I had a mild heart attack in April of 1999. This was following bypass surgery in March of 1990. It was during my recovery at home in the spring of 1999 that the event occurred. It was early afternoon. My wife and daughter were having their hair done downstairs in the kitchen of our townhouse by a friend who was a stylist. I told them I was very tired and went upstairs to lie down for a while. Lying on the bed I suddenly began to experience this very strange feeling almost like floating in the ocean, riding the waves. I remember feeling quite cold and unable to move around. I have no idea how long this lasted, but it seemed forever. When it subsided, I arose and was going to use the washroom when it all began again. I went to the top of the stairs and called out for my wife. When she appeared at the bottom of the stairs, I told her I felt very strange and I thought it best to call an ambulance. Later she told me that my color was very gray. She immediately called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, I was sitting on the couch. There was much commotion around me as they checked my vitals while all the time asking how I felt. I remember looking over to the top of the stairway where my wife and daughter stood panic-stricken. I wanted to tell them goodbye and how much I loved them. Something inside told me I was about to die. Later, I was told that I was speaking in some strange language that no one understood. They said I spoke it well and coherently, but no one understood anything I was saying. At what must have been about the same time (everything was happening very fast) I saw myself standing at the base of an enormously high mountain. There was an opening in front of me and I walked in. I was standing in a dimly lit long tunnel and began walking toward the source of the light. As I rounded a slight bend, there in front of me stood my father. My dad had died on Christmas Eve of 1998. He looked not as he had in his final days but as he must have 40 or 50 years earlier. In the background, I could dimly see a group of people and animals that looked like other deceased relatives and pets of mine. My dad spoke and said, "Go back, it's not your time yet."

During this time the paramedics had stabilized me, got me on a stretcher, and sped to the emergency room from where I was moved to ICU. My condition was diagnosed as extreme electrical failure in the heart. The next day they installed a defibrillator to regulate any future electrical disturbances. All the doctors told me I was very lucky and if it were not for the fast action of the paramedics I would have died. They call it SDS.

During my stay in ICU several doctors came to visit and asked me to tell my story. I felt a bit strange telling this to these "scientists" but they said it was something that occurred more than I might think. The impact on me has been significant. Although never much of a churchgoer, I have always considered myself to be a spiritual person. How strongly did I believe in an "after life" prior to this event? Not a whole lot. How do I feel now? At peace and confident that there is a continuation of our souls. What lies in the future will be largely dependent on the quality and goodness of our present existence.