When I was in my 30s, I became very depressed. Eventually it took me over completely and I decided to commit suicide. I took large doses of medication and went to bed.
Eventually this stopped my body from working and I crossed time/space to another dimension. I looked up and heard a voice saying, ‘I will give you two coins, use them wisely.’ Two coins fell in my hand and I looked at them for a while. Then I closed my hand. I looked in front of me and saw great water stretching to the Horizon as far as I could see. A memory from my childhood came back to me from a game that I and the children from my neighborhood used to play. It was the song we always sang before the game eventually started, ‘Schipper mag ik overvaren? Ja of Nee? Moet ik dan een cent betalen? Ja of Nee? Hoe?’ That was the Dutch version of the song, the way we sang it. This is my translation of it in English, ‘Sailor may I cross the water? Yes or No? Do I have to pay a penny? Yes or No? How?’ Then I thought that this must be the river Styx and I must cross it. I started to sing the song and after a while, I could see a boat slowly coming towards me with someone standing in it. He reached the beach and I looked at him and him at me. A boney hand then stretched out to me. Instinctively, I knew that I must give him a coin. So I did. He held the coin up, looked at it, and then looked at me. He nodded to me and then his hand made the gesture for me to step into the boat. So I did.
I don’t know how long I was in the boat but I know I was thinking about my life. The bony sailor didn’t say anything. He slowly moved his staff in the water, making us go further and further away from the beach. I stood up and looked around the horizon to see if I could see the other shore. I couldn’t see anything but water. I sat down and started thinking again. I looked at the boney sailor and he nodded again. His finger pointed up and then he made a movement with his hands as if he balanced something. I looked up and thought about how to get up and how to get to heaven, because I had a strong feeling I belonged there. I felt that it was the path and journey I had to make.
‘Oh God,’ I thought, ‘I know I thought too much about myself and that I did good and wrong things. But all I really want now is to go to your light.’
A faint light opened up in the sky and a voice said, ‘You are very close to achieving this goal.’
But it was not what he wanted to hear. Then I thought that this suicide and everything that happened before it was all about me complaining about the ‘why me factor!’ You know the ‘why me’? I always used to chat with God. I hoped I would get an answer but it always made me feel worse because I didn’t get an answer. I realized it’s not because I didn’t get an answer, it’s because I didn’t ask the right question!
I thought, ‘I must be terribly wrong all this time. Where had I gone wrong?’ Then suddenly it all came to me. It was not ‘why me,’ it was the complete opposite of it. It was precisely you (in Dutch: juist jij). Everything that happened to me happened for the sole reason that this was my journey I had to take to eventually get to this point. A heaviness fell from me and I finally accepted everything. Above all, I accepted myself.
Then two angels came down and lifted me. I felt so pure, as light if itself, being so close to these magical beings. I can only remember a few things from the conversation we had.
‘Are you ready for your journey into the light?’ they asked.
My answer was a profound, ‘Yes!’ because being so close to the two angels gave me back my courage and self-esteem.
I cried and one of the angels said, ‘Beautiful tears to fill up the water.’
The other one asked, ’You’re here quite early aren’t you?’
My answer was again, ‘Yes.’ I felt ashamed about being so selfish to commit suicide and I could feel a blush appear on my cheeks. I replied, ‘When I’m early, does that mean that if it wasn’t my time yet? I was expected later than now? Does that mean I have to go back?’
The angel said, ‘That isn’t for me to decide. You will soon be in a place where everything will become clear so you shouldn’t be so worried.’
I answered regarding being worried, ‘This has been the story of my life.’
The other angel asked, ‘Maybe it is time for a change?’
‘I hope so,’ I said.
The Angel said, ‘There is always hope because this comes from the light that guides us.’
Then we reached this immense tunnel of light and the angel said, ‘This is where we will leave you because this is a journey you have to take on your own. Because we are already in the light, we don’t have to make this journey with you.’
I said, ‘Goodbye, I’ll see you soon.’
One angel said, ‘Not soon enough, I hope.’ and they flew away saying, ‘don’t ever forget who you are and from where you come,’ and they waved.
I waved back at them, turned around, looked at the tunnel and cautiously stepped into it. It felt like I was being drawn into it. I don’t remember anything about the tunnel of light except being drawn into it. What I do remember is an edge where my dead family members and other people, who we’re also very important in my life, were waiting for my arrival. I received so many hugs and kisses. I still feel the warmth of their presence. I talked to each and every one of them. I won’t tell exact details about what we discussed because it’s between me and them. The bottom line is that it felt extraordinarily good because I had the feeling that I could be myself here and that it was a very warm HOME. It was a place where everyone was welcome who wanted to be a part and take part in this special place. After the chats, hugs, and kisses, a voice said that it was time for me to go again. I answered that I didn’t want to go and that to leave this place would leave a scar. I started crying again because the thought of leaving felt painful. The voice said that I still had a life to live and that this was the right decision to make. Actually that felt pretty good, him saying that. I asked if I could remember everything so I could pass it on to others. The voice told me that, ‘In time you will, we will be happy when you tell your story and pass it on so others can pass it as well. Now it’s time to go back.’ I remember I said goodbye to everyone and cried again. I fell over the edge and back into my earthly body again.
When I opened my eyes, it wasn’t a pretty sight. I will spare you the details of it. I felt sick and lonely and I don’t remember so much as I do today. That was 10 years ago. I think I’m finally ready to write all of this down so I did. I think I learned my lesson, not that it’s time for me to go. I still think that is not for me to decide. I will wait and let God decide for me. I will let him wager my life between good and wrong and where my place is: In the heavens or somewhere else. I hope by writing this story that that place is close to heaven! But still I have to say that the journey I made still follows me everywhere I go. I miss heaven so much (cries, more tears for the water). The warmth, the feeling of being home and finally being with the people who love me the most, the ones I can love back with hugs; and of course, that feeling of being myself no matter what! I still would rather leave earth.
This is what troubles me to most. My journey left a big scar, a scar that I couldn’t recommend to anyone. So be careful out there. I hope my story helps people all around the world not to make the decisions I made because I already made them and please don’t do as I do. Suicide is not the answer. What I write is really true and I hope it helps people in their journey here on earth. The last thing I want to say is that when you want to talk to God don’t start with ‘why me’ it will not open up any doors, but rather close them. He’s there and he’s listening to all of you. You’ve just got to find the right words! Have a great life, Patrick.