Discussions of the near-death experience [NDE] are in danger of becoming irrelevant, boring or uninteresting to many because it has become so widely exposed in popular culture via books and movies. This is unfortunate because it remains a powerful metaphysical tool for discerning the nature of reality as well as a vehicle for healing our existential despair/angst.
A recent meeting with a former patient was the motivating force behind this posting. Denise [I'll call her] described her own NDE as occurring during a car crash. She called the car 'slowly spinning' out of control, then a trip down a dark tunnel towards a being of light. This was an elderly woman whom she did not recognize but who looked vaguely like one of her aunts who was living. The woman of light was projecting a loving energy and Denise felt herself being drawn towards her. The woman shook her head and Denise understood that she could go no further.
She awoke in an ICU in tremendous pain suffering from multiple fractures–clearly lucky to be alive. Her father was at her bedside and she immediately described her incredibly powerful experience to him. He seemed shocked, reached deep down into his wallet and pulled out an aging photo. Denise immediately recognized the woman as the one she had just encountered.
Her father was clearly shaken. "this is your real grandmother who died before you were born. The woman you call Grandma is actually a 'step' grandmother. She insisted that we never tell you otherwise. He was deeply moved and Denise went on to state that her father had never come to terms with his own mother's death.
Denise shortly recalled another bizarre, seemingly unrelated event which had occurred about two yetars before–she had driven her friend to a psychic for a reading. Denise had no particular interest in a reading but the psychic immediately grabbed her hand and told her that she had a guardian angel, her grandmother who would one day save her from a car accident. She laughed this off since at the time she believed that both grandmothers were living.
There is clearly no rational explanation for Denise's story. It is clear to me that she is not lying, not fabricating any of it. There is nothing to be gained by doing so.
It is important to face the ramifications of such experiences: 1] we are not alone in the universe, 2] a nonmaterial 'self' or soul survives bodily death, 3] our lives have far greater meaning and significance than we orindarily imagine.
We can use this awareness, this wisdom to help ourselves heal through life's most difficult adversities.