I was in my early teenage years. One evening I was brought to the emergency unit of University Clinic Hamburg, Germany. Hours later, I stepped out of the doctor’s practice room, walked through the reception area towards the exit, supported by my mother who held my arm. It was probably midnight. I felt worn out and exhausted by pain, and asked her to stop. I had reached a point where I felt numb and unable to move any further. I closed my eyes.
Then, all of a sudden, there was no more outer world, no more sound, no more mother, no more hospital or any type of environment. It was just me turning inside, feeling and observing. I sensed an enormous pull towards – what I called at that time – death. And the only sentence that kept popping up in my mind again and again was: „If I let go now, I will die.“ In fact, death was pulling me and felt like a huge, delicious temptation. If I let go, I intuitively understood, it would mean the release of consciousness from the body, and there would be no turning back.
I was struggling with two inner forces of which one tried to stay and the other wanted to let go. After what seemed like an eternity I eventually had to let go simply because death not only felt so bright and appealing, but also because it was pulling me with tremendous strength, like magnetism. The body collapsed. In fact my body seemed to dissolve, and what was left I can only describe as pure consciousness.
My awareness got sucked into a bright light tunnel above me and floated then in an infinite space of white and golden light. It felt amazing and breathtakingly beautiful. I was infused and surrounded by sweet peacefulness, a sense of security and salvation. There was no pain, no fear, no limit, no time, no temperature, there were no thoughts, no feelings. Just wakeful, serene, pure beingness. The space or field felt infinite, and infinitely benevolent. Felt so full of love, healing and grace.
At some point I was back in my body. I had no idea how I returned as the shift was so sudden and fast. I remember how my worried and pale mother was staring at me while I was getting up. I, in contrast to her, felt clear, refreshed and relaxed. And I asked: “What are we waiting for? Let’s go.”
I never looked back to this episode and many years went by before I told a friend what happened. It didn’t occur to me that my experience might have been unusual or special. That the whole thing even had a name – NDE (Near Death Experience) – I learned only by chance more than a decade later.
What remained was an natural, open sense for beauty and realities in non-earthly realms. And a feeling connection to a familiar space of peace to which I can return to when the time comes. Do I fear death? No. I just fear potential discomfort and helplessness before dying.
Afterthought on common misconceptions
Usually people say they fear death. I belief though, that many people don’t fear death, but that they fear decay. They fear whatever weakening process and pain might occur before they depart.
There is also a confusion in the collective about life being the opposite of death. It’s a misunderstanding. Think about it. The opposite of death is birth! Life is all – and birth and death are part of life.