Death is a transition from one form into another. Death is not the end but rather the beginning of real life. Life as we call it today really feels like hell when you have experienced true life...true transitioning. My "life" will never be the same again. I have never been more "found" and totally lost at the same time. This is my story.
Since the age of 16 I have had a heart condition called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). I have had probably 100 episodes which prompt me to go to the hospital. Basically, an SVT is a rapid irregular arrhythmia where the heart doesn't pump but quivers until it is medically stopped only to start up normally again. Most times I know in advance that I am about to have an SVT and with every episode I have been conscious, talking, joking, very light hearted. That’s until this time.
In the early morning of Sunday September 19, 2010 at 12:40 a.m. my husband and I had just turned the lights out to go to sleep. I was lying on my back and had just put my head on my pillow when I felt suffocated. I gasped for air and found myself in an SVT without warning. From the moment this attack started it was very different and I was unusually fearful almost immediately. I felt impending doom and a silent knowing that I wasn't going to make it.
My husband rushed me to the hospital (like he has done countless other times before) thinking it was just another episode. With previous episodes when we are on our way to the hospital I am talkative, bossy with his driving, just down-right in control. However, this was the only time I couldn't seem to speak, I felt withdrawn, not in control, fearful, and in amazement all at the same time.
Once we got to the hospital I tried to warn the nurses to "get something happening, this is not going to go well for me." I have had so many of these episodes, many of the nurses knew of me, and worked on me previously. They seemed to have a comfortable recognition factor to which they took the situation like it was just another episode. I kept telling them "This is going to go real bad real fast, do something." I started to throw up. I felt like I was losing control of my bowels, my blood pressure dropped to 56/27, I heard them calling a "pre-code." Once I realized the pre-code was me, I felt such relief that they got the message that I wasn't going to make it.
Things started happening real fast at this point. I told my husband, "I think I am going to die. It’s going to be okay." I just wanted him to be prepared and not shocked. At this point, I am still in my conscious mind still in my body with my brain working and humanly knowing. I was not scared anymore. I felt resigned and I gave complete control to the nurses and doctors who so many times before have converted me with no trouble. Although I was fully surrendered to the doctors, I had complete blind faith that I was about to die and was totally okay with it.
The last thing I remember is throwing up and begging the doctors to let me go to the bathroom. I don't remember who was in the trauma room; I didn't see my husband anymore, just some doctor saying "You're in good hands." My last conscious brain thought was, "Yes I am going to good hands." And that is the last thing my mind remembers.
I have so much trouble explaining in words what happened because the experience is not of words but rather a "knowing."
My dad (who died in 2008) and I were standing by an orange cap in the trauma room. But it’s not like our brains were thinking. I did not see his face but it was more like a "knowing." I didn't have the identity but I was the essence/spirit/energy of who I am. We stood..."stood" is the wrong word as it makes you think that we had feet, or we were a solid matter, but we didn't hover either. My dad and I "just were" beside some orange cap which felt like it was up high and we could see (again not with our eyes) just "know" that there were a lot of people in the trauma room and you could feel the tension, pressure, excitement, fear, animosity, frustration among all those people. It was not pleasant to feel so my dad and I left the trauma room.
My dad and I were somewhere dark. It felt like downstairs in my house without the lights on. I could smell my dad’s cigarette and his body odor. It was wonderful and peaceful knowing to communicative you didn't need a mouth. It was loving, gentle, fun, happy, soft…These words are so lame compared to what it was. It was right. It was perfect. It was the way it should be. It just was.
His essence was proud of me, happy that I had my husband, but I had to go because I couldn't stay any longer in this essence. You just know when you are in this essence; there is nothing physical about it. So when I knew he was sending me back, I refused to go. I just wanted to stay so badly. I didn't care I had a husband who was probably sick with worry or my son who would be devastated. I just wanted to stay. I just knew that being in this essence there is nothing physical so he couldn't make me, but he bumped me hard and I went through a white, white tunnel very fast. The white is indescribable.
