When I was 20, I went into early labour with my first baby.
After four difficult days, I was given an episiotomy from which I lost a huge amount of blood. Two days after my daughter was born, it was decided that a blood transfusion would be started.
Roughly two hours into the transfusion I felt I needed to use the toilet and hauled myself up, dragging the bag of blood beside me. Never before or after this experience have I felt so very weak and floaty. It was a great effort to move.
I shuffled myself back from the toilet to the ward and slowly and carefully lay myself down. The ward was empty except for one other new mother who lay opposite me. I smiled at her and realised I was shivering. I have always felt the cold, so at the time, assumed I just needed to warm up. I tried to lay still for a moment and quickly realised my whole body was shaking. The woman opposite me asked me if I was ok. I tried to tell her yes and that I was just cold but my teeth had begun to chatter and my jaw felt too stiff to control, instead, I nodded, still not at all understanding at all, why I was tremoring.
I reached for my buzzer to ask a midwife for an extra blanket. As soon as she saw me she pressed a button behind me and within a few seconds I was surrounded. The transfusion was immediately stopped. I saw the woman opposite me staring at me, I was acutely aware of how scared she looked and the curtain being drawn around her.
I wanted to ask what was happening, but I could not soften my jaw to speak and almost immediately an oxygen mask was placed on my face. I remember fighting for breath. I remember how hard my chest was thumping. My thoughts seemed scattered, my eyes somewhat frantic and when I noticed my fingernails turning blue I very calmly, internally thought to myself "Oh, I'm dying." It was very matter of fact with a hint of "oops".
I tried to keep myself calm internally. I was talking to myself in my mind, thinking of my family, trying to gain strength from thinking of them. I remember feeling frustrated, annoyed that they weren't there with me, that I couldn't tell them goodbye.
I tried to keep my eyes open but suddenly felt so very tired. My eyes were so heavy, so I let them rest and then I was up.
I briefly hovered over my newborn baby, hoped she'd remember me, then I was travelling.
It felt like I was shooting through a tunnel, but I couldn't see any sides to it. It was dark, but illuminated. I was not alone. I could sense a presence with me. I was tumbling, forward/upward at an unfathomable speed. It felt like wind. All throughout me. Inside of me. I likened it at that age to being on a rollercoaster, that rushing feeling. It was wonderful. I felt so light, so free. Simultaneously, I experienced this fully and watched myself experience this with clear vision from a little distance. I can still see myself tumbling if I concentrate on the memory.
This travelling went on for some time until I became aware that I was in a new place. Like a room without walls, without a ceiling, without a floor. I had 360-degree vision and could see all around me. Again, there was darkness, but I did not feel afraid. Again, I felt a presence, and also felt complete trust in this company. A 'movie' for want of a better word, began to play. It was black and white and huge. As if I were staring at a giant screen that filled the whole of every which way I turned. The 'movie' was my life from birth to death, every minute of it, every event I had ever experienced. I watched it and I relived it. It was at this point I realised Time did no longer appear to me as it had in my body. It was as if I were projected into a moment, or dragged through time, backwards before forwards, to re-feel. I witnessed at this point, the sexual abuse I had experienced and suppressed as a young child, as well as out of body experiences I had at this time and at night when I was lying in my bed. I could see myself flying out of body and I remembered. It was at this point I also saw and recalled a guide that had been with me throughout my growing. While watching/re-experiencing each moment, I found I was now able to experience each event through the emotions of all present at each time.
I watched my own poor mistakes and learnt from every re-living. I watched myself as a child, bitten by a guinea-pig and in shock, half launch it onto the sofa. I felt shame at this time. Because I felt the fear of the guinea-pig. No one condemned me. I was asked only, what I had learnt. I was comforted at this time. Consoled and reassured. I had learnt so much. How big an impact my seemingly small actions had on a large scale. How my choices and behaviour rippled through the lives of countless others. How the Love I showed spread like wildfire. How the way I mistreated others, deeply hurt and affected them and also how that pain, fear and confusion would then impact the lives of others too. In the 'time' I spent in this re-living, I developed a deep gratitude for many things. The experience of life for one. The people and the hearts that had touched my soul in beautiful ways and the fragility of being human. My new found wisdom seemed satisfactory and we were moving.
