I was six years old when I died. At least, that’s how I remember it. I was at the local swimming pool with some other kids my age and the teenage sister of one of my friends who was looking after us. I was standing at the edge of the pool shouting and being generally obnoxious, acting like a six year-old, when someone pushed me into the water.
I didn’t know how to swim.
My world went blank for in instant then I recall floating above the pool watching my body as it slowly sank to the bottom. It was a warm, sunny, cloudless day, and as I watched myself drown I was completely at peace. Then a beautiful woman appeared and wrapped her arms around me. I felt loved and happy.
She spoke to me not in words but through thoughts. She said I was welcome to come with her if I wanted, but that it really wasn’t my time to pass, and that I had much more to do on Earth. I could sense in the background a gathering of other people, I had no idea who they were, but they were waiting for me if I chose to come with the woman.
She said the choice was mine, totally, and that there was no right or wrong answer.
I recall looking into her eyes, then down at my body and said I’d go back.
I was immediately back in my body being hauled out of the pool by Margaret, the older sister of my friend, and placed on the deck that surrounded the pool. Someone started slapping me on my back helping – forcing – me to cough up water.
I was pissed. I had been so happy and content moments ago and now I was miserable. I thought that the decision to ‘come back’ was the dumbest decision I’d ever made or would ever make in my life.
I know, how could a six-year-old have such a thought.
But I did.
Though I don’t think about it constantly, when I do, the memory of that day has never changed in the sixty-four years since. It is as vivid today as the day it happened.
And it always brings me a sense of peace and joy.
This is an excerpt from a new project I'm working on. More to come.