'Mommy, look!'... 'Mom, let me tell you what happened in school today!' I put down my bag and smiled. Twelve-year-old Jon-Paul wanted to talk about school, and Orion, three, had a drawing to show me.
But the truth was, I was only half listening. I'd just come home from work, the phone was ringing, I had dinner to get on the table, and there was a growing pile of laundry in the hamper:
And no matter how much I loved my children - and, oh how I love them - many times, I was just too tired and overwhelmed to give them attention I knew they needed. I wished it weren't that way. And my heart would sometimes twist. Time spent with your children is precious, I knew that. In fact, I should have known that better than anyone. You see, I was just seven when my father died. One day he was there. The next, my mother said he'd be in my heart forever. No more hugs. No more standing beside me as I perched on the diving board, telling me: 'Okay, Lindsey, keep your toes pointed. You can do it.'
As a child, I was desperate to bring Daddy back to life. As a teenager, I'd talk to him in the dark of my room, weep to him when I was scared. I wanted to believe he was my personal angel, watching over me. But as the years passed and my life got more and more hectic, I wondered - questioned - if he was there at all.
Then one day, something would happen that would make me realize that my father's love had been with me all along...
The warm weather had finally arrived and the kids had been looking forward to the picnic by the lake near our West Milford, New Jersey home for weeks. I, of course, was preoccupied with the shopping I hadn't done - and with the dark clouds scraping the tops of the mountains in the distance. Nicole, my 16-year-old niece, was first out of our station wagon. Jon-Paul and Orion began to run toward the lawn. My husband, Paul, and I were trailing behind, him with a cooler, me with a lawn chair.
Suddenly, a golf-ball-size piece of hail thudded to the ground beside us. 'Everybody back to the car!' I called. Lightning lit up the blackening sky and thunder pounded above us. I pulled Orion into my arms and slid him into the back seat as Paul ran to get the other kids.
A moment later, as I stood on top of the sewer grating, leaning against the car with a chair on my shoulder, a feeling suddenly swept over me. No, it was almost like a voice in my head. Step away from the car, something seemed to command. What? I wondered. And yet, I stepped back toward the grass.
Then I saw it. A jagged bolt of lightning slammed into a tree about thirty feet away. I heard the snap, the sizzle. Suddenly, the world seemed to erupt with a tremendous roar and a brilliant flash of light, bright as the sun. And then, there was nothing. The world around me was silent, still - and dark. I felt light, as if I was floating. The weight of the world seemed far away far below. Below... I looked down and saw my body, lying twisted on the ground. Oddly, I didn't feel afraid. But my heart squeezed for my family. Then through the darkness, I heard someone say my name. 'Lindsey', a soft, deep voice spoke. It had been years, but it was familiar to me as if I'd heard it the day before. 'Daddy?' I said. A face appeared before me. My father's smile, his eyes - glimmering with love.
And in that moment, I felt more love than I had ever known. I could feel it in my toes, at the end of every strand of hair. I'd never known such utter joy, love and peace before.
Then I began to notice it - a swirling tunnel of light behind him. I knew I was just steps away from Heaven, from boundless joy and endless peace. 'Oh, Daddy,' I cried, wanting to stay wrapped in that incredible embrace of love. My father's voice echoed in the air again. 'I love you very much,' he smiled. 'But, Lindsey, you can't stay.' His eyes blazed into mine. 'It's not your time. Your children need you.'
Suddenly, I looked down again - and how I could hear Orion crying, could see Jon-Paul's face, my husband's. They're scared - and they need me! I realized. I looked back to my father, surrounded now by other shimmering forms. 'Go home now,' my father said. Yes, I nodded. Home to my family...
And then, like the roar of a train gathering in volume as it got closer, I felt the world around me return. 'Lindsey! Lindsey! Open your eyes!' I heard frantic voices above me as I lay on the ground. I opened my eyes - and he wept with relief. 'I'm here,' I whispered to Jon-Paul.
By now, people had gathered around explaining how the current from the lightning had jumped from the tree to the wire fence - and then to the drain pipe that ran under the ground ... below the very grating I'd been standing on! 'With that metal chair on your shoulder,' a paramedic told me, 'if you'd still been standing on the grating, there's absolutely no way you could have survived.' My heart lurched. Step away from the car, the voice had commanded. Oh, Daddy, I closed my eyes against my tears. You saved my live! In the weeks that followed, my body healed. And so did my heart. Something happened to me that day. I now know that life doesn't end, it changes. And love never dies. I feel such overwhelming serenity knowing that we are all being watched over. It's filled me with such peace that I'm different with the people who love me. My father told me I had to go back to my family. I had to finish raising my children - something he didn't get a chance to do. And now I'm doing exactly that - with a heart more open and loving than ever before.
