In 2010 I became very ill due to alcohol abuse and was subsequently hospitalized. Due to my weakened immune system, I picked up several infections in the hospital. This led to sepsis and respiratory failure requiring a tracheostomy and mechanized ventilation (life support). According to my family, there was little chance I would survive, and if I did survive I would have significant mental deficits.

At some point during my illness, I became aware that I was in a beautiful place that was vivid to all my senses. I remember that I felt like light or energy, and it was beyond description wonderful. I felt one with the universe, like I was the universe and the universe was me.

A male figure approached me and we began laughing. It was laughter of joy because we were together. We began communicating by thought, not speaking. We started walking a path that led to a gate. We communicated for some length of time while walking.

The figure (I believe it was my deceased grandfather) asked me to stop walking. He then asked me to look at the gate and tell him what I saw. I told him we were no closer, even though we had been walking toward the gate for a long time.

He said to me, "You know what that means," and I said, "Yes, it’s not my time to be here." We both laughed and were still very happy. The next memory I have is waking up in the hospital.

While I was part of this light, I felt that I was my true being. It was amazing! I know it was not my time to leave my earthly body, and I knew and still know that is the case.

I am sure you have heard many times, but there are no words to describe the perfection, joy, light, and energy of my experience.

I am not and have never been a super religious person, but there are some Bible verses that make more sense to me now. The one about how I am made in God’s image and how God is beginning and end. Those to me make sense. I am the beginning and the end of the Universe, we all are, we are all connected and we will never ever truly end.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience.