I recently began to wonder how is it I have so many of the after effects of a near death experience when I have never had a near death experience?
It was then I remember that at age two or younger, I was so ill that my aunt who was a nurse came to the hospital and nursed me around the clock. My sister was twelve years older than I was, and tells me she was babysitting me that day, that I was fine in the morning, but soon was very ill. My sister says she would have felt guilty if something had happened to me, since she was babysitting. I guess I was very ill.
As I read Katie's experience of having a near death experience at age three in Evidence of the Afterlife, I saw many similarities between Katie and myself. (From page one hundred forty six.) As a very young child of three or four, I too lay on the porch, trying to comprehend that if God made us, who made God? Or what was the smallest or largest segment of time. As I became a teenager, I sought out church ministers to whom I could ask these questions. Like Katie, I still ask questions about life, and a little like Katie, I have become an Anglican Minister to study the ultimate questions.
When I was in grade three, age eight, a nun at church told my visiting school class that that if we were very quiet, we could hear God speak. I have lived with the sense of the presence of God ever since. My family was not religious so this quest was something I did alone.
In grade 4, age nine, I had a spiritual crisis that was terrible to endure. It was so difficult to explain to anyone. Suddenly I was totally disoriented. It was as if I had suddenly found myself here on earth and did not know where this place was. I kept trying to explain my deep crisis to people who would look at me without comprehension. I felt very alone and very upset. I reached a point where I could hardly eat, or go to school. Finally, I decided I had to just go ahead and be ‘here,’ wherever here is. When I hear of people like Carl Jung struggling to decide to live again after nearing death, I think of this spiritual crisis experience, because the struggle I went through is similar.
I like to fancy myself as a rational thinker, yet I cannot deny an ability for extra sensory perception. For instance when horse riding, I amaze other riders by telling them that I will simply send thoughts to the horses in the next field, so they will not run toward us and spook our horses. I am as surprised as anyone else is when it works, as it does.
I know I am a soul in this body.
I simply cannot grieve for those who die. I miss my loved ones, but it is so obvious to me that they have just gone elsewhere. My parents, who were so close to me, died recently and I felt joy for their new freedom. I have no fear of death, but I want to stay here to complete my life work, like caring for my family, my church folks, and my animals.
As a young person, I was driven to find a life work that would benefit my fellow earth creatures, human and animal. I chose religious ministry and am happy in my work. I don’t make a large salary, but do not care. I also try to help animals and feel deeply for their plight on this earth.
People often complain that I seem to be drifting off. In seminary a professor used to come up to me often and say, ‘Do you mind coming back down here with us?’ I guess I seem easily distracted, spacey, but usually I am just trying to look deeply at reality.
Well, really I do not know if I nearly died at age two and had a near death experience. I was in intensive care a long time, nursed by my aunt in addition to the hospital staff. However, I seem to have a lot of the characteristic after effects of a near death experience so it seems possible to me that I did come near to dying and that this experience changed me.
Jody: I believe that when children are very sick and close to death, that many will exhibit the signs of near death experiencers. PMH Atwater wrote Children of the New Millennium. She details the effects really well. I was very sick as a child and have many of those characteristics. I’ve also met many people who were very sick as youngsters and they were very near death experiencers like in their behaviors and energy.