The Light from the Other Side: One of the most beautiful experiences while writing this memoir has been the moment I wrote about getting closer to the light while my heart stopped during back surgery. This divine light gave me greater peace and joy than I had ever experienced while living in my body. This powerful force of love must be why so many people do not want to come back to their earthly bodies. Close to the light, I felt no pain—emotional, mental, physical or otherwise. I only felt loved, whole, and peaceful. We achieve moments of this ecstasy while on earth, especially through playing in nature and through prayer or meditation. True loving kindness for others also gives us glimpses of this light.
Love is All that Matters: Many people who have had an NDE have reported a similar message to what I heard. This idea of “Love is all that Matters” seems simple enough, but the interpretation of it can be challenging, even for those of us who have heard this message firsthand. I don’t think the light necessarily meant romantic love, though it can include that if that love comes from a place of purity and not manipulation. Many NDEers have a great love for life itself after their experience and a great sense of urgency around their mission here on earth. Right after the experience, they love even the simplest things like a beautiful bird singing a song in a tree. They feel purer, like children who find beauty in so many parts of existence. Love and gratitude for life is part of the message. Being kind to others is a form of love. Praying for others and wishing them well is form of love. So much of romantic love seems to be manipulation and then anger if the relationship doesn’t work out as planned. Though a beautiful part of human experience, it is not the only form of love by any means.
What is this Love? Love can be a smile, a kind gesture, paying for someone’s groceries when they don’t have enough cash. Love can be many things in action. Service to others is a great form of love. Making the lives of others more light-filled and joyful is a form of love. Love can be found in enduring relationships full of deep understanding and compassion. Love can be found alone in taking good care of one’s self and having compassion and love for one’s own heart. Mostly, we know love by the joy and light-filled feeling it gives us. I am not an expert on love while in this human body, but I am lucky enough to have felt the most amazing form of love imaginable as I drew closer to the light on the other side. Here is an excerpt about that experience from my memoir in progress titled Healed.
Excerpt from Healed
If I had to sum up the main lesson of my near-death experience, I would say that God, or the light, is a loving force that doesn’t want people to harm others and wants us to feel joy and happiness in our lives. Love and kindness are the greatest gift we can give others. We are all a part of that light, but we forget how to love because of fear. We forget how to walk through this world as the light. We are all closer to God as children because love comes more natural for us. We can be gleeful about pets, a bird in the sky, looking into our parent’s eyes. We are in love with the world, and the world is in love with us. We breathed easier as children, and lived more extended, intense moments as children.
After experiencing a sense of oneness and understanding with people I knew, I spent a few moments in childhood with my grandfather, Clyde. He was the only person close to me who had died. My grandfather, a poor country man, had spoiled me to the best of his ability. I hopped on the back of his blue Chevy truck and he drove us slowly towards the light. My feet dragged the ground through bright clover and grass, greener and more intense, light-filled, than any grass I had experienced on earth. Grandpa was younger and healthier than when I knew him, and he leaned his head out the window to ask if I wanted to keep going. I nodded yes. The truck lifted off the ground and headed toward the light. At some point, I was no longer in the truck and my grandfather was not with me anymore. I was very close to a love I can’t put into words. I have tried to write about this experience so many times, but I break down and can’t write the words. I miss the love. I miss the light. A large part of me never wanted to leave the safety of that place. In that place, I felt no stress and more love than I imagined possible. I felt more joy and contentment than even the brightest moments in this life ever provided, and I didn’t want to return to my body. If a soul could smile, then my soul smiled, and I drowsed comfortably without worry. I felt complete and utter trust in this experience.
As I got deeper into to the light, I felt the prayers of my mother, father, grandmothers, and a couple of my aunts. I especially felt the prayer of a great-aunt who lost a daughter in a car wreck. I very clearly heard her pray and beg God that my mother not suffer the pain she suffered when she lost her daughter. This touched me, and I almost wanted to return because of her sweet prayer………………..
One of the most important lessons that was transferred to me by the light is that love is all that matters. Though this seemed like a hippie slogan or a paraphrase from the Beatles, the message sunk into me on a deeper level. Every interaction is meaningless if love is not attached to it in some way. A prayer is meaningless without love. A sermon is meaningless without love. A religion is meaningless without love.
The prayers of those who loved me felt like wind, slowing down my progress toward the light. Though their love felt sweet, and reminded me of my life on earth, their prayers did not stop my desire to keep going deeper into the light. I’ve always been an adventurous soul, and this was the greatest adventure I’d ever been on…………..