My Father Died Three Times

I'm not at all "religious." But I do believe now in a compassionate and just God.

I was always an atheist until my father told me this story. He waited until I was adult enough to understand it, and told it to no one else in my family, not even my mother, because he felt he wouldn't be believed.

It's important to say that he was a practical-minded, down-to-earth man not at all given to flights of fancy. He never told a lie, and many times paid dearly for his uncompromising honesty and integrity.

My father was also an atheist, and never attended church except for weddings and funerals. When he was 43, he suffered the first of many heart attacks. I wrote down what he told me before I went to bed that night so I'd never forget it.

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Here's what he said:

"I was lying on a trolley in the emergency room when I felt this massive pain in the middle of my chest, much worse than the one that brought me there. It was absolutely and completely unbearable. All of a sudden I felt myself being sucked out of my body. I looked around and found myself floating up at the ceiling.

"When I looked down, I saw a vaguely familiar figure on a trolley surrounded by frantic nurses and doctors in green outfits. And then I realised it was ME on the trolley. And I knew immediately I'd died after a second heart attack.

"I felt myself being turned around to face the ceiling, except it was no longer there. Instead, there was a tunnel of swirling light, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and I felt myself being sucked into it.

"At the other end, I stepped out onto a grassy hillside. The light was unbearably beautiful, and the breeze made moving silvery patterns through the long grass. I could hear the rushing sound of a river and the laughter of children coming from over the top of the hill. So I started to walk up.

"And suddenly, I found myself frozen in place and I could go no further. Then I heard the most gentle and kind voice I've ever heard say: 'John, this is what you have done.'

"I found myself somehow both looking at a high-speed replay of my whole life and in it as well, stopping every now and again at points where I had hurt people, through deed, thoughtlessness, or omission.

"Each time this happened, I found myself experiencing all of the pain I'd inflicted on them, exactly as if I WAS them as well as myself. Then we arrived at the day I died, and I could move again. So I started back up the hill once more.

"Then I heard the voice say: 'John, if you go to the top of the hill, you cannot go back. It is your choice. Remember, you have young children who depend on you. And you have more work to do. You must decide. All are welcome here. This is your true home. And it will be waiting for you when you return.'

"I thought long and hard about staying, but since all you brats needed me, I decided to go back. The next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital bed in great pain, and then I passed out."

My father died once again in the intensive care ward some years later after having one of the first bypass surgeries ever performed in Ireland. He had the exact same experience on the same hillside but without the life review this time. He sat down on the hillside for what he said was about three hours, bathing in the beautiful light and admiring the view, then stood up and said aloud: "I'll go back." And found himself back in a hospital bed once more.

He didn't become religious after these experiences and start going to church. Although he was always a good and decent man to those he knew, he did begin to go out of his way to be kind and helpful to everyone he met, even complete strangers. I was by his side when he went for the final time and it was so uplifting. He died in great pain with the most wonderful smile on his face I'd ever seen.

He was finally going home after all his suffering.

I share my father’s story with you all so that you can be sure and certain that those who have wronged you in any way, through deed, thoughtlessness, or omission - and I specifically include doctors, dermatologists, and medical researchers - WILL suffer ALL of the exact same pain they caused you.

And this is why we must love, help, and forgive each other every day of our lives.

If you think my father's experience was an isolated incident, check out these websites:

I'll be honest with you now and tell you that not too long ago I took steps to ensure that I could take my leave of the dreadful world I now live in, quickly, painlessly, and efficiently at a time of my own choosing. But before I took that final and irreversible step, I needed to find out how attempted suicides experienced their own passing. So I found the sites I've mentioned above.

Overall, I found that if you take your own life to escape from an intolerable and unending hell not of your own making, and you do it not to hurt others, you will be treated just the same as if you'd died from natural causes.

My father’s story is what has given me the strength to try to carry on as long as I can. The dreadful sufferings of Morgellons people and other infestation sufferers diagnosed as delusional brings tears to my eyes, and I find their strength and courage awe-inspiring.

I only have generalised demodicosis (classified also as delusional because doctors believe only animals can contract it). But it has driven me to the very edge of the abyss, and I am still teetering. I honestly don't know how long I can continue. I have too many other horrible problems to deal with besides this. All I can do is try to live one day at a time. But now I can do so with the spark of hope inspired by all the many other infestation sufferers who've written to me with help, practical advice, and simple human empathy.

Although this story deals with what some may feel is a morbid subject, the inalienable truth is that it is the final destination for every one of us, the Big Black Door through which we must all take our leave when our time comes. And it has had such a powerful and positive effect on me that I feel I should offer it to others in torment to make of it what they will.

And to doctors, dermatologists, and medical researchers everywhere as a reminder that they WILL reap exactly what they sow. Nothing more, nothing less. For God WILL balance the scales.

I'm no longer afraid to bare my soul to the world because I now know that in life, nothing can be truly hidden, and nothing can be elided. Whatever people may choose to believe, the unshakeable truth that underlies the foundations of all existence is that the stories of all our lives, even our most private innermost thoughts, are written indelibly on space and time, and nothing can hide them from the sight of God.