It was nighttime, between 10pm and midnight in my rented apartment. I was with one of my roommates, who is also Venezuelan. We were celebrating the fact that we were going on a two week vacation to Venezuela the following week, so we got a bottle of Vodka and poured it all into a pitcher of fruit punch. We started playing blackjack on the floor of our living room. The loser of each game would drink half a cup of the vodka fruit punch. I considered myself a pretty good player, but somehow I managed to lose almost every hand I played that night. I was baffled since I’ve always considered myself to be a very lucky person. Anyways, after a couple of hours of playing and losing, as you can imagine, I was pretty wasted since I had practically drank the entire pitcher by myself. I was so dizzy that I couldn’t stand up, so I tried crawling back to my room. Even crawling, I kept falling sideways. I thought it was hilarious since I’ve never been that drunk or dizzy before. So after rolling and crawling like a soldier, I finally made it onto my bed. As soon as I laid on my bed, I felt the roof and the entire room spinning. I lowered my right hand to touch the floor to see if I could stop the spinning, but it didn’t work. I was very dizzy and I closed me eyes but everything was still spinning. After a while, I guessed I passed out because the stress that I was feeling about the spinning room went away.

Suddenly, I found myself floating in empty space or an empty void. I felt like I was floating on water, except that it wasn’t water. I was floating in what felt like pure LOVE. I also felt like I was slowly drifting, as if being pulled somewhere. The feeling of pure Love that I felt surrounded with was amazing. It was nothing like any love I’ve ever experienced since. I don’t think that kind of Love is available in our physical body and reality because it’s very hard to describe. In my experience, it is indescribable, but since then I realize why people don’t come or don’t want to come back from physical death.

Anyways, I was floating in that wonderful bliss in the middle of nothingness when suddenly I felt something hit me on the back. It felt like being hit by a tennis ball. Then I felt like I was being pelted by these light balls from all directions as in the ATARI game ‘ASTEROIDS’. I kept blocking every shot from all directions. I remember doing this for quite a while because I was getting really exhausted. I didn’t know how long this torture was going to keep going, but I knew that I was about to give up.

Suddenly, I looked up diagonally and I saw a small BRIGHT STAR in the distance. Then the torture stopped and that blissful feeling of pure Love and Peacefulness came once again over me with much delight. I didn’t want that feeling to leave me again; it’s like being engulfed in a blanket of pure Love. I saw the STAR approaching. I was intrigued and I tried to focus on it since I could see like there was someone in the middle of it. As the star was getting closer, I did notice someone. But it was strange because this person was wearing the same clothes that I was. The Star stopped about 20 yards from me and I could see a small version of myself from within that star. I frowned because I was confused.

I asked, ‘Who are you?’ Seconds later, the Being whom I thought was a small version of myself replied with a very STERN, STRONG FATHERLY/GODLY ECHOING VOICE, just like you would imagine God’s voice sounding like. This really shook me down to the essence of my core. I realized there and then that this was no dream, illusion or anything else. This was an ultimatum by someone very powerful. I knew this because it wasn’t my inner voice that I heard nor any voice I’ve heard before or since. This Being said the following and I quote, ‘ WAKE UP OR YOU WON’T.’ I knew this was an option that he was giving me. I remember thinking that I wasn’t ready to die. My mom was waiting for me in Venezuela and she needs me. So as soon as I thought of this, the star started backing away to where it came from.

The light balls started hitting me once again from all directions. At that moment, I started freaking it out because I realized that if I didn’t wake up soon, I was as good as dead. I remember trying to open my eyes and feeling them trying to open. But they felt like they were glued shut. I was in full panic mode at that moment and I tried with all my might until I suddenly snapped my eyes open and sat up on my bed. My heart was beating fast and my entire body was shaking. I couldn’t stop the shaking. I took a couple of deep breaths to see if I could slow down the shaking, but it got worse. On top of that, my saliva was so thick that it felt like I was chewing gum. I needed water, but I could barely move.

I didn’t think I could make it to the kitchen in my condition, so I crawled to Eric’s bed and woke him up. He was scared after seeing me shaking. I asked him to hit me to see if I was dreaming or not. He was really scared at that point. He asked me what was happening to me. I replied, ‘I don’t know, Slap me!’ He did and I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I told Eric to bring me water because I was having a hard time swallowing and breathing. He brought me water, milk, and juice. No matter how much I drank, it felt like I was drinking air. I felt like my time was up, so I told Eric to dial 911. He was reluctant because his English wasn’t good enough. I told him to call and just say ambulance and that’s it. He called and then hung up. 911 called back and he said, “ambulance.”

Minutes later the ambulance came and they checked my pulse and said that I had low pulse. They pulled me up and I felt very nauseous. I told them to take me to the bathroom because I felt like vomiting. I vomited all the vodka fruit punch that was in my system and then my body stopped shaking. My pulse became normal and I felt much better. I had no insurance so I decided not to go in the ambulance. I signed a release form and off they went. It was around 3 a.m. and I was now lying thoughtfully on the living room couch. I was tired but I didn’t want to go to sleep because I was still thinking about the warning. I was scared that if I went to sleep that I wouldn’t wake up again. I resisted my sleep as much as I could until I saw the sun brightening outside. Then I gave up from exhaustion and slept like a baby.

It was strange, but after that day, I lost my fear of dying or of questioning if there is life after death. I now know that we, our true self, doesn’t die, only the physical body does. I understood why we don’t want to come back once we feel that amazing Love, but I felt it wasn’t my time yet.