Dear Facebook Diary,
I am only talking about this again because I am questioned about it very often and it came up again the other night, and I hate having long conversations about it because it is extremely hard to explain. I could tell and probably have told this story a million times and no matter what I feel like I’ve left out 90% of what happened. Partly because it is impossible to put the experience into words along with the fact that it is unexplainable to begin with. I don’t know why but it feels very personal to me, it’s like spreading my cheeks and showing my bung at a party. It’s oddly embarrassing. A corny personal blog is hardly the place to expose myself like this but whatever. It was a long time ago and I’ve had enough time to get over most of the emotional aspects of it. Anyway Kyle, here is a long but still very summarized version of what it is like to die along with my opinions of it.
It was late February and my fellow high school friends and I were out celebrating another Friday night of our youthful ‘not giving a shit’ lives by getting shitfaced and smoking left handed cigarettes, as usual. I was riding in the car with Joe to go to a freshman or sophomore girl’s party and although my memory of the ride is sketchy, I do know how it ended.
I believe the car was coming out of a ditch at a high rate of speed. The front end of the car went upward and pointed directly up at the sky. I was sitting in the backseat behind Joe, the driver. I looked up at the unusually clear sky and took notice of how black the sky was compared to the stars. They say that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die, but my brain just froze and took a picture of the night sky. Then there was a loud and jolting crunch from behind me; this was the car making contact with the ground after its brief moment of flight. The car proceeded to do cartwheels from what I’ve been told and then it slammed down on its wheels and the momentum shot me out of the side window and I landed on the gravel road… onto my face.
According to my anesthesiologist and the paramedics it was at this point that I was instantly killed. However, from my point of view I was suddenly standing outside of the car looking down at my body and looking around at the aftermath of a single NASCAR styled accident that three of my friends and I had just been ejected from. I say that I was standing over my body but my view of the wreck was from every angle possible. I remember seeing Dale in the middle of the road appearing to have been nearly sawed in half but still wide-awake. Joe was off to the side of the road and the top of his head looked like it was missing and Tom was slowly stirring from the ditch.
Another three of my friends were following us in a truck and the driver, Jay, was already on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Jay was giving out orders to Abe and Jeb about what to do. Jeb was checking on Dale when Abe came over to my body and I was immediately alarmed by Abe’s fear. My body was laying face up and there was blood coming out of my nose and mouth. Abe then went back to the truck and returned with a CD. He placed the shiny part of the CD under my nose to see if I was still breathing. I was mentally cheering myself on to breath on the CD and although I saw a little puff of steam and speckles of blood form on the CD, Abe has said that he saw nothing. Abe threw the CD off into the field, I swear it was an Alan Jackson CD and I’ve never been a fan of country music, so it was no big loss. It was then that my point of view seemed to be getting further away. I stayed focused on the scene of the accident but I felt some sort of light behind me and I refused to turn around and look at it because I was becoming aware of the fact that I might be dead. I am a very stubborn person and if I genuinely do not want to do something, I will not do it. And at that point I was not going to go easily.
I saw an ambulance rushing up the road and Dale waved a hand in the air because he was afraid that it was going to run him over. Paramedics burst out through the back of the ambulance and ran to the injured victims, myself included. I don’t remember watching them take my body into an ambulance but I know that they revived me because I instantly went from floating around a car accident on a country road to complete darkness.
My next memory was looking out into the hallway outside of the ER. I saw an enormous amount of friends and relatives showing up and all of them were very concerned about what had happened, many of them were crying. This whole part is very episodic as I was going back and forth between viewing the hallway and moments of total darkness. I’m guessing that this is because the doctors were struggling to get my heartbeat going again at a steady rate.
My body was pushed out into a hallway on a table, and although my body was alive I was standing outside of it, looking at it. My brother and parents were around my body crying and holding my hand. I have no memories of being concerned about my own well-being but was very attentive to everyone else’s feelings about my well-being. Then, everything went black.
I suppose that I was in a solid coma for a while before my next near death experience because my brain completely stopped recording anything. But then I was given the medication Rocephin to fight off bacterial infections. Unbeknownst to doctors and everyone else, I am highly allergic to penicillin and unfortunately for me Rocephin is a penicillin based antibiotic. Shortly after being injected with Rocephin my body went into anaphylactic shock and I died, again. It happened at one or two in the morning so there was one nurse on duty that noticed.
