In 1981 I went into the hospital for arthroscopic surgery to repair damage in my left knee from an accident I had almost 10 years earlier. I had waited a long time to have this kind of non-invasive surgery until it was more perfected. I knew recuperation would be so much faster and gentler than the alternative of undergoing the major patella type offered at the time of injury. I had no idea that the day would change my life forever.
As I was lying on the gurney waiting in the hall before entering the surgical suite I felt extremely cold and started to shake. I imagine this was from nerves and the pre-op drug. When they wheeled me in, one of the surgery nurses noticed I was struggling a bit and put two warm blankets on me to stem the cold. The warmth allowed my body to relax and I dozed off.
The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery, or so I thought. I heard the nurses and doctors talking about this patient they were working on, and I found myself watching what was going on. I didn't realize at that moment that it was me they were talking about. I tried to get their attention but for some reason they couldn't hear me. I knew I was feeling different, almost disconnected from what was happening, but still invested in some way. In the next moment I found I had floated above them and was now watching from the corner of the ceiling. Everything felt sort of muffled. At this point it hadn't occurred to me that I was literally out of my body. In hindsight it is amazing how my mind didn't connect to what was really happening and how I just sort of followed along.
Next I felt physically pulled out of this room and toward a darkened tunnel. The blackness of the opening was like a blanket in front of my eyes. I felt a pressure pushing from behind and moving me into the tunnel. I began to see a glimmer of light. And as my eyes tracked the light I had this sensation of speed hurling me forward toward it. As I got closer, it got bigger and brighter until it was all that I could see. I was immersed in the light. As I stood there, the light slowly parted, and I was now able to see two rows of hooded beings in long robes similar to monks lined up in front of me. I sort of passed between them as if floating forward. One of them stepped toward me and spoke. As I turned to look at this being his presence felt somewhat male. There was no face to be seen inside his hood, just darkness and energy.
I heard his voice and words, which seemed more energetic than vocal. It was as if we were speaking inside of each other. There was a knowing about our way of communicating. At this point I became overwhelmed with this feeling of unconditional love surrounding me. It was as if all of the hooded ones were radiating love to and through me. I felt totally cherished for the first time in my life, on a level I never knew existed. I was home! This is what I had been missing. This was a yearned for connection. I knew I didn’t want to leave this bliss and joy that I was so privileged to experience. At the very moment that I was feeling so complete I heard him say, “It’s not your time. You must go back. Your child needs you.” I was dumbfounded. How could I be asked to leave home? I had just found it. I pleaded, “I want to stay.”
I was then reminded that I had a six year old daughter who needed me as her mother; I was divorced; my parents were dead; and I didn't trust my ex-husband or my sister to care for her. Even with all these reasons I wanted to stay in the light. I couldn't comprehend leaving this blissful state and returning to my body. I loved my child dearly and would have laid down my life for her but I wasn't willing to let go of these divine feelings. In that moment I began reviewing the choices for my daughter’s life and how it might be for her. I was immediately whisked back into my body.
My next awareness was waking up slowly--groggy and foggy headed--in my hospital room. My sister said she had been very worried as I had been in recovery much longer than expected. She was told that there was so much more damage to repair. I was in recovery an additional three hours. Amazingly they wanted me up and walking on crutches that night. My roommate, who had a similar procedure with far less repair work, was suffering greatly. I seemed to be fine with very little pain medication. I went home the next day and was on crutches for six weeks.
For a long time after my NDE I was unaware of what had happened to me. I didn't know anything about near-death experiences nor did I have anyone to talk to about it. I only knew that I had been forever changed and that nothing felt as it had before. Through flashbacks and dreams the memories started coming back together. Once I remembered the feelings I had experienced, I knew I had to find a way back to recreate them in some way. I found a wonderful mentor who guided me into meditation and taught me how to find the heart connection within. I was now on a spiritual path and quickly outgrowing my Catholic connection as my religion was too limiting for where I had been and where I was headed.
I looked for teachers to guide my journey back to the connections I had made in my near-death experience, knowing they would help me grow my new awareness. I had always been somewhat intuitive, but now my psychic abilities were growing by leaps and bounds. I was becoming an empath. I could pick up people’s stories just by being around them. I could see their pain. I was having visions and started channeling and doing automatic writing. I became clairsentient, clairaudient, and clairvoyant. I had the gifts of clear feeling, hearing, and seeing. I was able to sense, beyond normal range, the emotions and personalities of others, and sense the energy or vibrations around people, animals and objects. My guides said that I had the gift of “clearsight,” which meant I could gain information about a person, object, or location without using the normal human senses. I knew things that I had no way of knowing. I became aware of my gifts and needed to share them. When my daughter was still young she believed that I had eyes in the back of my head, as I could see what was happening with her before it occurred.
Now, after all these years, the most profound part of having had my near-death experience is the awareness that there is so much to be grateful for and joyful about. There is nothing to be afraid of in living or dying. I know that we are all loved and cherished and never judged by the universe, source, spirit, God or whatever name you choose, no matter what. I also know that death is a process and a continuing journey that is as sacred as birth. And because of this I am passionate about inspiring self-love and appreciation wherever I can. My gift is in being able to see the divine essence in everyone and mirroring that back to them. My greatest joy is in uplifting spirits, inspiring dreams, connecting hearts and transforming lives. I’m a spiritual life coach, intuitive counselor and vibrational healer now.