On the morning of Jan. 3, 2014, while riding my bicycle here in town, I was struck broadside by a truck. My injuries were severe -- I am still in recovery from some of them -- and by all accounts of the doctors who treated me, I shouldn't have lived.
"Most people die from injuries like yours," my surgeon and primary care physician insist.
And they were right. I shouldn't have lived. In fact I came very close to death twice during those first few days. And during those brushes with death, I had two Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) that are promising to change the way I look at life, the way I experience life, and the way I feel about the concepts of God and Spirit.
Before we go any further, let me say that I debated about putting this "out there," but I realize that it has to be right now. I feel in my heart that it's not good to hold on to this experience. At least one of my friends is soon facing the final transition and I would hope this post in some small way helps her make peace with moving on. And I hope it helps others facing a similar situation.
My first near-death experience happened when the truck initially struck me. In human time this NDE lasted just a few minutes. As I was struck, I realized that my consciousness was in two places simultaneously. One part, very scared and animal-like, was firmly inside of my broken body that was stuck on the vehicle's axle and being dragged under the truck. The other part, a very calm, dispassionate observer, hovered out in front of the truck and off to the south, watching the whole scene unfold from a distance.
This dual consciousness seemed quite normal to the observer part of me. The observer was calm about the whole thing, and I remember the feeling that this was all happening for a reason, that there was nothing to fear.
The observer-me watched as witnesses stopped, called for help, and as the paramedics arrived. When the paramedics started working on me, my two selves came back together. Once I was stabilized enough to move, they transported me to the nearest trauma hospital.
I pondered that initial split-consciousness experience for a few days in ICU while I awaited surgery. I had no explanation for being in two places at the same time, for experiencing the accident from two different vantage points at once. In my scientific mind I didn't know how consciousness could split apart with one traveling outside of the body. Finally, I dismissed it as just an oddity of the crash and almost dying. It wasn't important, and it most certainly wasn't "real."
Or so I thought.
Perhaps because the first experience wasn't enough to get me thinking about spiritual matters, during surgery (three days later) I was pulled right into the thick of things. I had another NDE but this one was different. Instead of simply experiencing events unfold from outside of my body, my consciousness was ultimately brought to a place unlike anything I have ever experienced.
The beauty and utter peace of the Place defies human words. I felt totally calm, loved, and whole. I also felt a deep, profound sense of LOVE permeating everything there -- big love -- as if the structure of this place was somehow made of love. It was everywhere -- there was nowhere it wasn't. I can't explain it any further than that.
I already never wanted to leave this Place.
One "Being" greeted me: a woman, although she said it was a form "she" took at that time to make it easy for me to relate to "her." She was a stranger to me, although I was somehow not a stranger to her.
She moved with me throughout the "landscape," telling me things that I and the rest of the world needed to remember. Things we'd forgotten or perhaps never learned. Reminders that would help us live a beautiful life on Earth. She said she was a spokesperson for "Everyone" in "Heaven." Somehow, she was a conduit for the information I was being given. That if I met and communicated with everyone who wanted to speak with me, I would be overwhelmed.
It felt as though we were together for days, even weeks. The amount of information she passed on to me was staggering. I am still processing it.
But eventually she insisted it was time for me to go back to my life. The thought of that made me weep like a child. I didn't want to go back, not now, not ever. This Place was too beautiful and loving for me to want to leave.
But she insisted I had a life to live. It wasn't time for me to be here for good.
I argued up and down. Even yelled a few times. Can you imagine, arguing with a Being such as this? But I did. I argued and cried. I insisted I didn't want to go back to a broken body and all of the repercussions from this experience that awaited me. She watched me with what I felt was sadness, but she insisted that it was my time to go back.
And as I opened my mouth to argue again, I was back...in the surgical recovery room. Confused. Weeping. Already missing that Place and the Being who I'd met there.
And no, I am no longer an atheist or agnostic, although at this point I don't want to put a label on what I am. I did have the good fortune to be shown Spirit in a way that made me realize that I can no longer deny It for myself, though. And it has opened my heart to all peoples, all faiths, and all beliefs in a way that I would not have thought possible.
I will share a small bit of the first thing she taught me. We are primarily here to Love: to practice Love, to show Love, to experience Love. Hate is not the language of Spirit, nor is fear...Love is. And it is a Love that has no conditions or strings attached. It is simply Love in all of its forms.
There will be much more to come later, more details on what I saw and learned. I was asked to share this with as many people as possible, so that is what I intend to do. That's what I promised, after all. I am not sure yet how I will get the information out...I think this blog is a good start, but I expect that some larger form of publication will be in the works too.
And Yes, this is all real. No, I didn't make up or embellish any of it. I understand that some of you will think I'm crazy or hallucinating. Some of you may find any explanation you can to deny my experiences because they feel uncomfortable to you. Some people I have known for years may choose to distance themselves from me. This could cost me much...I was an agnostic scientist until just a couple of months ago, after all.
But this is me and my life now. And I trust that this post and all that follows helps more than it hurts. That it gives people hope, that it brings people together. And it may be that this post brings new people or opportunities into my life as well.
All is as it should be :-)
Read more on How I Saw and Experienced Heaven...
More details, including my thoughts, are in the book: Awakenings from the Light.
All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2014. Please read disclaimer and Legal Notes here.