On October 10, 2023, I had a kidney stone that breached my right kidney. I passed out at home and was transported to the ER where I went into septic shock with multi-organ failure. 

I was placed on a ventilator and dialysis in an attempt to clean the expanding infection from my blood system. I remained on the ventilator for 8 days, with acute rectal failure, kidney failure, respiratory failure, and heart failure that developed on the third day while on the ventilator. I have no memory of this, as this medical information and event were provided by family members, medical staff, and medical records. Once off the ventilator, I remained in the ICU for another 10 days due to the heart condition and then in a rehab hospital for 2 weeks. 

I’m not sure what day this occurred, but while sedated and on the ventilator, I experienced a darkness that I cannot explain. I was confused and had no feeling of my body, vision, or hearing. Just total blackness. I remember thinking, why couldn’t I wake up, and that I may be dead, but I was very confused and terrified actually. I remember screaming but not making a sound. I seemed to lose this darkness, only to return, and I thought that if I was dead, then where was the light?  Where were others that had passed on before me? But that was not occurring.

I screamed, asking, "God, where are you?”

I then experienced a small light in the darkness that developed into an expanding and unfolding cloud. A peace, like I cannot find words to explain, engulfed by "presence" and this expanding cloud. I envisioned, felt, and was shown (not sure how to explain this) bands of feelings of love, comfort, bliss, peace, compassion, and I received a word (not audible) but more of a knowing that I was shown (again, I have a difficulty explaining this), and the word was GOODNESS.  

I felt an overwhelming GOODNESS, and I was invited to step into this presence, which I did, almost without even thinking about it. I felt weight and other negative attachments being washed off my presence and I was consumed by this overwhelming presence. I had feelings which I have never experienced. These feelings were very clear and distinct, and nothing like I have ever known. I had more clarity and extreme positive feelings than anything I have ever known or even imagined. 

After stepping into the "presence of GOODNESS," I had a very distinct remembrance of my mother holding me as a child and how she placed her hand on my cheek, with extreme comfort and security. I then remembered an older black man, his name was Joe Gilliam, who I knew from age 3 to about age 9. I worked in the back of my uncle's cleaners, and I loved being with Joe and working with him. He was extremely caring and a larger-than-life soul, and I loved him more than my father or family. He had escaped from a very abusive home environment.

Then I remembered a relationship where I did not consistently show GOODNESS. It was a confusing relationship, with a great betrayal and hurt. I was angry and confused, but if I had just shown GOODNESS, from the first time I met this person, and even when I learned of the betrayal, it would have been a totally different experience.

This presence stayed with me when I returned to the darkness and I was no longer afraid. I then noticed, in the upper right corner of my presence, the blackness started to ripple, slightly at first, and I could hear a little girl’s voice that got louder and a greater ripple, to an extent that I could see my daughter’s face. She had flown in from out-of-state, and was standing by my bedside, and I could hear her voice. (She was 29, not 3, at this time.)

Then I could see a broader light around the corners of the darkness. I could feel people entering and coming close to me. I could feel their goodness, caring and compassion. Others just seemed to be coming and going. I could not see them, just seemed to feel their presence. I also knew that there was so much more shown to me, but I could not consume it all at once during the event, and that much more would be revealed to me and that there was no bookend on this experience. It was ongoing and really just beginning.

On the 8th day, they removed the ventilator and that was the first time I realized that I was in the ICU, and family/doctors started explaining what had happened. I remained in the ICU for another 10 days, and that presence stayed with me. I could not stop talking about it. I began researching the word "GOODNESS" as it was not a word that I normally used. I did not have a Bible and had not been in a church for over 20 years. But I got one, and began to see GOODNESS everywhere, and I could feel the GOODNESS as I read it and I realized that I had it all wrong. I thought GOODNESS was a characteristic of GOD, but I know now that GOODNESS is God!  

I have continued researching this GOODNESS as the awareness of it dominates my being. I returned home, and I was so aware of the difference from the "realm" that I experienced and the physical world, which is so heavy and takes so much from us just to be here. I still struggle with the balance. I have miracles every day, as I think of things and people, and they come into existence, often with no effort on my part. And I have frustrations and confusions with where I am, and what was the purpose of things. 

I survived this septic shock event, and the medical staff did not think I would live. I am getting better and stronger. But I’m still under medical care as my heart has not yet returned to normal. Much more is to come, and I am much better at sharing this than typing it.