Though my memoir is a work in progress, I wanted to share an excerpt about the first moments outside of my body. The angels were a beautiful and comforting surprise. I immediately placed my trust in their guidance. To this day, I ask for angelic guidance, especially in the classroom or when I meet with a particularly troubled student. Only recently have I begun to ask for their guidance in all areas of my life. Though near-death experiences are profoundly life-changing, the human brain grapples with some of the meanings of the experience afterwards. During my NDE, I saw that the angels worked through the surgeons because they were capable and ready to be of service in that moment. I knew that I could be of service to the world as I worked and stayed in action, interacting with others. Now, I know that I can offer that same healing to myself with the help of the angels. May everyone be healed. May everyone offer healing to others.
Excerpt from Healed: A Memoir About a Near-death Experience and a Life Informed by the Other Side
No one, except possibly the most committed atheist, could have been more surprised than me at the onset of my near-death experience. The first moments outside my body felt exciting and electrifying, and my spirit danced a bit of jig realizing that there is more to existence than the physical. I felt like a child again, happy to see what came next and glad that my spirit body retained the essence of who I am; though obviously I was a little concerned about the physical body on the table.
Soft rock music played on the radio, and my back had a long, bloody incision. Surgery appeared more brutal and gory than I had imagined, especially from that vantage point. My vision outside my body was 360-degrees, so I perceived the operating room differently than if I had been physically standing beside my body. I could see above the doctors and the entire operating room all at once without blinking or relying on eyes. There, in that space with the doctors, nurses, surgical technicians and others, I felt incredible joy and awe as I realized all does not die with the body.
After rejoicing for a moment, I noticed two of the most intelligent beings I had ever encountered. They were very large, approximately eight or nine feet, androgynous with shoulder length hair, and composed more of light than solid form. I refer to them as angels only because I have no other terminology that befits what I saw. These angels were part of an enhanced reality and nothing like a dream or a hallucination.
I’ve experienced thousands of dreams, but this was more real than any waking moment in my lifetime. In dreams, the dreamer may be caught up in a scenario that feels real, but during the interval I existed outside of my body I felt like I was seeing the whole picture, or at least a vast intelligent connection that I had been missing while in form. In college, I dropped acid on a couple of different occasions, and the hallucinations were minor, more shadowy; nothing like this vivid experience. I had a complete awareness that this vantage point was more real than any reality I had ever experienced in my physical life.
People always want to know more about what the angels looked like. They ask, “Did they have wings?” “Were they clothed?” “How did you know they were angels?”
I don’t know if these two beings were angels, in the traditional, Biblical sense. I only know that I immediately recognized them as unbelievably intelligent souls whose presence gave me indescribable peace. My own awareness of this new dimension seemed much more limited than theirs. Most of what I realized outside of my body in the operating room came through immediate impressions, the way a child sizes up whether an adult is trustworthy or not. The angels were trustworthy and there to help and comfort me, so I did not question their authority.
They sent me waves of intense light which transferred many messages all at once. A light emitted from the eyes of the angels and into my spirit body, allowing me to access information faster than the fastest possible broadband speed. Messages were given in the form of completed thoughts and feelings, not individual words. The knowledge they sent into my form not only calmed me down but altered the way I viewed everything about my life.
The angels, or messengers, were not only able to interact with my spirit body; they were also able to interact with the doctors, and more importantly, through them. The doctors, most likely, did not realize this interaction. I understood that my awareness, my sense of the world, and my ability to experience joy were growing exponentially moment by moment. Just before the monitor started to beep signaling that my heart had stopped, the angels slowed down their communication, looked at me and intently, and said with force, “Watch this!”
The same light that they beamed into my spirit body, they sent through the backs of the doctors, through their hands, and into my physical body. My corporal form was instantly altered and healed in ways that the doctors might not have been able accomplish on their own. By observing this light, I knew that I would regain my ability to walk, that the fragments of bone would be picked out of my spine, and that I would feel healthy, alive and even run again at some point in the future. The angels turned back toward me, letting this knowledge sink in.
As the angels worked on my body, I realized that the surgeons were conduits of their energy and that the angels’ energy was an essential part of my healing. Perhaps the surgeons’ egos wouldn’t be able to hear that or perhaps they would be empowered to recognize that angels worked through them. I only knew that I needed to remember this moment vividly. The angels wanted me to understand that they could work through me in the future.
While the angels and surgeons continued their efforts, my physical body shimmered with light and energy. After a few more moments, the machine signaled that my heart had stopped. Since it had technically died, I no longer felt any desire to observe my human form and sped through the walls of the hospital, pausing only because I caught sight of my stepdad James. My mom married him while I was in college, and I hadn’t really gotten the chance to get to know him. I did know he made her happy, so I was pleased that she had found him.
(For the continuation of the near-death experience story, click here. The next part covers the life review, a sense of oneness with others, and the love and surprising message from God.)