'Mom, look at this!' 'Mom, let me tell you what happened today.' 'Honey, let me tell you about my day.' I stop. I smile. I sit down, and listen. We talk and we laugh. And we hug. Oh, boy, do we hug!
I'm never too busy anymore for the simple, wonderful, little things that really matter. We talk about the accident often - and Orion can never hear it enough. 'Tell me again about Grandpa and the angels,' he'll say as I tuck him in to bed at night. And I smile and say, 'Okay, one more time. Then it's time for sleep.'
- as told to Paul Abercrombie with Carla Merolla.
In My Own Words: My Lightning Story.
In 1997, July 17 at 5:20 pm, I was struck by lightning along with my husband, Paul and my niece Nicole. To be hit by Mother Nature's power of light, a storm of such incredible strength that it was both extremely humbling and horrifying for us and for all those who witnessed it, including my two sons, JP and Orion.
As with 9/11, just when life seemed so safe and sure, an unknown force came swiftly, with so much severity and affecting so many people, the lightning strike changed our lives forever.
I used to love the thrill and feel of a good powerful thunderstorm. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be hit by lightning. Now, when a thunderstorm rolls in, I have great respect for Mother Nature and proceed to shelter immediately. However unnerved I may feel, I remind myself to breath and tell myself I am okay otherwise I can get panicky which does no one any good especially my children.
However, there is always a great gift in many difficult and challenging matters. Wisdom and strength are gifts from many experiences that challenge us physically, mentally and emotionally. One great blessing I received from being struck by lightning was that I had the opportunity to die and come back. This occurrence gave me the chance to experience the spiritual world. You may be wondering what this has to do with discovering your Soul's Intent. I asked myself many questions as to why I was hit, similar to 9/11 we all asked many questions while it was happening and for months afterwards. Questions like 'What does this mean?' 'Why is this happening?' 'Who did this and how will it affect my life, my children's lives and my children's children lives.' 'What can I do to change?' 'Why am I here?' 'What is this all about?'
Thus my story begins: I was walking with Paul, Nicole, and my three year old son Orion, up the hill to our car to get away from the storm coming over Greenwood Lake, New Jersey. My twelve-year-old son, JP was to be swimming at a meet but it was postponed due to the storm. He stayed down on the pavilion with the rest of the swim team to wait the storm out. We felt safer going to the car because Orion was crying and afraid of the thunder. After Paul placed Orion in the car I found myself walking away from him and questioning myself as to why I was leaving my crying son, 'I should be standing by the car to help Paul and Nicole put the chairs and cooler in the trunk' I thought to myself. Something was pushing me away from the car and onto the grass. Then suddenly there was a tremendous crash as if a bomb had hit the ground. Everything went black, I found myself in a void of total nothingness and before I knew it, I felt such peace and a sense of floating. There were thousands of soul's floating around. I felt their emptiness and feeling of solitude and loneliness as if they were stuck in limbo.
Then my father was there to greet me, he was smiling and guiding me through all of the many lost souls. Everything happened so fast, as if a million episodes were to be put into a time frame of a minute. There was no time in this world and I found myself only in space. A sense of great peace was coming from a light above the lost souls and it drew me in. I wanted only to be in that light where the incredible and profound feeling of peace was coming from, this was my only focus. It was easy to move through the layers of evolution in the spiritual world. I experienced many layers not knowing what they meant not realizing I had died nor had I felt I had a family I left behind. The peace was all that I felt drawn to.
Suddenly two very large shadows appeared before me. I felt as if I were smaller than a grain of sand in the whole cosmos compared to these anonymous moving shadows. They stopped my going into the light and I heard as clear as a bell, 'It is not your time.' One of the dark shadows enveloped me in its shadowy energy. The feeling coming from this energy was pure unconditional love. It was beyond human love, a love so tremendously great that the English language does not do justice to explain what I felt.
The great shadow showed me what had happened to me and then brought my attention to my family and my body. I saw my body all twisted from the lightning and I refused to go back. There appeared to occur a conference with these two shadows, my father and myself. A superior sense of guidance came forth from a higher wisdom, my awareness was drawn to the confusion and panic from the people affected by the lightning strike. I experienced the pain and suffering Paul was experiencing from the electricity running through his body. However, I felt absolutely no fear. I became an objective witness detached from any suffering, how fascinating it all felt.