Again, we travelled through the illuminated darkness until I saw a pinpoint of light in the distance.
When I saw it, it was like a remembering. I knew where I was headed and I wanted to get there, fast. I can't recall if I was moving myself towards it or if I was being 'drawn' to it somehow but it was a 'need/desire' within me.
We moved faster and faster toward this beam of light. It grew in size in my vision, in intensity. I felt like I was flying.
We burst into it. And it was indescribable.
It was every incredible feeling that I will never be able to describe. It was immediate peace. Absolute, whole peace all throughout me. There was no pain, there was no fear, there was no shame. I felt completely accepted. Totally whole and loved. Loved beyond comprehension. Loved in my entirety. Loved with a Love I have not felt here. Loved with the purest love there can be.
I felt I was 'home'. I felt I knew this place/space/being. It was light. It filled every space of my 360-degree vision. It had no form that I can recall, which for a long time left me with other questions, but it was beautiful, and not blinding in the slightest.
It was as if I 'merged' with the light, it absorbed me, I absorbed it, we became One, completely. In these moments, I learned much. About our existence as humans, about our planet and what we as a species need to do to resolve it's problems, the healing that our planet and us as people need.
I was communicating with the light as well as experiencing being within it and One with it. A conversation began, using telepathy I assume and I was asked if I would like to return. The absolute truth of my soul is that I felt completely insulted at this suggestion. I was horrified at the thought and felt myself loud within me, respond, "No!" There was a pause and I felt a little confused, wondering why this was being asked of me. Again the same question repeated within me, "Do you wish to go back?" Again I said, "No." There was another pause and then I was shown the baby I had just birthed, lying in the crib beside my body. I was shown much from time to come. Various outcomes that depended solely on whether or not I returned to my body. There would be countless lives that would be touched with this Love if I returned and many that would not know it if I did not. I remember taking what can only be described as a deep, soul sigh. A knowing sigh. An understanding.
Immediately after seeing this, and holding the vision of my newborn daughter in my 'sight,' her possible future if I stayed, I said "Yes."
I asked for a moment more and I was granted it. I soaked all the love I could into my entire being. It felt glorious. I felt pure and light and whole and loved and loved and loved. In this 'moment' I understood everything. Creation, purpose, love. Physics, numbers, existence. I was completely at One with all of existence.
And then I was shooting backwards and it was cold and dark and I was grieving the light before I even hit my body.
It was another 2 days before I could hold my baby. I spent 48 hours lying naked as the day I was born, in and out of consciousness. I couldn't speak. I just lay there and cried quietly. I hurt, everywhere. I felt trapped, restricted, lonely. I missed the light, the love, immediately and immensely.
It took my spirit longer to recover than my body, though that in itself was a long time. I was very depressed, for many years, and often dealt with suicidal thoughts because the desire to be 'home' was so great.
I was confused for the longest time. I was afraid, I found being in a body painful, restricting and limiting. I am still greatly uncomfortable with it; however I have learned to love and be grateful for my life and breath.
I was at my father’s bedside when he passed on, 7 years after my NDE, when many pieces seemed to fit into place in my mind. I started meditating at this time and rapidly forced myself to recover. From the sexual abuse, the loss of my greatest friend (my father) and excruciating loss of light.
I remembered my purpose at this time. I started an online community called 'Bruised But Not Broken' and over the following 6 years built a community of over 700,000 individuals that had experienced sexual abuse, trauma, addiction, loss. Together, we work to heal our wounds and strive to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
Since this time, I have also published two books. One relevant to my sexual abuse and healing, the other relevant to my near-death experience and time spent with the light and my higher self. ('A Sparrow Stirs its Wings' and 'Conversations with My Higher Self')
My NDE was without doubt, the most incredible and transformative experience of my life. I have never forgotten a single moment of it and doubt I ever will. It took me time, but I allowed it to transform me in the most beautiful of ways and I try every day to live and love the way I was loved in those very sacred moments.