When I was fifteen years old, my uncle had a heart attack and died.
A few minutes later, a stubborn doctor brought him back to life.
When he was asked about those few minutes, my uncle refused to talk
about them. I sensed that whatever happened to him “out there” must
have scared the hell out of him.
This was the beginning of my fascination with the near-death experience.
NDE is not uncommon. Millions of people around the world claim to
have experienced it, most of them reporting the usual trappings we’ve
all heard about:
Out of body travel. Tunnel. Bright light. The presence of long-departed loved ones.
Many tie this to a religious experience, but these elements cross
all cultural and spiritual boundaries. Scientists have suggested that
what NDE survivors go through is merely a kind of death dream caused by
chemicals in the brain, but it seems odd to me that most survivors
dream pretty much the same thing.
It also seems odd that many of the survivors are able to report what
doctors and loved ones have said in the room – after they were
Based on my uncle’s refusal to talk about his trip to the great
beyond, however, I’ve long had the feeling that the experience as
described is not universal. For some of us, there is a darker version
of the journey. A scarier version.
And that idea, of course, attracted me as a writer.
When I think of my book, KISS HER GOODBYE, which comes out in paperback next month, I look at it as
essentially a crime thriller. It’s the story of an ATF agent whose
daughter is kidnapped and buried alive, and the unusual lengths a
desperate father has to go to in order to save her.
All the elements of a crime thriller are there, but I also wanted to
give the reader a slightly different experience, one that allowed me to
explore some of the questions about near-death and the afterlife.
These are questions we all think about from time to time. What’s out
there? How will it affect me? Will it be painful? Exhilarating? Scary?
Most people are frightened by it. Call me weird, but I think of
Death as simply another step in the adventure, wherever it may lead.
And while I don’t look forward to any pain associated with dying, I do
think Death itself will be an amazing journey.
But that’s me.
I’m curious to know what you think. What’s waiting out there for you?