Grace's Near-Death Experience With
Her Pet Dog
following near-death experience appears in Dr. Cherie Sutherland's
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:
Life After Near-Death Experiences which examines the
effects of the near-death phenomenon and what survivors
have come to believe about life. 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 somewhere else.
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?"
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.).
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.
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.
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
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.
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 love you."
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 very practical:
don't cry, you'll be all right."
always had this terrible sense that I never had a chance
to say good-bye, or a chance to just say "I'm sorry."
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?"
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."
we 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
have any sense of time, I don't know how it was for, but
we talked about all sorts of things.
said to him, "You must wonder what I've been doing, or you
must sometimes feel angry with me."
said, "No. Here, what goes on in the world has no meaning."
"We're here to care for you, we're here to take you on."
there was a sense of drawing back, and I panicked and said,
"Dad, I don't want to go!"
"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."
told me my marriage was going to break up. (We'd only been
married just a year!)
remember saying, "Dad, I don't want that to happen. I always
thought that when I got married, it wouldn't happen."
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.
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 was there.
repeated again, "You're going to have a boy."
panic: I thought, "My God, I haven't picked a boy's name!"
I came through, I was there in the delivery room again,
and I was crying.
many hours later, my son was born by cesarean section.
"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
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