The Day I Died
The happiest day of my life was the day I died. I was three years old and living in Richmond, Indiana. It was a sunny day and my dad decided to take me fishing. We went to a nearby river and my dad chose a spot next to a small bridge where he cast his line and relaxed into a folding lawn chair on the riverbank.
I scurried off to explore. Under the bridge, just a few feet above the water, a large pipe ran across the river. I was born a curious child and that pipe looked enticing. I would make a game of crossing the water by straddling the pipe and scooting back and forth.
I was playing contentedly like this when suddenly, I slipped and fell in. The water engulfed me and I began gasping for air. I didn’#8217;t know how to swim. With each gasp, I sank deeper and deeper. As my lungs filled with water, my instincts kicked in. I knew what was happening to me, and I fought desperately to reach the surface of the water. Darkness closed in around me as the sunlight above me slipped further and further from my grasp. Soon, I was weak and going limp. I could see only darkness. There was nothing. No thoughts, no feelings. And it was eternal.
But only for a moment! Because suddenly, directly in front of me, in the midst of this darkness was a bright, sparkly sunbeam. A voice within me said, “BREATHE! ” I knew this was it: my last breath, my last chance to escape the darkness. With all of my might, I inhaled as deeply as I could.
The inhale propelled me forward, into the sunbeam and I began rising to the surface. The inhale continued. I reached the surface and kept on rising.
Several yards above the water, I looked back down and saw my dad running over to the pipe. I could hear his thoughts like a mantra, “Get the baby, save the baby… ”
“But, Daddy, I’#8217;m over here. Everything’#8217;s, okay, ” I thought. Perfect, actually. Beautiful, so peaceful… Then, I realized that I could see in all directions at once. I was no longer contained and I could feel myself beginning to expand across the sky as I eased into this infinite breath that was now me! Beautiful music, like a million wind chimes enveloped me as I sailed toward a brilliant white light, surrounded by many shimmering, smaller ones. The Light beckoned me and the smaller lights reached out like arms, pulling me in for a great, warm hug. In an instant, I was one with my Creator and I was filled with the knowledge of all things. I was Love and all was perfect!
I looked down and saw my dad again. He was pulling my body out of the water. I was dead. But I was more alive than ever before, or since. My dad threw my body over his shoulder and started for the riverbank. It was a beautiful sight to me and I was filled with compassion.
I don’#8217;t know what made me go back; maybe it was that compassion. But for whatever reason, I was compelled. I floated closer, as my dad laid my body in the sand and started administering CPR. He was silent and focused. I was at peace and knew what to do. I came down and found a place on the sand to “sit ” behind my head. I looked into my dad’#8217;s face as he pumped diligently at my chest.
Suddenly, water shot up like a geyser from my nose and mouth, and WHOOSH! I was sucked back into my body through the top of my head. I “awoke ” in my body, gasping and choking, the force of the water burning through my nose and throat. The harsh contrast of being thrust from Heaven back into the pain and confinement of the body hurt more than the dying experience, itself. It was like getting tossed off the best carnival ride ever, and I wanted back on!
Years later, when I asked my father about this experience, thinking maybe it had been a dream, he recounted every detail as clearly I had seen it from above. The Love and bliss I experienced in that place of Light has been my driving force, ever since. And from that day forward, my life’#8217;s goal has been to bring a piece of that Light back to earth. That little spark from “the other side ” remains with me to this day.
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