Near Death Experiences


Rushing to meet his daughter, Andrew Clover tripped in a secluded, muddy wood and hit his head on a stone. He could feel himself slipping away … Suddenly, he was immersed in a series of visions and realisations about being a father.

It was 7.42 pm, on a wet Tuesday evening. My wife was about to return after two days away. I was uncomfortably aware, however, that the kitchen was strewn with breakfast things, and the wall was decorated with soup. I was desperately cleaning.

My wife called. She wasn’t going to be home for half an hour.

On the upside, the delay would give me more time to pick the pebbledash of Rice Krispies off the bowls. But, in five minutes’ time, my eldest daughter would be getting off a bus, a mile away, and while she’s a very competent girl, she is only 12.

I wanted to go and meet Grace. Equally, I didn’t want to leave the youngest one, home alone. Six-year-old Iris is the one we worry about.

I called my wife to ask what I should do? She was driving. She couldn’t speak. I felt a stab of rage. Did I need my wife to tell me what to do? Come on, I was cursing at myself, you’re such an idiot! Just make a decision!

I made a plan and told it to the relevant person: my middle daughter, 10-year-old Cassady. “Cass,” I whispered, “Mum won’t be home for half an hour. I’ll run and get Grace.”

She smiled. She knew what I was asking. I wanted her to look after Iris. We were both calculating that as Iris was watching Barbie Princess Charm School she wouldn’t be moving.

I ran off. I ran down the drive. Then I decided to take a short cut through the orchard. I quickly realised it was full of muddy puddles and I was incorrectly shod. I was wearing slip-on blue suede shoes. Should I go back and change? (Come on! Just get on with it!) I accelerated angrily.

The path went through a little copse. A branch had fallen across it. Beyond, was a puddle. I tried to leap both branch and puddle and snagged my trousers on the branch. I fell hard. I tried to stop myself falling. My hand skidded in the mud and, turning, I smacked the side of my head on a big stone.

Bang. I was out – out of my body.

I could see myself lying face down in the puddle. I was filled with terror. “Oh God,” I was thinking, “the girls!”

Then, somehow, although my body was lying in the copse, I was in the village. I could see Grace had just got off the bus. She was fine.

Then I found myself in the house. My middle daughter had left the living room. She was coming through the hallway, picking up a hairbrush. She was preparing for bed. She was fine.

Then I went into the living room, and I saw Iris. She had fallen asleep on the sofa. Her nose was running and she looked unwell. She wasn’t fine! I thought: I’ve done something truly awful … will she be all right?

Some people say that when you die you see your life in reverse, but what I saw next – as my body lay unconscious in the copse – was a series of incidents in my life with Iris.

Recently I’d taken her to Disneyland Paris. Now I saw us checking in to the hotel. Our tickets were for the next day, I explained. “So we won’t actually be in Disneyland till the morning.”

She was bewildered. “But Dad,” she said, “we are already at Disneyland!”

During the day, there was only one thing on her mind. My mum had given her £5 and she wanted to know how she was going to spend it. At the end of the day, she walked into the Disney shop and went straight up to an Ariel dress. “How much is this?”

“That’s £35!”

Iris picked up a Cinderella wand and crown set. “How much is this?”

“That’s £19.” She wasn’t disheartened. She found an Ariel pen for £7.50. “Can I afford this?”

“Yes,” I said, “I think you can.”

She was heartbreakingly delighted. Then, getting on the train, she pulled the top off the pen and it broke and rolled under the wheels.

I was seeing this scene again, and feeling desperate. It seemed to sum up all my failings as a father. What have you done? I thought. What have you ever done for this girl? What had I done?

Then I was seeing the games we played together. I saw her as a toddler. She was sitting in her high chair and blowing raspberries and I turned, pretending to be shocked, and shook with laughter.

I was watching this scene, but fading back from it too. I realised that this silly raspberries game had taught her something: she knew could make a noise and get a reaction, and that it would be fun. And I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather have taught her.

As I had that thought, I started to feel terribly sad – God! I was thinking, just how much will I miss Iris? – but at the same time I felt light, as if I were floating away backwards and upwards. I opened my eyes and saw I was swimming up through warm water. I saw sparkling light. I felt a wonderful peace.

Then I heard a voice. “You can’t be here now,” it said. It sounded amused, playful.

Suddenly I felt very, very sick, I felt I was being dragged down, and then, bang …

I was back. I could feel my body hanging heavily around me, all mud and ageing flesh. “Be here,” said the voice, and I felt a prod in my back.

The next thing I knew, I was crawling out of the muddy field. I was choking and coughing, and doing awful things. But, strangely, I felt calm. I was still on my hands and knees feeling very shaky. But I was looking at an ant, which was crawling up a sheath of grass, on which there was a perfect drop of water. Everything seemed beautiful and very alive.

Then Grace appeared.

“Are you OK?” she asked.

How to answer?

“I just slipped,” I said.

“Did you hurt yourself?” she said, alarmed.

“I’m OK,” I reassured her. “I bumped my head and then got up. But for a moment I did think if I didn’t get up, of all the things that I’d miss.”

“What were they?” she asked.

I looked at her. I didn’t know what to say. I realised that one of the things I’d miss from my life was this: being one-to-one with my daughters.

“I can’t tell you now,” I said, getting up.

I still don’t know what happened, on any level – spiritual or physiological. Did I – as I believe – briefly start to asphyxiate in that puddle so that, for perhaps seconds, I was technically dead, during which time I was helped by an angelic being? Or did I just give myself a big bang on the head, during which time a few thoughts flashed through my head?

