Grace's Near-Death Experience With Her Pet
following near-death experience appears in Dr. Cherie
Within The Light. Dr. Sutherland is a NDEr whose
experience led her to conduct an in depth three year
study of the phenomenon. She is also the author of
Reborn in the Light which unfortunately is out of print.
She is a visiting research fellow in sociology at the
University of New South Wales. Following her research
and publication, Dr. Sutherland has lectured and become
involved with a variety of NDE projects. Below is the
near-death testimony of Grace.
I was in labor,
for the first time, and it was an extremely difficult
labor. I was thirty and the cervix wasn't dilating
properly, and nothing was happening. This had just been
going on and on and on, and it was excruciating. I was
starting to drift in and out of consciousness and they
were getting very panicky. They kept coming in and
listening to the fetal heart and checking my pulse. I
think that's fairly normal, but all of a sudden there
seemed to be a lot of panic and they were wheeling
things in, and in and out, and suddenly I wasn't there
anymore. I mean, up until then there'd been an awareness
of what was going on around me, even though I'd been
drifting in and out of blackness. But the last thing I
remember before I did move, or had the sensation of
movement, was, "We're losing her!" Then suddenly I was
I recall a sensation of movement out beyond myself,
like I'd left something behind. And I seemed to move
through a portal. There was a glow, but I didn't seem to
stop and think, there was no thought, there was no "Will
I, won't I?"
Just suddenly, I found myself in a
place, and it was a real place, and I was there. I was
standing just beyond the portal and I looked around me.
There was a intensity of color. It was a green, and
intense emerald green. It was like, there were gentle
rolling hills, there were no crags, no sharp edges,
nothing that was cruel, nothing that was other than
gentle. The sky was intense blue, the scene was gently
rolling (I know you've heard this before, but that's
what it was.).
And there seemed to be figures,
grouped, almost a theatrical grouping, like a stage set.
And at first they were just amorphous, shadowy figures
and I was peripherally but intensely aware of a grouping
on my right, ahead of me, but I hadn't really looked at
it. I knew it was there but it was not impinging on my
consciousness too much at that stage - I was too busy
looking the other way.
And as I looked one of the
figures seemed to resolve itself, and I thought, "I know
that face," and I suddenly realized, "Oh God, it's my
aunty Hannah," who died eleven years ago.
then I saw my uncle Abraham, who died before I was born,
and I knew them. They were not speaking, their mouths
weren't moving, but they were there, and they were sort
of there for me. I knew they were there to see me, and
they knew me, even though they'd never met me (I'm going
to end up crying). My granny, who I'd never met, my
grandfather, just all the people I've never known and
even those I'd known a bit who'd died many years before,
or who'd even died recently, and they were there.
Anyway, then I turned and I looked at this figure
standing next to me - it was my father.
died when I was sixteen. I was a very rebellious
teenager and we were always at loggerheads. And the day
he died, we were moving - we'd sold the house and we
were going to move into a flat - and he and I had a
towering row and I said to him, "I hate you," and did
the normal teenage ugly thing.
Anyway, he went to the flat with the movers for the
last time, saying he'd come back and get me later on. I
was waiting for Daddy to come back and the afternoon
wore on and there was no sign of him. It was growing
dusk when I saw a police car going past. Suffice to say
Dad had had a coronary.
He died very suddenly,
there was no saying good-bye, there was no chance to
say, "Dad, I'm really sorry, I didn't mean that. I do
It was just ... he was gone. And I
never really was able to mourn properly - I was sort of
dashed off to Sydney to live with my mother. It was all
"Now, don't cry, you'll be all
But I always had this terrible sense that
I never had a chance to say good-bye, or a chance to
just say "I'm sorry."
And then standing in that place, it went through my
mind, "Is this real or is this my imagination, because
it's what I want to have happen?"
peculiar, but I actually thought that:
doing this within myself because it's what I want?"
And then Dad spoke to me. And he said, "No, honey"
(because that was his name for me). He said, "Honey,
you're not imagining, it's not coming from you, you're
with me and this is our time to talk."
talked, laid the ghosts to rest. And I looked down and
there was my dog Lucky. He died when I was very young,
and he was just there. Of course now if I was to go to
the same place, my German shepherd would be there, too.
I'm quite looking forward to seeing Razzy again. Sounds
crazy, doesn't it?
I didn't have any sense of
time, I don't know how it was for, but we talked about
all sorts of things.
And I said to him, "You must wonder what I've been
doing, or you must sometimes feel angry with me."
And he said, "No. Here, what goes on in the world
has no meaning."
He said, "We're here to care for
you, we're here to take you on."
And then there
was a sense of drawing back, and I panicked and said,
"Dad, I don't want to go!"
He said, "You have to
go, it's not your time yet, you must go back. You're
going to have a son, and you'll have to bring this boy
up, bring him up yourself."
Then Dad told me my
marriage was going to break up. (We'd only been married
just a year!)
And I remember saying, "Dad, I
don't want that to happen. I always thought that when I
got married, it wouldn't happen."
It was a very
intense feeling. I said, "Dad, I don't want to go - I
want to stay with you. Let me stay with you." I was most
distressed, I didn't want to go back.
He sent me
back. He told me that he would be there, he would be
there again for me. And I seemed to be moving back
quickly, like, there was no sense of travel, but just I
And he repeated again, "You're going to have a boy."
Then the panic: I thought, "My God, I haven't picked a
And then I came through, I was there
in the delivery room again, and I was crying.
Anyway, many hours later, my son was born by cesarean
"When you were
born, you cried, and the world rejoiced.
Live your life in such a manner that when
you die, the world cries and you rejoice."
- Indian proverb
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