This week I had the privilege to speak at Chicago Ideas week on the subject of “Life’s Big Questions.” Among the speakers were: Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund; David Gregory, former host of Meet the Press, talking about his new book How’s your Faith?; Dan Diaz, one of the strongest men I know, who spoke about his wife Brittany Maynard‘s life and her plight to die with dignity; and Patricia Marx, former SNL writer and staff writer for The New Yorker, who wrote a very funny book called Let’s be less stupid!. And then there was me. I was speaking on “What Happens When We Die?”
Alex Wagner of MSNBC hosted the 12 minute Q & A, but as is often the case with time constraints, there is always much more left unsaid. Alex was gregarious, funny, witty and inquisitive. I could have spent hours talking to her as a friend, forgetting the fact that there were 1,000 pairs of ears in the live audience listening to what we were saying. I wanted people to come away with the importance of being your own best advocate, understanding how your intuition can save your life, and finally knowing we are not alone.
What do I mean by that? There are many neurologists and scientists who will say that as the brain shuts down, the hallucinations people see are common (DMT). And that there are so many people with the same experiences in their near death moments that, in essence, it is physiological event, not a spiritual one. I would counter that with a couple of things. First: These scientists are studying the brain, but they are not your brain. They can assume what you are seeing is based on a physiological response, but they do not 100% KNOW. Second: Why can’t so many people having the same experience lead to another conclusion? It IS a spiritual experience, something Divine working in tandem with the scientific. The great Carl Sagan had something to say on the topic of science vs. spirit and why the two are not mutually exclusive.
What I am about to tell you had scientific and spiritual explanations all over it. I will not attempt to talk about anyone else’s experience but my own. Others may have had different accounts to their own Near Death Experience (NDE), but this is only what happened through my own “windows to my soul.” So what happened when I died?
I separated from my body. I go into great detail in my book 37 Seconds about it, so I don’t need to reiterate it here, but there is another dimension. A life after death. I talk about the detailed visions I had 3 months before I gave birth, and no scientist – not a one – can tell me how that was possible. I talk about what happened in the operating room, down the hall and across the street with what people are wearing, doing, saying (with validation from those people I was seeing) after I flat-lined, and I am given zero insight that there is a scientific explanation. Believe me, for my PhD Economist husband’s sake, I asked. A lot. Yet, every time I asked, they tried to come up with something, anything, to make what I was saying improbable and likely there was a good explanation for it.
Okay, but what? I was given excuses by doctors that the premonitions were a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” When pushed if they actually believed that (because that in of itself would mean they believe in a spiritual component), they ultimately said “It’s the only thing we could come up with, and no, we don’t believe that.” I was relieved, because if they did, I would have to go on a quest to see if I could actually imagine my organs combining and hemorrhage and think my way to dying. My own intuition tells me I cannot and that these scientists wish they could have an answer for themselves. I felt for the longest time I was in an episode of House, MD and they were trying to dissect everything to make it make sense. There was an article in Psychology Today I found interesting discussing the subject of why people claim to see ghosts at a time of extreme stress and that at that high level of unusual stress will cause them to see apparitions in order to feel less alone and help save them. This would normally be great, except in my case, it does not help me understand my situation. I never, for 3 months, thought a spirit was present giving me these accurate premonitions and it wasn’t until I went back into those moments through therapy, in the comfort of a healing environment that I saw them there. I also had details from individual’s passed loved ones and since then, others, that I could not have known just by having a “good guess,” and I wasn’t under heavy stress when those spirits revealed themselves. I am open to more scientific proof, but what I HAVE been able to prove is that when it comes to what I saw in the future or back into the past, science has no explanation.
I came across an interesting perspective that you may find as fascinating as I did, from Cliff Gilley, a Technologist, problem solver, product manager and lawyer:
“There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that ghosts (intelligent spirits of those who have passed away) exist. There are two possible conclusions to draw from this fact: (1) that ghosts do not actually exist; or (2) that we have not yet acquired the scientific knowledge to understand or measure their existence.
There are a great many things that have been presumed not to exist, yet have been identified and scientifically validated as our technology and understanding of the universe increased.”
Science and technology helped save my life. The medical tools were in place and they were prepared to help me to survive. But if you ask the doctors why I survived, they said “they were prepared, because I prepared them.” And for that, they have no scientific explanation. One doctor, Dr. Elena Kamel, Associate Professor of clinical OB/GYN at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, went insofar as to tell me “I can’t give you a medical reason why you survived. I think you need to go spiritual on this one.” And I absolutely agree with her. There is no doubt in my mind, I was saved by a spirit. Actually, many of them.
I was helped by my mother’s brother, my uncle, who was someone I loved very much and had passed away 20 years before. My grandmother from Cuba, who passed many years before my uncle, was by my side the moment I coded and I realized she had always been there. I’ve seen people I know and others I did not. I had messages in those moments that I sent back to their families. Those families were in shock by the messages that didn’t quite make sense to me, but made perfect sense to them. Again, I go into greater detail in the book about them.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I am not a medium. Things come to me periodically, organically, and I SENSE them and then I SAY them. Every time I talk about what I am seeing, it affects who I am speaking to at their core. I do not shy away from the messages anymore and there is a reason I am getting them at the time I am getting them. I am now just more highly aware and in tune with what I am seeing, because I have seen it over and over again since I died. And I am not alone with what I see. I point to many examples within my manuscript.
There is another life after this lifetime. Actually, there is another life running parallel with this lifetime. A fourth dimension, if you will. Remember that Christmas ornament that moved when there was no wind or reason for it to have moved? Or the smell of your passed loved one’s perfume at what seemed like a random time or place? A book that had fallen off the shelf for no apparent reason. Or even hearing a voice in the quiet moments of your life? I believe all of it are messages from the other side. We are just so convinced it cannot be possible, that we brush it off as coincidence. Until something happens dramatically to stop you in your tracks or there is complete silence, you will likely miss it.
That old saying “Life is Short” is a fallacy. Life doesn’t end because our bodies die, we just take a different form. Maybe scientists want to prove this is not the case and that is fine, but I would bet that toward the end of their lives, many of them will question if they will live on. I know something else awaits, because I have seen it. Many spirits saved my life. Many spirits came together to give me information I could not have “guessed” the answers to and there is irrefutable truth and documentation to all of that. There is no doubt that there is a life after death, and it awaits us all.