My first awareness was that I was in a different place. From my perspective looking from the left wall, it was a wide hallway with a steady stream of people moving largely along the other wall. There were quite a number of people, helping and reassuring people, who were in that line. I was angry. I didn’t know where I was or why I was there. I recall exclaiming, ‘Where the hell am I? What’s going on?’ Rather promptly, people whose energy was quite loving and calming surrounded me. They were telling me that everything was okay. At least one female in that group, slightly to my right, was a bit shorter. Later I sensed a familial connection, even though I didn’t recognize her.
Looking to the left, where everyone else was headed, it seemed that the hallway ended in a much larger, brighter room, where I could see people moving about. Rather quickly, a taller male, who appeared to be in charge, like a supervisory receiving clerk, came up to me. Though obviously quite busy, he told me that, ‘Everything was okay. You were not expected now, but you’ve done everything that you needed to.’ He added that, ‘It is your choice as to whether you want to stay or go back.’ I recall beginning to mull on that while the others were still there around me. I looked to my right, mentally thinking of the children. I was particularly thinking of my youngest daughter who was getting ready for college. I remember thinking, ‘Whatever I am going to do, I’d better do it now.’ (Only much later did I learn that my wife used almost the same words from outside the door while the code was underway.) I definitely had NOT made a decision, but found myself ‘back.’ I was no longer in that hallway, but was in a sometimes dead and sometimes terrifying reality, that I later learned was an induced coma. The intimate sense of the experience stayed with me in diminishing levels over the next 6 months. But I found myself longing more and more for that other state of being. I did not regard it as a religious experience as much as simply the beginning transition to another phase of life.