October 28, 1996. My eyes felt heavy and were tightly shut, yet I felt as if I were waking from a blurry dream. I could hear my brother’s desperate cry, begging, “Please, take care of her! Don’t worry about me—I’m fine!”
Others were insisting, “There’s not much we can do for her . She won’t make it.” I could feel the chaos around me and I gradually became aware of what was occurring. They were talking about me.
I was going to die. The memories of the crash suddenly rushed through my head. We lived far from school, and though we usually took public transportation, some friends had offered to take us home. We felt lucky and safer, ironically…until a thoughtless motorcycle driver got in the way, and my friend lost control of the car.
Upon impact, my heart felt like it had stopped, and darkness enveloped me. From the back seat, I looked through the front windshield directly up at the sky, and in a fraction of a second, I saw the most beautiful constellation of bright stars on the darkest sky I could ever imagine.
I felt like I was falling into a profound abyss.
No one was drinking or speeding or distracted, yet the car did a few full cartwheels, went across the median into the opposite lane, and smashed against a palm tree, ejecting everyone from the car.
Except for me. I was trapped.
Somehow, I was watching all of this happen. Not with my own eyes, but from somewhere above…sort of. Words fail me whenever I try to explain this. My “special” aerial view revealed the driver sitting on the sidewalk, as if in disbelief. My brother had a few scrapes here and there, but he wept, as if his heart were breaking. The guy who occupied the passenger’s seat hit his head badly, so I’m guessing he ended up having a couple of stitches.
They were all in fear, shock, and a strange kind of calm panic. I seemed unconscious to them, although my mind seemed more conscious than ever— of people’s feelings, their thoughts, of my own emotions, my surroundings, of the past, the present, and the future. I saw other vague images of noisy ambulances and could hear alarmed voices as I was rushed to the hospital.
As I came back to the present moment, I was lying on a hospital bed, unable to move, surprised to find that I felt nothing instead of the unimaginable pain I expected. I realized that night that at only nineteen years of age, I had a very slim chance of survival. I was not expected to make it through the night.
For what I know now to be 8 days, I was locked in a coma, had nineteen broken bones (16 ribs, my clavicle bone, and my jaw in three places), an oxygen mask over my mouth and nose, and a tube coming out of my side due to lung collapse. I couldn’t feel my legs or my tongue or my teeth, for that matter.
5 Lessons I Learned From My Coma:
Death Life ~ Death is an imminent, inevitable, and inescapable part of life. After experiencing just how fragile we are, how everything can change in an instant, how little control we have, I have ditched my fear of dying for a fear of not living. We don’t have to be on our death bed to choose to embrace life, love, and legacy today… each day! I have given myself permission to be who I am, unapologetically… to follow my joy, and live on my own terms. Are you IN?
Words Heal ~ As I lay weightless and seemingly lifeless, I could hear words that impacted, influenced, and pierced my soul. Call me weird… I believe those words kept me alive. I believe our words give life… and can take it away, too.
You Are Loved ~ I felt the raw pain, fear, and torture my family and friends were going through, and knew it surpassed mine by far. I discovered I was more loved than I realized. Love heals, cures, regenerates, restores, brings unspeakable peace… when demonstrated.
We Are Eternal ~ Dying was neither stressful nor traumatic. It was an insightful and peaceful event. Having an out of body experience gives you a weird perspective of what life really is. Like when my dad’s hand touched mine, and I felt it with my soul. It was definitely not a brain twitch or hallucination, it was real sense of eternity and life beyond the mortal body.
Each Day Is A Priceless Gift ~ I guess you don’t appreciate breathing a whole lot until you are unable to do it on your own for a few days. Have you thought about this miracle? I sure do more often now. I have also become more intentional and less wasteful of my time and energy. It’s interesting to think that time as we know it seems irrelevant in the spirit realm, yet it is the essence of our earthly existence. Treasure your time and use it to learn, grow, and connect with God, yourself and others. Don’t just count your blessings… savor them.
I know this is kind of a loaded post. I once saw a sign that read “beware of chicks with near death experiences.” I was forever transformed by the timelessness of this experience. I am bit less stubborn, obstinate, and self-centered, and I have a deeper sense of the purpose of this life and the plan that Heavenly Father has for me and those I love.
As I celebrate the anniversary of the near death experience that saved my life, I am IMMENSELY GRATEFUL for SECOND CHANCES. Everyday, I feel blessed to be ALIVE, to have the privilege to be a MOM, and have the possibility to create JOY, BALANCE, and SUCCESS as defined by my own standards.
What lessons can YOU learn from my coma? Share with us in the comment section below. Thank you in advance, love!