Thursday, December 8, 2011

My first guest entry

I felt that Tracy (Matt's mom) would provide a good perspective on the things we are experiencing so I asked her if she would like to write something up for my blog. I was hoping she would write about her after-death experience and she did! :)

My dearest Stephanie,
Your words, “I was so heartbroken over the fact that he died so tragically and suddenly and I was never at his side” struck a deep chord with me. I had that exact feeling over eleven years ago when I learned of Matt’s first accident. Despair quickly set in, as I wanted my son to know that I was nearby when and if he took his final breath. Hundreds of miles and a long drive home stood between us. I was so afraid that he might die alone, without Mark and I; his mom and dad. I have since learned that this is far from the truth. On August 20, of last year, as you well know, I experienced death first hand. Thank you for asking me to share my story.

I had taken a four to five mile run along Lake Michigan with two friends. I felt great, though it was a very warm August morning. Three hours later, I began to shuck corn on our front porch to freeze for the winter. I had been bent over for quite some time and when I stood up, I had pressure and a pinched feeling in my chest. I walked into the house, thinking that if I stretched, it would go away. It didn’t. Mark was just getting out of the shower. I told him I didn’t feel well. He said, “You don’t look good. You are as white as a ghost.” When I described the chest pressure and pain, he told me I might be having a heart attack.

“I can’t be having a heart attack!” I replied in disbelief.
The pain began to radiate into my jaw. Mark insisted I go to the hospital with him, as he was on his way to work there.

Ten minutes later I was in the emergency department. As a nurse and Mark were wheeling me into a room, I distinctly remember looking up at Mark from the wheelchair. “I think I’m going to pass out.”

I began having the most remarkable dream I ever remember…

…as Mark and the triage nurse quickly lifted me onto the table. Mark watched in horror as my body postured and seized, gasping for a breath. I turned shades of red as my lungs cried for air. My face contorted into a silent scream. My body became lifeless; eyes open, staring at the ceiling. For three long minutes the emergency department fought to save my life. Mark held my hand, thinking “I can’t believe I just watched my wife die.”

…In my dream, a feeling of pure love and peace enveloped my very being. I walked into a sunny clearing where I met at least five people. I clearly remember they were different ages and sizes, but their faces are only shadows to me now. I remember talking to these people, thinking “This is so amazing, I need to remember this.” I was completely happy and loved. I felt like I knew them.

Then I felt very annoyed, and I believe this was when the second shock of two-hundred joules of electricity coursed through my body. I could hear Mark desperately calling my name. I turned away from the faces, thinking, “I can’t believe you are interrupting me right now! This is so important.”
I then found myself staring at the stark fluorescent lights. “You had a heart attack,” Mark said.

I began to pray, wondering if I might die. At that moment, I didn’t realize that I actually had. I had been given CPR for three minutes before I was revived by a second shock.

I talked with Matt on the phone that night. We had both survived events against all odds. Ninety Seven percent of all people who experience what I did do not live. Had we arrived at the hospital one minute later, I would not be here.

Today, I draw a great sense of peace and comfort from my event. While my body appeared to be in great pain, I have no recollection of that. I know in my heart that Matt did not feel pain, either.

It was difficult for me to return to that peace that I once felt upon learning of my son’s death, even though I knew it should comfort me. It is now a memory that I return to often, as it does bring me a great sense of peace.

I KNOW that Matt was not alone when he died. He is now in the most remarkable place in the world. It is my hope that I can someday make it back to that place where I felt such tremendous peace and love. This yearning will remain with me for the rest of my days that I walk this earth.

My journal entry from August 7, 2011:
I plan to honor Matt’s memory by loving more; showing my family and friends the appreciation, love and affection that they deserve. God’s joy exists everywhere, I just need to notice it. I will take this journey, however unwelcome it may be, with honor, faith, hope, grace and love. In doing so I know I will be reunited with Matt again, someday.

2 Cor 5:2,8
So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are home or away.

I love you dear Stephanie.