I understand from my mother that I was a very cuddly baby. I always loved nature and always felt for the underdog. The trouble seemed to begin around my fourth year of school. I was labeled as slow and thus held back to repeat the year. This I believe was the starting point on the path to many years of turmoil. It would take too long to write about all the events through these years. Besides a lot of people would say I am trying to blame others for my problems. But since my NDE I understand these events were for me to learn lessons. Okay, so I was held back, forced to have a brain scan (the doctor's prognosis, normal) and by my early teen years was even taken to a shrink. One visit was all. He told my parents he could do nothing as I could outsmart him. I was really on the wrong path by now. I believe my being rebellious built a wall to contain the gentle spirit that I know resides in all of us. I had seen much cruelty, but what I have always rebelled against most was the fear/punishment attitude of society.

I was raised in a Christian family, went to church almost every Sunday until I was 17. The damnation of hell is what I heard preached the most, fear and punishment more than unconditional love. The years passed and I eventually married. We had two children, but the marriage fell apart within a few years and ended after about six years, shortly after my NDE. It was a nasty marriage for the most part and toward the end I felt I was losing something precious. I had become a very bitter person because of infidelity in my marriage. There seemed to be no love on her part and this was making me so hateful.

One night after an incident with her and another man, I drove to talk to my brother. He wasn't home so I headed back home. I was heartbroken; my life was shattering. I put in a cassette tape my mom had given me. It was a minister of her church talking about destiny. It was around midnight and raining. As I came down this hill, ahead of me I saw a red flashing light. This was where two roads crossed. I had the red light and the other car had the flashing yellow. I saw the vehicle stopped in front of me, but it was a ways away. I had been working many hours and being so devastated by what was happening to my marriage I was tired enough to dose off for just a moment.

The moment was too long. I looked up, and in an instant I had to make a choice, swerve left into an oncoming vehicle, right into a concrete culvert, or hang on. It all happened too fast and I slammed on the brakes and held on for the impact. Coming downhill my speed had picked up, and when I hit the brakes I noticed the miles per hour at 70. The impact was tremendous. I cut my chin on the steering wheel and my head hit the windshield. The pain was terrible and I remember opening the door and falling to the road. This is when I had my NDE.

This is funny. This is the way I remember it. I thought of something my mom always used to say, "Better make sure you have clean under shorts in case you're in a wreck." Then I felt like I was real relaxed and thought I had heard it said that sometimes when someone dies, they go in their shorts. As I began to feel more relaxed I thought, okay I'll go over to the ditch and do my thing there before I die. Then I felt these things. First I was in a sitting position with a tunnel around me down to my waist. I felt this as well as saw it. Then I felt this oh so strong love and a sense of everything being okay. I saw the bright light at the end of this long tunnel, but felt afraid because of the way I'd lived my life although the light seemed very loving anyway. I felt distinctness in the tunnel with the outer darkness being a void. I felt that there was no such thing as time. How silly of us I thought.

I didn't seem to have a life review, but I saw a huge scene. I saw what looked like my casket and I saw my family standing there sad. I was thinking it's okay; it's okay. I saw my two little children. They seemed to be larger than the others. I saw their sadness. Then I saw myself about six feet above the vehicle that I hit. I thought, I'm not dead I'm here. Everything is okay. I then looked down to the road and saw some people looking at my body. I thought, that's not me. I wouldn't cry over that thing. That is like a cigarette butt; it has served its purpose. It's a vehicle to get through this physical world. In the next moment, I was at the ditch. I had undone my jeans, took one more step and slosh right into a ditch full of stagnant, smelly water. I went clear over my head. I then remember crawling up the ditch and touching the road. The next thing I remember is being in an ambulance, then out and being slapped and told to hang in there. They got me to the hospital, cut my clothes off, and washed enough of the stinky mud off to put five stitches in my chin and eight in the top of my head.

My marriage ended shortly after and I began to change in thought. I started to go back to church. I just couldn't get into this fear and punishment dogma anymore. I didn't care to be in a relationship and have any more children so I became closer and closer to my youngest brother. We enjoyed the same hobbies and we worked as carpenters on a number of jobs. I have suffered depression and so did he. We talked about death and I told him of my NDE. He was a gentle soul and at the age of 40 he ended his life. It hurts so much; I just hope he is all right. Some people say NDEs are caused by demons. From my own and reading many others, love is spoken of so many times. So then where are the demons of this love, and where is the love of the fear and punishment religious doctrine? God is love, unconditional love; he gives us free will to make choices. Man uses God to instill fear in others to enforce their opinion on them. Religions have made God an active part of a hideous doctrine of control. So now, truly, where are the demons? Love everyone and forgive all, this seems to be the truth and our reason for being here.