Mary M.

At the age of 15, I had been physically, psychologically and emotionally abused by my chronic alcoholic father. We didn’t know it at the time, but he had PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries. I took an overdose of my grandmother’s sleeping pills. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and spent three days in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

While in the emergency room, I had a Near-Death Experience (NDE). I remember floating above my hospital bed as the nurses tried to wake me up. While floating over the bed, I saw a tunnel and a light. I heard a non-auditory voice telling me I had to choose between life or going to the light. I feel I was there for some time trying to make up my mind. The light was comforting, full of unconditional love and peace. I’d look down and see the IV hook-up. I heard the nurses talking about ‘ICU’ and knew without ever having heard the term before that it meant Intensive Care Unit. I made the choice to stay in this life.

I have never forgotten the warmth and love I felt and look forward to it when it’s my time to go. I have felt it once since in 2004; in that time between sleeping and waking. At the time, my father-in-law was in his last days with a heart condition. I thought the feeling was him passing to the other side. So, I had my husband call the hospital to check on him. It wasn’t him. I now believe I had briefly entered another dimension where that unconditional love exists.

After the experience, I spent over a month on the psychiatric ward. Back in those days, basically nothing was done except to house me. When I returned home, the social workers insisted my grandparents and dad get me a new mattress. I was sleeping on one that was 40 years old.

I vowed that I would never follow a permanent solution for a temporary problem. I’m still here and a cancer survivor of 10 years.