When I awoke, the next thing I saw was my dad's face on top of my husband's face. It was like a camera not knowing what to focus on, coming in and out of focus on my husband's face and then on my dad’s face. Once my dad’s face faded, my husband's became clear. So I thought I was still with my dad only my husband was also here with us. I was so happy, but soon realized that my husband wasn't hearing me like my Dad did. Realizing I had to speak, I said to my husband, "See dad? Where did dad go?” My husband didn't say anything so I said, "I saw dad" to which my husband responded with tears in his eyes, "How is he?" I got very upset because if my husband was with me he should know how he is. If my husband wasn't with us, where is dad? I didn't know where I was, which level am I on? How long was I there? Why is my husband so upset? Why am I back here? There must be something wrong, and I wanted so badly to go back to where I was. I was so disappointed to see my body, but I could still feel the essence like someone talking very loudly. My human eyes could see brighter and my sense of smell is very acute almost to that of a dog.
I thought if I found that orange cap I could find dad. The orange cap turned out to be the bottom lid of disposable container hanging on the wall but it wasn't as high up as I knew. It was definitely the cap but the view I saw was not relative to where it was hanging on the wall. I ponder this often and still can see the orange cap and the view.
My husband watched the whole thing from a different view point. According to my husband and nurses, I went unconscious, and my blood pressure dipped dangerously low. The doctors electronically defibrillated me as I quit breathing. They tried to revive me, and after a minute I slowly began to stabilize. After I stabilized a bit more I began to tell the nurses where I went. It was as if we were comparing notes to an accident that we had witnessed from different vantage points. One nurse shared with me that she was reading a book on near-death experiences. But, I thought that was stupid because there is no such thing as death it is only transition. Your body may die but your essence sure doesn't.
One week after my experience I was still recovering at home. Where the doctors did the sternum rub, my chest was very sore. I had burn marks where the electronic shock happened. It felt like they broke my nose. The base of my spine is very painful from pushing the mask so hard on my face to make me breath. I could not the smell or look at red meat for it made me nauseated. I sensed everything like the volume was cranked right up. I felt very much alone in my own little world. I could smell things that were not even there. When I did go out in public, I could feel other people's essences/energy; however, it would leave me so exhausted that I could only be out for short periods of time. My relationships had suffered as I felt so depressed to be back to this empty, shallow existence we call "life." While everyone was so happy that I was still here, they had hurt feelings that all I wanted to do was to go back. It was expected of me to "get back to normal" but my normal was gone.
Now almost 5 months after my experience, I am physically healthy. I have come to learn that there seems to be two sides to consciousness. The physical one we call the brain, which lets you mentally read, tell time and know how to communicate with others. Then there seems to be another one that is not physical but the "knowing" part of your essence or consciousness. I spend the majority of my time on this side of consciousness. You can't seem to explain it mentally, but it just seems to exist. I believe it exists for everyone. Some don't believe in it. Others who do believe don't know how to tap into it. I am still learning how to turn the volume down on the knowing part. I have such a huge passion to learn more about my experience and get answers to my many questions. Although, I have a huge desire to help people that have lost someone close, I am still unable to go out into crowds of people.
My relationship with my family is more precious to me and the smaller things in life that most people take for granted, I seem to marvel over. I still can't eat, smell or even walk in the meat department of a grocery store. I hardly eat any kind of meat anymore and am quite happy about it. I am no longer religious but would call myself spiritual. I don't believe in death at all. My perception about death has totally changed. How could it not? I find everything beautiful. I don't worry as much as did, and I am more peaceful and happier today than I ever was.
The old world as I once knew it is now gone. I have a new "normal." Material possessions mean nothing to me anymore. Professionally I am lost. My goal-oriented drive was fueled by financial gain, which now is hollow. I don't have a clue what my purpose is. What once was so important to me is now insignificant and not worth pursuing. I may know who I am, but I have no idea why I am here and where am I going!
My life will never be the same again. I have never been more found and totally lost at the same time.