Through my conference with the great ones, I learned how difficult it would be for Paul if I did not return. I was reminded of my son Orion in the car all by himself and of JP scared and crying. Immediately, I decided to return, I felt a tug at my solar plexus through a spiritual cord connected to my abdomen and my two sons. This cord brought me into a cone shaped spiral. It was as if I was traveling at the speed of light. One could be in New York coming from California as quick as the blink of an eye, time was not measured in this world.
Before I knew it, I found myself back in my body with a white wall of mist around me. I first saw Orion in the car wide eyed and crying. Next, I saw Paul. He was screaming in pain. I thought he was dying and Nicole was not moving at all. I thought she was dead.
I could not see JP; panic began to fill me. Then suddenly I heard a voice from within my head 'JP is okay and I am okay.' The pain from the lightning seared through my chest as if I were having a heart attack. I could not breathe nor move. A kind man came over to me and told me I was hit by lightning and I started to scream, 'Help me up.' He began to lift me, the pain was excruciating from his touch. The only thing that mattered was for me to save my family, my upper body was partially paralyzed and my right arm was totally numb. I told Paul to call his spiritual Master Meishu-sama and I screamed for the angels to help us. I sat in the car with Orion who was accompanied by a beautiful woman and I turned to her saying, 'The angels are with us.' Then I found myself out in the rain and hail, touching Nicole's forehead telling her, 'Call the angels.' Her eyes began to open. At last, people began to come, there were so many good people willing to take care of us.
The recovery was long and slow but many came to assist and heal us. Much was learned in that summer. I was quite depressed and angry after coming back from the spiritual world. There was a sense of equality where everyone was loved unconditionally no matter the race, culture, age or level of success. I was only there for a very short human time but I know that we are all watched over and we don't go until it is our time. We have the free will to choose our paths and our soul's intention. As far as all the lost souls, my perception is that those souls were stuck. They may have died without any faith in the light or in the goodness of the universe thus not knowing where to go, or they may have been attached to one's they love, possessions or habits in the physical world. The lost soul's felt like family to me even though I did not know them. I would like to believe they have found their way into the light.
Date NDE Occurred: 07/21/98
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentHeart attack 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' Struck by lightning
I was struck directly by lightning and flew four feet in the air, and landed on my hip. I blacked out as the lightning entered into my right arm, the beach chair acted as a conductor lightning traveled across my chest stopped my heart I believe and connected with my watch on my left wrist.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness when I connected with the benevolent loving energy of the beings who stopped me from going into the light.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time moved very fast or I could move very fast in time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. While in Spirit I could see the inner world of the cosmos, the mystery of consciousness prevailed itself to me. I felt, saw, the light as being soft, enveloping, loving embrace without time constraints.
After coming back the colors on the earth were more intense, the grass was so green yet I could feel the vibration energy coming off of it, it felt so much more healing.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Thoughts were heard without words.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I came back into my body through a vortex tunnel like field. I was moving so fast there was not coming back because of the silver cord connected to my spiritual body to my physical body.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My father, grandmother. My father said I would be back soon to the world of Spirit.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Already described above. It was not bright and blinding - it was soft and gentle.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I went through many evolutionary layers.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, beauty, loneliness of the lost spirits around me and when closer to the light only unconditional love and GREAT PEACE.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I felt loved totally for everything that had happened in my love.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate NONE
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal NONE
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes An understanding that there is a greater plan or order of life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My dearest friends are close to me still to this day and they call me for psychic advice. New friends who are not spiritual find me weird so I do not share my experience so freely.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feeling of profound love, equality of all beingness, Peace.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes So much, I could read people's minds I can feel it when someone is thinking of me. I can feel in my body when there is going to be an earthquake. I have become clairvoyant and I do medium-ship now which I could never do it before.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Hard to say just an overall feeling of oneness and safety.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I was featured in Women's World Magazine. I lecture about it to metaphysical groups. I talked about it two years afterwards because it was so personal and emotional I found myself crying when sharing the experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real My ex-husband myself and my niece put the pieces together as you see we all three were struck by lightning simultaneously. I spoke of angels consistently during and after the accident. I also had info about what was going on in while I was unconscious. It took months to process.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Because it has changed me and my outlook on life. I was depressed and angry for a year afterward. I find it difficult to be here on the earth and at times I just want to go back home.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Just in writing I appreciate the time you are taking with the NDE website as it has helped me to release and process again the incredible miracle of living both in physical and in Spirit as I do every day.