This is when the big and most commonly described near death experience happened. It first started with my deceased grandparents being in the hospital room with me. My grandfather was walking around the room looking at the various machines that were plugged into me and my grandmother was sitting on the edge of the bed comforting me. This would have been typical behavior of them even though I had only known them as a child and probably wouldn’t have picked up on their personal traits. As my grandmother sat with me, a bright light began to form in the middle of the room. Both of my grandparents turned to me and comforted me as the light took me into it. I was then in a dark blue, almost black hallway with a bright white light at the end of it. I had this weird feeling of being underwater and soaring over my uncle’s fields in Ord where I sort of grew up, and then I reached the light. In this light was an endless amount of people and all of them knew everything about me and I knew everything about them, none of us were strangers. At the forefront of the group was an individual that closely resembled myself. Without words I was told that I was entirely welcome to join the group and it definitely felt like I belonged with the group. It is the place that I came from and the place that I will return to. It wasn’t a big room of people being overlooked by a God; it was the combination and source of all life. Once again, without words, I asked if it would be okay for me to go back because like I said, I am a very stubborn person. I was told that it was my choice and that I would be mentally and physically fine if I chose to live. So I chose to live instead of die. And then, total blackness until I woke up from a coma.
There is so much more that happened in all of that but I think that was a pretty decent summary of the events, and I changed the names because I always do that. A major reason that I avoid talking about this is because as soon as I finish speaking I am berated with everyone’s religious and nonreligious but still completely uninformed opinions on the matter. It’s like me forming a definite opinion about the rhubarb growing conditions in Nauru although I’ve never been there and didn’t even know it was a country until I looked it up a minute ago. Nobody has the ability to just listen and take it in because everyone wants to have a solid belief about what is going to happen after they are dead.
Anyway, last year there was a very important but under published study about brain activity at the moment of death. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor plugged a bunch of electrodes into the brains of rats and then recorded the brain activity as they killed the little fuckers. Beginning at the moment that the heart stopped and continuing up to a minute after complete death, there was an extreme surge of consciousness in all of the rats. The surge that was recorded was more electrical brain activity than can be produced while being alive. So the researchers concluded that this was quite possibly the cause of the common near death experience. The electrical surge may be the body’s way of trying to jump start itself or easing physical pain or maybe making the conscious brain accept the idea of dying.
Many of the people in the near death experience communities hate this study because it takes all of the heavenly mysticism out of it and makes it a physical experience. I like this study because it is an actual explanation and it puts me at ease about maintaining my fear of dying. I think having a fear of death is a good thing. Yeah, death is inevitable and you should somehow make peace with the fact that it’s a hoop you will one day have to jump through, but that doesn’t mean you should welcome it.
Well, about the group of people that I saw in the almighty light at the end of the tunnel. Well the greatest painkillers in life are acceptance, love, and recognition. All of the things that offer these feelings, like drugs, sex, and religion, are all things that people are willing to die or kill for because they give the greatest feelings in life. The one doctor that knows this is the human brain and the only injection of natural Novocain that is stronger than the phrase “I love you” is a shot of “we love you”. I think that is why every near death experience that I have read about or been through involves seeing a large or infinite amount of people welcoming you to join them. It gives you a great sense of peace and puts you at ease with the idea of moving forward, or in this case dying. I also have no memories of physical pain during any of these experiences so it worked in that aspect as well. I think that it is also important to note that the level of coma that I was in would make it impossible for me to dream. So any brain activity that I had isn’t explainable.
So, being that it is an electrical action occurring in an individual’s brain would explain why people see their own deceased loved ones and figures of their own religious beliefs rather than every person that has a near death experience seeing the exact same people and figures. Because if there really is some all ruling God then everyone’s near death experience would be a little more cut and dry and less varying about who they met at death’s doorway. It also explains the commonalities with the tunnel and the bright light at the end.
After having an experience where my brain has reached a level of awareness that it could never reach during normal living conditions, I do feel very different now. I will briefly go over the whole psychic and seeing spirits and shit. It is freaky to me and if anyone asks me questions about it I role my eyes and give them the “fuck off” look, but ever since I got out of the hospital I do get weird feelings and thoughts in some places. I first took notice of this less than a year after leaving the hospital, when I was staying at my now sister-in-law’s house in Brazil. In the room that I was staying in, I kept getting this feeling and had a mid afternoon dream about a teenage girl that really hated being in the house but an old lady told her that she had to stay no matter what. I later learned that the house had been a convent a long time ago and that gave me the heebie jeebies.
Christ knows how many of these weird experiences I have had since then, and many of these feelings have been proven correct after I looked into them. However, I do not believe in ghosts or wandering spirits. I think that maybe people leave behind some trace of emotional energy during life changing or life ending events, and maybe after having my brain receive such a huge shock it’s able to pick up on those things. To me, the idea of someone hanging around to watch people go about their everyday lives for decades or centuries after they have died is ridiculous and a rather pessimistic belief of life after death. Life after death is already a jackass term because if you’re dead then you’re not alive, so what the fuck does ‘life after death’ even mean? And why do people on those ‘ghost hunter’ shows always assume that all ghosts are retarded? Like how they say, “We are not here to hurt you” and talk down to the ghosts like they’re two-year-olds. And why do ghosts wear clothes? Wouldn’t all ghosts be naked because their clothes didn’t necessarily die along with them? If you get to choose your clothing after you die then when I become a ghost, I am going to dress up as the Kool-Aid man and float through peoples’ walls while hauntingly moaning, “Oh yeah”.