Since the beginning of our arrival the questions of who we are, where we come from, what is the purpose of our life, and what happens after death still remains something we humans strive to answer. Science and religion has given us many answers to which many of us still remain unsatisfied. However, there is one question I can give some insight on. What happens to us after death?
Two weeks ago I experienced my first heart attack. Heart disease is something that has been in my family for generations, and sometimes no matter how healthy you try to be the hereditary issues tend to pop up no matter what. It was completely unexpected, and such a frightening experience. It happened during one of my son’s baseball games on a warm sunny day.
There were no signs of anything wrong that I could recall. I did my thirty-minute morning run, drank a protein smoothie for breakfast while chatting with my family about the game, and then we were off to the park. My son, Chandler, was the pitcher of his middle school’s baseball team, and threw a mean curve ball. The game had only entered the second inning when I first started to experience the tightening of my chest. I ignored it until I started experiencing shortness of breath. My wife immediately came to my side, and then everything went dark.
It was a strange feeling being surrounded by nothing but darkness. It felt as if I was awake and in my own body, but when I looked down there was nothing. I didn’t have a body, but it felt like it. Knowing this, I walked forward…or at least that’s what it felt like I did. There was no sense of time or distance as I continued to move about looking for something, anything. The silence was deafening, the darkness was endless, but I felt at peace.
It was hard to say how long I’ve been wandering through the darkness before I heard a voice. At first I thought it was myself since I was unable to differentiate between speaking out loud or just thinking; however, after hearing it again I realized it wasn’t mine. My first thought was to panic and show fear, but I felt nothing. I called out asking who’s there expecting no reply. Thoughts of whether I started to go insane began to form in my mind… until I got a reply.
The voice was directly behind me, or at least that’s what it felt like. When I turned around there was nothing for the longest time until I looked closer and saw a translucent form solidify right before me. Wisps of gray, black, and white swirled into a figure with skin so pale it was almost see through. Most of its body was cloaked in a long black tunic-like gown that blended in with the surrounding darkness.
Its eyes were stark white with no iris, it resembled a skeleton, but it had skin. Every crevice of the creature’s skin was sunken in, and it sported no hair anywhere. Its long arms seemed disproportionate to its body, and the hands were longer than the entire length of any human’s head. Long black finger nails curved down giving the illusion of claws. It stared at me unblinking as if waiting for a response.
Before I was able to speak, the creature’s raspy voice echoed around me.
“Are you ready?” it asked.
“Ready for what?” I replied.
As disturbing as the creature’s appearance was, fear was absent in me.
“To move onward from this place.”
“What is this place?”
“The place after death.”
After death? I think to myself. The entire time I’ve been here, the thought that I may have died didn’t cross my mind. That’s probably because it doesn’t feel like I did.
“Take my hand and follow me. I shall guide you to where you’re supposed to be.”
“Where is that?” I ask.
“Only you know that.”
I had no idea where I was supposed to be. The thought of me being dead still lingered heavily on my mind even with acceptance. The creature’s grotesque hand was still hovering before me when a bright light appeared to my left. The creature hissed as it’s skin began to smoke.
“Hurry!” the creature hissed at me.
The light drew my attention as warmth enveloped me. I looked down and saw my body began to form. Instead of taking the creature’s hand, I ran into the light. The glare was so great, and then darkness again. Confusion took hold of me as I tried to figure out what happened until I heard my wife’s voice. The darkness began to fade into gray, and with a few blinks my actual eyes opened.
The first face I saw was my wife’s, followed by my children. When my vision fully cleared, I realized I was in the hospital. Beeping machines, and sounds of sirens never felt so welcoming. After settling down, it was explained to me that I had a heart attack, and had remained dead for a full four minutes until the paramedics revived me. It was later that I learned that the paramedic that worked on me was about to give up, but decided to use the defibrillator once more. In my heart, I knew that was at the exact moment when the bright light appeared before I went with death.
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