It didn’t matter. Either way, I liked that angel’s tone and the advice: be here.

As we walked gingerly home, my daughter talked happily about a netball game. She described a move that led to a shot. She really wanted me to picture the scene. She demonstrated the shot, (beautifully, but with a touch of physical comedy). I smiled. I was so there.

Andrew Clover’s novel, The Things I’d Miss, is published by Arrow books.

Ernest Hemingway

What happened to the famous novelist Ernest Hemingway is an example of the typical brief or initial near-death experience. During World War I, Hemingway was wounded by shrapnel while fighting on the banks of the river Piave, near Fossalta, Italy. He convalesced in Milan. In a letter from there to his family, he made this cryptic statement: “Dying is a very simple thing. I’ve looked at death and really I know.” Years later, Hemingway explained to a friend what had occurred on that fateful night in 1918.

“”A big Austrian trench mortar bomb, of the type that used to be called ash cans, exploded in the darkness. I died then. I felt my soul or something coming right out of my body, like you’d pull a silk handkerchief out of a pocket by one corner. It flew around and then came back and went in again and I wasn’t dead anymore.”

Hemingway remained deeply affected by this out-of-body/initial near-death experience throughout his life, and was never again as “hard-boiled” as he once had been. “A FAREWELL TO ARMS” contains a passage where the character Frederic Henry undergoes the same confrontation with death that Hemingway did:

“I ate the end of my piece of cheese and took a swallow of wine. Through the other noise I heard a cough, then came the chuh-chuh-chuh-chuh – then there was a flash, as when a blast-furnace door is swung open, and a roar that started white and went red and on and on in a rushing wind. I tried to breathe but my breath would not come and I felt myself rush bodily out of myself and out and out and out and all the time bodily in the wind. I went out swiftly, all of myself, and I knew I was dead and that it had all been a mistake to think you just died. Then I floated, and instead of going on I felt myself slide back. I breathed and I was back.”


George Lucas

legendary Star Wars director George Lucas surprised the world when he came out with his own personal near death experience

“When I was eighteen I was in an automobile accident and went through a near-death experience. I was actually taken away from the scene, presumed dead, and it wasn’t until I reached the hospital that the doctors revived my heartbeat and brought me back to life. This is the kind of experience that molds people’s beliefs. But I have found that most of my conclusions have evolved from observing life since that time. If I’ve come to know anything, it’s that these questions are as unknowable for us as they would be for a tree or for an ant.”

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour was 36 years of age, she had a severe case of the flu and was given an injection of penicillin. She suffered an allergic reaction which led to a near-death experience.

“I literally left my body. I had this feeling that I could see myself on the bed, with people grouped around me. I remember them all trying to resuscitate me. I was above them, in the corner of the room looking down. I saw people putting needles in me, trying to hold me down, doing things. I remember my whole life flashing before my eyes, but I wasn’t thinking about winning Emmys or anything like that. The only thing I cared about was that I wanted to live because I did not want anyone else looking after my children. I was floating up there thinking, “No, I don’t want to die. I’m not ready to leave my kids.” And that was when I said to God, “If you’re there, God, if you really exist and I survive, I will never take your name in vain again.” Although I believe that I “died” for about thirty seconds, I can remember pleading with the doctor to bring me back. I was determined I wasn’t going to die.”

Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers seated in a Hollywood mockup of a limousine’s back seat while shooting his last great film, “Being There”, he told Shirley MacLaine about his near-death experience which happened in 1964, during the first of a rapid series of eight heart attacks, when his heart stopped and he was clinically dead, he had an out-of-body experience and saw the bright, loving light.

“”Well, I felt myself leave my body. I just floated out of my physical form and I saw them cart my body away to the hospital. I went with it … I wasn’t frightened or anything like that because I was fine; and it was my body that was in trouble….I looked around myself and I saw an incredibly beautiful bright loving white light above me. I wanted to go to that white light more than anything. I’ve never wanted anything more. I know there was love, real love, on the other side of the light which was attracting me so much. It was kind and loving and I remember thinking ‘That’s God’…”

The practice of Phase states of the mind is the hottest and most promising pursuit of the modern age. Unlike in the past, the notions of ”out-of-body experience”, “lucid dreaming” and ”astral projection” have already lost their mystical halo, and their real basis has been studied in minute detail from the most non-nonsense approach. Now, this phenomenon is accessible to everyone, regardless of their worldview. It is now known how to easily master it and apply it effectively.

In Life After Life Raymond Moody investigates case studies of people who experienced clinical death and were subsequently revived.
This classic exploration of life after death started a revolution in popular attitudes about the afterlife and established Dr. Moody as the world’s leading authority in the field of near-death experiences.
The extraordinary stories presented here provide evidence that there is life after physical death, as Moody recounts the testimonies of those who have been to the other side and back — all bearing striking similarities of an overwhelming positive nature.
These moving and inspiring accounts give us a glimpse of the peace and unconditional love that await us all.

The selfish Dr. André Luiz dies and awakes in a kind of limbo called “Umbral”. After a painful and numb period in a gruesome swamp, he is rescued and brought to “Nosso Lar” (meaning “Our Home”), a spiritual city. He finds a place of harmony, where people live in peace, working for the good of humanity, for the self evolution and awaiting for reincarnation. Sooner André Luiz changes his behavior becoming a more self aware and altruist man.