My Near-Death Experience: A Continuation of Life
We are a creation of genetics, environment, neurobiology, and experience. Yet, it is our experiences, and how we interpret, process, and incorporate them into our lives, which shape and define us. Certain individuals have atypical, extraordinary experiences. They are taken on wondrous journeys, traveling outside of everyday, three-dimensional reality, to realms beyond time and space. One such phenomena is the Near-Death-Experience (NDE).
The Near-Death Experience Research Foundation defines a NDE as: “A lucid experience associated with perceived consciousness apart from the body, and occurring at the time of actual or threatened imminent death.”
Penny Wilson has contributed her personal and very moving NDE to our new book, Convergence, The Interconnection of Extraordinary Experiences:
Personal Experience of Penny Wilson, RN
In August 2014, my life was forever changed by a condition called idiopathic anaphylaxis. The day began like any other. Sitting in the living room with my daughter, sipping a smoothie, I started having trouble swallowing. I went to the kitchen for a glass of water, unsure of what was happening. Within minutes, my chest tightened and breathing grew difficult. I was having a potentially deadly allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Years ago, I had been diagnosed with a shellfish allergy. How could this be happening, I wondered. I hadn't been exposed to shellfish. I recognized my situation was life-threatening. I grabbed my epi-pen and injected the drug into my thigh. My symptoms seemed to improve, but not to the extent I'd expected. Years of work as a critical care nurse had taught me the importance of quick action in situations like mine.
My son drove me directly to the emergency room, where I was admitted for treatment. Soon, my shortness of breath returned, and I began having more and more difficulty swallowing. Despite multiple injections of epinephrine, Benadryl, and steroids, my condition continued to deteriorate, until I collapsed and stopped breathing.
It was a strange sort of sensation. One minute I was struggling for breath and for life, and the next I was peaceful and floating … up, up, up, and out of my body. I briefly saw the hustle and bustle around the person who was lying in the bed below, but I wasn't quite sure who she was. A doctor put a tube in her mouth and down her throat. A respiratory therapist hooked a bag to it and began squeezing air into the lifeless woman's body. Nurses started more IVs. Everyone seemed to be in a state of concerned hurry—but none of it upset me. I was without a care as I watched the scene unfold beneath me. I had no idea my physical life was slipping away.
The next thing I recall was “materializing” in the backseat of my sister's car. She was on her way somewhere, and I got the sense that something was wrong. It was pouring rain, and I worried about her traveling in such treacherous conditions. She pulled into a gas station, beneath the canopy. I watched as she pulled her phone from her bag and opened her Facebook app. I saw her status: “Hang on kiddo, I'm coming.” (It was later verified that she had posted this on Facebook while I was lying in a coma in Kentucky.)
Where was she going? Had something happened with the kids? I felt anxious and confused. I tried to speak, but no words came out. I slid my hand down my body and noticed it felt odd, as if it were less dense than normal. With that, everything went dark, and I was instantaneously transported to the other side … the spirit side.
I spent some time alone in a dark and endless void. Then, a bold spirit came to me. Her hair, a brilliant orange-red, was so bright it looked like she was crowned with fire. She was striking and larger-than-life. It took a moment before I realized the spirit before me was my maternal grandmother. I wept as she held and comforted me. I had so many questions, and as I thought them, the answers came telepathically, from her spirit to mine.
Am I dead?
My grandmother responded:
“No, you aren't dead. There is no death, except that the body becomes useless and is cast away. You've heard it said that energy isn't created or destroyed, it just changes form. This is true in the earthly realm and in the spirit realm. You haven't died, dear one, you’ve simply changed form.”
What fascinating information! I had hoped I would continue to exist in some form after my body died, but I was never completely certain of it. I was amazed to find that my consciousness endured without aid of my body or brain.
I met light beings who I felt innately connected to. I felt linked to every spirit that had ever been created, both on the spirit side and in the earthly realm. I knew each of them, and felt their joys, hopes, and sorrows.
It became clear that everything I had ever thought, said, or done had impacted every other spirit in the universe. I felt shame for the critical judgments I'd placed on others and experienced firsthand how it had harmed them and diminished their energy. I also saw the ripples of love that were created by every kind word and intention I'd ever expressed. My mind and spirit felt as if they might burst with newfound understanding.
At once, I was taken up into a brilliant light, immeasurably brighter than the light emanating from my grandmother. A profoundly deep, energetic vibration shook me to the core. A booming voice said “I AM” and I knew immediately who was with me. The spirit of God surrounded me. His light permeated and filled me to overflowing.
As His radiant love soaked into me, all of my questions were answered. Every unknown and unrealized bit of knowledge was brought to light with knowledge from this higher source. Answers from the universe were downloaded into my DNA. I didn't have to try to remember or retain the information, it became part of me. As questions came to mind, the answers were immediately there. All my past hurts were reframed by the bright shining love of God that surrounded me.
His Spirit loved me completely and unconditionally, while my life replayed like a movie on an unseen screen. Watching it, I grieved over things I had done and things I'd neglected to do. I wept for the pain I'd caused others and the pain I had brought on myself. As each scene played, my heart was emptied of all fear and grief by the wonderful love of God. The Supreme Intelligence and Creator of all loved me.
Grasping the completeness of His love proved impossible. How could He love me knowing how pitifully I had lived my life? But He didn't judge me. He was merciful and compassionate, overwhelming me with fatherly love.
After reviewing my life, God took me on a journey through my DNA, traveling with me through the strands. Each spiral twirled around and over us as we plunged deeper and deeper into my origin. We approached the spark of my existence and I saw that I had originated from God. A simple thought from Him had created me.
God had been with me all along, I just hadn't remembered it until that moment. How had I forgotten such important information? Where had I gotten the idea that He had ever walked away from me? At that moment, I understood I couldn't go any further. I needed to return to my body. I was torn, wanting to stay with my Creator, yet knowing I had more to do on Earth. A powerful force sucked me backward and with a “pop,” I woke in my body, the memory of my time with God stored deeply within.
The most impactful lesson of my glorious journey is this: I have come to the realization that our essence, or soul, continues after physical death, in an infinitely more expansive and “real” way.