Doug J.

When I fell and broke my neck, I remember seeing my hand in front of my face. Then it faded to black like an old TV set used to do. How long I was unconscious for, I am unsure. I think it was at least 5 minutes. I remember quite a bit during the time I was out, which felt like hours. I remember waking beside a tree overlooking a lake. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The lake was pristine and a beautiful color like I have never seen before. The lake was surrounded by a hill side with bulrushes and lily pads close to the edge. There was a bird, that looked like a heron, standing in the rushes. On the far side of the lake was a forest of trees. To my right there was a tree trunk split as it left the ground, making it look like two trees were growing there. The colors were vivid. This place had a quiet peace about it. Quite literally, it was the nicest and most tranquil place that I have ever experienced.

I looked up to see a person standing close to me. I did not recognize him at first, but I did know him from somewhere. He was quite young; about 25 years old in a baseball uniform that was either Brooklyn Dodgers or New York Yankees number 5. The man looked fantastic. It was when he spoke that I knew he was my uncle. This confused me because he had passed away a couple of years earlier. There were two other people whom I didn’t know who were standing beside the two trunk tree. One man was bent at the knees in a crouched position and the other was standing upright and leaning against the tree. They stayed against the tree in the background watching but didn’t say anything.

I was in the most beautiful place I have ever been and felt at complete ease and comfort. I felt completely at peace, like I have never felt before. I had a conversation with my Uncle about life and life’s expectations but all that we spoke about is a little sketchy now. What felt like hours was probably only minutes. From far away, I heard a voice yelling my name. I thought to myself, ‘Leave me alone. Why is someone bothering me?’ My Uncle told me it was time for me to leave and go back. I found this very strange. I told him I did not want to leave this beautiful place. He then told me it wasn’t my time and that I had to go back. His last comment to me was, “Play it again, Dougie.” This was what he always said to me when he visited, as he wanted to hear the same song over and over again.

At that point, I felt like I was being pushed very hard. The peacefulness vanished and I was looking into the eyes of my niece yelling at me because she thought I had died. She said that I was very still and not moving. Suddenly my eyes opened and she could see only the whites of my eyes. My eyes looked like they had rolled into the back of my head. She said I started to shake and having convulsions when my eyes rolled into place and I was looking at her. I had no idea where I was, how I had gotten there, or why I was looking at her. At that point, I felt the pain and then had the understanding of where I was, but not how I got there. I have gone over this so many times and can still hear my uncle’s voice in my head but I do not understand the meaning of anything. I have not been myself since falling and can’t understand why. Everything seems the same, yet different to me. It is as though I have lost a part of me or left some part of me behind. I also have a strong feeling of guilt as I want to return to this place that I was in. This experience has scared me. The pain and suffering has subsided, but emotionally I am a bit of a wreck. I don’t let it get in my way of doing anything but it plays in the back of my head over and over again. I feel completely lost, all alone, and can’t seem to find myself.