My near-death experience is titled, “The Power of Love."

I had double knee replacement surgery in 2014. I was discharged 2 days later and sent to a rehab facility. I developed blood clots in my legs, lungs, and on my heart. I was rushed to the Emergency Room. My wife was waiting for me when I got there. I was on 100% oxygen but could barely breathe.

I was lucid and talking to my wife when I began to feel a pull from behind. I was slipping or sliding backwards. That's when I noticed that I was losing all sense of pain. I realized at that moment that I was going to die.

A tunnel formed around me and I somehow knew this was the beginning of the death process. I was happy and serene in the knowledge that I was going home. The experience felt familiar and natural. My only negative thought was that I was leaving my wife. Darya and I have had many shared mystical experiences. As a couple we have been One many times. We share the same dreams sometimes and talk about them afterwards. Ours is a great love story. I wanted to tell her how much in love with her I was and that we would never end. As I began to say, "We will never end," she looked at me and said, "Oh no, you're not leaving me." As she spoke, a great light flooded the room. Darya was lit up like an angel! I saw a third eye on her as in a Hindu archetype. I was amazed at how beautiful she looked. She later asked me about the quizzical look she saw on my face.

I immediately began to slide back toward her. The pain returned and I was informed that I would be going to a hospital that was better equipped to deal with my situation. When I got there, I was greeted by at least 12 staff members. I was told that my chances were not good and would I like to see a pastor. I said sure. The pastor was a Latino gentleman who asked me a few questions about myself and then proceeded to get everyone in the room to form a prayer circle around me. After the prayer, he proceeded to put his hand on my head and then verbally went off in a mix of Spanish and Latin. He leaned into me and said, “That's a little something extra from me."

I was in the ICU for about 5 weeks. During that time people in our neighborhood and community began sending prayers out for me. Our Muslim friends, our Jewish friends, our Christian friends, and others who try to serve selflessly as best they can. My mind and thoughts seemed to take me to where the prayers were being offered. I was there!

I remember that while in the tunnel I noticed what might be described as demons hanging in the shadows. They tried to scare me or make me angry. Somehow I knew that they could not harm me. As long as I was not afraid, or tried to return their anger with anger of my own, they couldn't harm me. How did I know this? There is so much more to this story. I do know this: Our heavenly Father knew and saw how much Darya and I love each other and blessed us with more time together here. He didn't want me to come home with sadness in my heart. We are blessed.

In the years since this experience, I have had many experiences that bring more clarity to me every day. Sadly, the people I thought would be the most interested and supportive of me and my experience were not. Others wanted to know many things like, “Will I see my mother?" I am willing to talk to anyone who is genuinely interested in my experiences.

After almost 8 years, I still feel a joy that is beyond words. God is so loving and totally on our side. Yes, love is the true power. The collective love of so many people during my experience has shown me that all is well because our Father has everything in hand.