This morning, on Canada’s 150th birthday, I got a phone call that leaves me filled with joy and gratitude.
When the phone rang, my husband claimed, “that’s for you. Perhaps your parents.” The portable phone on my desk was as so often out of battery, so I quickly went into the kitchen and checked the display. It wasn’t my parents’ number showing nor any number I kew.
“Hi. Is this Antje?” a friendly man’s voice asked when I answered the phone. Thinking that it might be the roofer we are expecting to call, I walked toward our office, but then the man continued, “this is Peter Panagore.”
I stopped in my tracks, my heart opening with excitement and joy. I walked toward the living room instead, sat next to the open window as if I were somehow closer to him that way and we had a most pleasant conversation for the next half hour or so. You must know Peter is like a brother to me, although we’ve never met or talked with each other.
Peter is the author of Heaven is Beautiful, the first book I came across and read when I researched NDE after I had penned down my own experience for I didn’t want to mistake my own recount of my near-death experience with anybody else’s experience nor did I want to be influenced by others. However it is necessary to research the market when you write a book and read what has been published already.
Many people have written about this topic I realized, but soon I found that only Peter Panagore’s experience of Heaven comes close to what I recall. His well-written book, Heaven is Beautiful, is a mixture between a wilderness adventure and paranormal nonfiction novel in which he describes his story leading to his death on top of a mountain and what happened after…
I’m mostly in awe with his book, because it reads like a good adventure story I would pick up to read for pleasure, but then when he describes his death experience, and its aftereffects, I found his experience of bliss in Heaven and then his struggles afterward not too different from mine.
Since first reading his book when it came out in the fall of 2015, I’d been busily working on putting my story into a publishable book manuscript myself. I had queried publishers with the outline and the first chapter of my story already, I had completed my third draft of my so called “memoir,” when in January 2017 I received an email with an invitation by Rev. Peter B. Panagore to submit stories of transformations to him to possibly be included in his third book.
Wow. I always wanted to share my story with him. I took a serious long look at my manuscript and thought, “okay, why not?” I brutally cut my words and boiled down the essence of my full book manuscript to 8000 words and in February I sent it off to him. I tried to leave out my ego and as much drama as possible and concentrated on giving a testimony to God, His presence and His everyday miracles we all can experience in our daily lives. The possibility of sharing my story with Peter Panagore was enough for me to let go of the rest. I just hoped he would see and appreciate what our NDE experiences had in common.
See, personally I am – literally – a reborn Christian, but through research I know that near-death-experiences happened at all times, in all areas of the world, and to people of all confessions and beliefs. Peter Panagore never said he had a near-death experience, he claimed he had a death experience. That is what I feel I had, though the doctor who was present at the scene that night told me not too long ago, “Antje: at no point did we reanimate you.” Her comment threw me off at first, making me feel like an impostor. I knew what I experienced was real, but how could I prove that? – The answer is, there’s no proof. Dr. Mary C. Neal, MD comforted me when she wrote in her book, To Heaven and Back, “Although it is a commonly-held belief that a person’s soul departs at the moment of their physical death, I have come to believe that the departure of the soul defines and determines the moment of death, rather than the body’s physical death determines the moment of the soul’s departure.”
On some days I can’t wait to share my NDE with the world and show you how it changed my perspective on life. On other days I feel rather timid – after all I’m only human.
Today, when Peter Panagore called, I witnessed him being as excited about reading my story as I was when I read his. He said, he read faster toward the end for he wanted to call and talk to me right away. We talked about our common experiences, about our decision to return into our bodies when we had the chance to stay in Heaven only to find ourselves regretting this decision instantly and for so many years. We talked about our feeling responsible for our families and the fact that this is not true, for only God is responsible and everyone is being cared for. We talked about our struggles, our after effects and about the world being so much more than what we can grasp in our limited understanding. We were hesitant to end our conversation, hesitant to let the other one go, for it was such a precious conversation. He promised me to include my story in his next book if his publisher was still interested in a third book. – I guess this is not up to the publisher after all, but to God.
For me this was the happiest Canada Day ever. I am so grateful to God, grateful to Peter for reaching out, and grateful for every experience I’m living through. Happy 150th birthday, Canada! I’m grateful for calling you home for now.
If you are interested in the topic of NDE or would like to experience God more, if you have a loved one who experienced a NDE or perhaps had one yourself, I encourage you to get to know Him and perhaps start by checking out Rev. Peter B. Panagore’s “Daily Devotions.” I enjoy his food for thought everyday.
Following links to books and personal stories of NDEs might also be of interest to you:
Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) is the largest NDE Website in the world with over 1300 full-text published NDE accounts. www.nderf.org
After Death Communication Research Foundation (ADCRF) Is the second largest ADC Website in the world with almost 900 full-text published ADC accounts. www.adcrf.org
Out of Body Experience Research Foundation (OBERF) Is the largest website of its kind which includes all other consciousness experiences that are not an ADC or an NDE in the world with almost 1000 full-text published accounts. www.oberf.org
AFTEREFFECTS OF NEAR-DEATH STATES – A near death experience rarely leaves the person unchanged. Here you can find a few common after-effects.
The Bizarre Electromagnetic After Effects of Near Death Experiencers – A so very true phenomena I have experienced quite often myself.