I died this morning. It was somewhat unexpected, really, I guess it always is. I wanted to share what I learned about death and how amazed I was at what happened.
First of all, it hurts. They say it doesn’t, but there is a burning in your core I can only assume was my spirit severing ties with my body. I say assume because I’m still awaiting my formal orientation here in the afterlife. It’s kind of weird, every religion had it right, all at the same time. You get here and there’s seperate groups for each belief system. I met a really nice woman from France who was excited to meet Jesus while another fellow had reserved a re-incarnation as a bluebird. Me, I’m still on the fence about it all, and you kind of get to change your mind if you want. But that’s not the reason I’m writing you this message.
When I died I was in the back of an ambulance. I know that happens to a lot of people, but I was the Paramedic treating the patient. Oh, she died too, long story there, but it was what happened after the burning subsided that amazed me more than anything else.
You see, angels don’t swoop down and carry you away, your family doesn’t meet you to guide you into a light, but there is a kind of hallway of light. OK, I take it back, you kind of do go into a light.
Thing is, when a Paramedic dies, everyone they’ve helped comes to walk with them through the tunnel. The angels stand aside proudly as they come walking towards you and the faces are all smiling. I saw the first code I ever ran, the little girl that got hit by the car, even a few of the regulars who I took to the hospital multiple times a week years ago, each and everyone exactly how I remember them. Some were recent patients who weren’t sick enough to be dead. Before I know what they were I was frieghtened. I was confused. There were hundreds. Last thing I remember I’m taking a blood pressure, then a loud tearing sound, then the burning from inside and now hundreds of people are walking towards me in some weird tunnel. It’s hard to explain, but feels amazing.
Each one of them comes forward and I’m not sure how, but you can feel each and every one of their spirits pick you up from under your arms and guide you down the tunnel.
When you reach the end of the tunnel it’s like a parade and everyone you know is there, even people you know to still be alive when you died. This place exists outside of time.
As the parade approaches the main gates there is a giant angel who guards the door. I assume this is where the St Peter reference comes from, but this guy is huge. No book, no podium, he’s just blocking the gate. When we approached he made eye contact with me, bowed his head and turned. Just as I thought I was in trouble, the gates opened and the angels standing inside all turned towards me and smiled. As the crowd forming the parade slowly let me walk forward alone, each one of the angels bent on one knee and bowed their heads as I walked by. I turned around, wondering what was happening and saw the crowd of folks slowly dispersing except for one little old woman in a housecoat and faded slippers. She was the one who was in the ambulance when this all happened. She blew me a kiss and I motioned her to follow, but she simply held up her hand, shook her head ever so slightly, then shuffled off in the direction of a little old man in a dirty brown suit and hat holding a single sun flower. She took his arm and they walked together towards another group I could barely see.
As I turned back to where I was headed it suddenly ocurred to me I was dead and this was heaven: A pureness of joy that can’t be described. Not a city in the clouds, but a fulfillment of love and hope that leaves you wanting nothing.
And that was the day I died.