít think I could survive this. The love is overwhelming, we just stood there together and I cried and cried. He is younger than I had thought him to be. Jesus is a young man with hazel eyes and is rather tall, he is quite thin, for a man this tall. I realized standing there in his arms that my life had a purpose, had a reason for existing on earth. His arms slowly opened and I step back looking into his face and he says, your death was premature. Itís not your time. No words ever spoken hurt me more than these words did....
Questions were coming to my mind my thoughts raced a mile a minute. Why have I died? Why has my soul come to him and not purgatory? Trying to piece together my Catholic teachings, His light begins to fill my mind and my questions are answered even before I could ask them. We communicated without moving our lips. All knowledge seemed to flow into me. I realized that the grave is not for the soul, only the body. I needed to know more, everything from beginning to the end. And as he speaks I am able to grasp things immediately. I learned that this earth is like a shadow of the beauty of the spirit creation sort of like a negative from a photo. I learned that the earth is not our natural home. We are here to learn and that he made each of us a promise that he would not intervene unless we wanted him to. He granted us free will to choose our own path.and that each soul has the capacity to be filled with love and eternal energy. I will never forget his humor, he is filled with happiness and there is a softness in his presence.
Now I want you to go with this young man. What young man? I questioned. The one standing right behind you child. As I turn around standing there is my friend I know him immediately he is my guide and has been with me all of my life on earth. He is wearing a gray robe with silver thread woven into the fabric. The robe reaches down to his feet and is very full. It appears to be many sizes too large. There is a dark gray belt tied about the waist area but not sewn into place. This amuses me and I ask whatís keeping the belt up? My guide laughed at my question and said that I was to follow him. He led me into a large room where a group of loving people began to gather around me to say goodbye. Suddenly my guide is gone and I'm standing before a crystal table shaped like a horse shoe, there are a group of men setting and they leaned together to consult one another. One of them spoke: you must now return. You have a mission to fulfill. No please I began to beg to please let me stay here. I began to ramble and beg even harder as the tears ran down my face. The men confer again. Would you like to see a review of your life? I step to my left for the review. It occurs in the place where I had been standing. My life appears before me in frames moving very fast. Not only do I experience my own life and emotions, but also what others around me are feeling. I experience their thoughts and feelings about me. There are times when things become clear to me. I see the disappointment I have caused others and I cringe. I understand all the suffering I have caused and I feel it. My whole body begins to tremble. I see my selfishness and my heart breaks, the shame is overwhelming. When the review ended and I finely looked up I saw the love the council had for me. They were not judging me I was judging myself. They all took turns telling me I was judging myself too harshly. The love in that room cannot be described in human terms.
Suddenly I was back in the hospital room again with the covers thrown to the foot of the bed. Lying stretched out on the bed is my body. I stand there looking at it, looks cold and heavy, and right now I feel so fresh but realize I will soon be back inside of it. With a swishing sound my spirit is back inside, the bodyís weight and cold temperature is unbearable. I can feel myself jerking around in it as if I am being electrocuted. I can feel the pain of my body the choking for air. I hear a voice say hit her again and the doctor holding the paddles, places them upon my chest. I feel the current of electricity lift me off the bed. Donít, please no...I donít want to be here donít please no. I shout with such anger. I was fighting with everything I had not to stay in that cold body. The pain is unbearable, can hear the doctors talking amongst themselves and giving instructions to a nurse. Sheís back, one of the doctors said. Yes Iím back I think and drift into a long sleep.
I awoke to a bright, sunny November morning. My eye catches a movement in the far corner of the room. As he approaches me I realize it is my guide and he has come to help me adjust to my return to this world. He tells me not to be afraid his love shines from his eyes as he tells me you will be protected for the remainder of your life. The journey continues. I want to talk briefly about the missing years and to explain how I have been afraid to speak of this experience until four years ago. If anyone had tried to explain an experience like mine my response would have been their nuts, things like that just donít happen, but, it did happen and it happened to me. Iím so delighted to know that others are coming forth with their own near death experience.
Yes I did marry Ronnie and we bought a hobby farm and hoped to live happily ever after but my Lord had other plans. I awoke one night five years ago and was told now itís time to fulfill your mission. It was to build a cabin and they will come. I have done that and itís been wonderful people from all walks of life come to see the angels who appear visibly, reassuring each one of us of their great love and support.