Embraced by the light
by Betty Eadie 
Book Review by  Karin Schumacher Dyke

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Eadie, Betty J. (1992).  Embraced by the light.  Placerville, CA:  Gold Leaf Press

Sample

The sample reported in this book is a single one:  Ms. Eadie herself and her experience with near-death

Methodology

Ms. Eadie presents her own account of a near-death experience she had as the result of a medical complication.

Abstract

Ms. Eadie strives to present accounts of her life before, during and after her near-death experience.  She was an ordinary house wife in the Midwest one minute, a patient in a hospital the next, experiencing a near-death experience the next, and then, finally, experiencing the aftermath of her near-death experience in the final chapters of the book. 

Chapters included in this book are:  “The First Night, The night Deepens, The Second Day, My Death, The Tunnel, Embraced by the Light, The Laws, Healing-and Dying, The Looms and the Library, The Garden, The Greeting Party, Many Worlds, Selecting a Body, The Drunken Man, Prayer, The Council of Men, The Farewell, My Return, My Recovery, and My Special Angel.

The account of Ms. Eadie’s experience of what life is like after death is particularly vivid and involved.  She seems to have come back to life with much detail about the after-life.  What her experiences endeavor to teach the reader is that there is an afterlife and a reason why Ms. Eadie was resuscitated:  to share the word of the beings in the afterlife about the love that connects all in this physical existence and the afterlife.

Important Concepts and Definitions

Near-death – in this account, near-death is defined as a physical death brought about by medical complications.  This death was affirmed by the hospital.  The experiencer was then “brought back to life” through medical resuscitation efforts.

Operationalizations

This account of a near death experience is qualitative in nature.  It is a self-report of a near-death experience encountered by the author.

Major Findings

Ms. Eadie describes how the near-death experience affected her family in the two final chapters of the book.  These chapters are entitled, “My Recovery (p. 131-134)” and, “My Special Angel (p. 135-147).”

It seems that immediately after Ms. Eadie coming home from the hospital, she sank into a depression.  She wanted to go back to the afterlife presented in her near-death experience.  She was no longer afraid of death and in fact longed for it to happen.  She was unable to communicate with her family.  Eventually, she realized that this was unfair to her family and reeked of self-pity.  She forced herself to go on with life in the way that her family needed her to.  She was able to salvage the relationships that she had neglected during her depression.  Ms. Eadie’s family was described during the depression as, “wonderfully supportive (p. 131).”

About six years after Ms. Eadie’s near-death experience, she and her family decided to take in a foster baby.  The baby had been with the Eadie’s for ten months when the family decided they wanted the baby back.   Ms. Eadie prayed that the baby would be returned, and then finally resolved to pray for the baby’s happiness.  Soon thereafter, a messenger from her near-death experience visited her.  He told her that the baby would be returned.  After a two-week time period, Ms. Eadie was contacted about the baby.  The family had badly abused the baby so the child was again removed.  Ms. Eadie was offered custody of the child and the family eventually adopted the child.

The effects of the Eadie family as the result of Ms. Eadie’s near-death experience seem to be positive.  While at first, Ms. Eadie was not able to go back to being the wife and mother that the family needed, the provided her with emotional and physical support until she could.  The family also received the blessing of an additional child as the result of Ms. Eadie’s increased role in charitable activities in the community.  While both of these experiences were tainted with a certain amount of tragedy, the overall result was that it further cemented the family bond and overwhelmingly made the family a stronger, happier unit.