A number of years ago, I had a boyfriend who, for the sake of this article, we’ll call Evan. Evan and I were engaged, and although we never made it to the altar, we were very close. Many years after we’d broken up, to this very day, in fact, our parents are still friends. Evan and I shared many things. One New Year’s Eve, we nearly shared passage into the light of the Lord. On that New Year’s Eve, we nearly died.
But, something intervened.
Perhaps it was an angel; perhaps it was simply not our time. Whatever happened, something inexplicable, something otherworldly, carried us out of harm’s way in a manner that defied the laws of physics.
Evan had booked a chalet for us in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, so that we could spend a quiet evening ringing in the New Year together, without the forced hoopla that usually accompanies this holiday. The weather had called for snow and lots of it later in the day, but we weren’t worried. We’d planned to leave his home at mid-day and arrive at the our cozy destination by sundown. But an unforeseen emergency had cropped up at Evan’s place of business. And, being a responsible man, he offered to remain behind in the office to fix the problem so that his co-workers could leave early to make merry.
What appeared at first to be a relatively minor problem proved to be anything but, and our departure time was delayed. Hour after hour, the clock ticked on. The sun had set by the time we set off, and it was snowing in big, fat flakes that were gathering speed.
We discussed canceling our plans, but the thought of that nice, warm, quiet chalet waiting for us was too tempting. Southwest we drove, through the snow, out of New York, past New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. On that dark, moonless night, few vehicles were on the road. The windshield wipers fought the driving flakes, but it was a losing battle. Visibility was poor, and we’d become lost in the storm. We must have missed our exit as we were all but blind. We had no idea where we were in Pennsylvania, a State we had visited many times before.
We vowed to pull into the next motel we found and offer to pay to sleep on the couches in the lobby, if there was no room at the inn. But with the snow pummeling the windshield and unsure of our location, we made a wrong turn — a terrible wrong turn.
Up a narrow, winding mountain road we went; to say that it was slippery going is a gross understatement. It was flat-out dangerous. From what I could still see from the passenger window, tall, blanketed pines stood like Shakespeare’s Burnham Wood very close to that one-lane road, for what appeared innocuous was not. It might have been beautiful had that road not been treacherous and us, so utterly lost. Evan sighed and said that we’d probably find a house up ahead, into whose driveway we could make a U-turn to get us back onto the original road.
But suddenly, from up ahead shone two bright headlights, aiming straight at us. It was another car, skidding on the ice and snow down the same road that we were ascending! There was nowhere for us or the other car to turn. Any turn we would have made would have smacked us right into the thick pines; we’d have been injured or crushed to death. “Hold on!” Evan hollered, his knuckles white on the wheel.
In the moment that the other car was about to crash head-on into us, its headlights were blinding. The light was brighter than anything I’d ever seen made by man or nature. And, as what I was sure was the final prayer I’d ever say winged through my mind, the light grew brighter still. It blotted out the trees, the oncoming car, even my boyfriend.
Before my eyes flashed a sort of filmstrip. It was my life, from the moment of my birth until the present. I saw every single action I’d ever taken: every kindness, every small cruelty I had visited upon others. And I saw all of the kindnesses and small cruelties done to me by other people. This all happened in the space of 30 seconds, no more. And then, suddenly, all was dark and peaceful, as it is in the woods on a snowy night.
The other car was miraculously gone! Evan turned his head, searching desperately for that car, worried that it had skidded into the trees and that the people inside needed medical assistance. But the car was gone, vanished — as if plucked out of thin air by a divine hand!
Shaken, for a long moment, neither one of us spoke. Finally, I ventured, “Evan, are you okay?”
“I’m okay,” he gulped and then looked me full in the face, a question burning in his dark eyes.
I explained what had happened to me, about seeing my life flash before my eyes, and Evan said that the same thing had happened to him. “No,” I insisted. “I’m not speaking in metaphors; I mean I saw a film of my life, an epic collapsed into 30 seconds!”
“That’s exactly what I saw, Kat,” he nodded. “I think an angel just saved us, and the other car, from horrible deaths.”
Many human beings who have cheated death claim to have seen a bright white light in the moment that their souls separated from their bodies. Some claim to have traveled down into that light, to receive a message on the other side that it was not their time. Some claim to have pleaded with the light to return back to this Earth for their loved ones.
Scientists scoff at these near death experiences. Their logic insists that what occurs when the human body prepares to die is a sort of mind dump. They state that this process is similar to dumping all of the files from a computer in the moment before the system crashes.
Speaking from a purely clinical perspective, that may be.
But no scientist will ever be able to explain what happened to that other car that night, or how Evan and I were saved from certain death. Or, perhaps more importantly, why we were saved.
Have you ever had a near-death experience? If so, if the experience was genuine, please, and not fictional, and if you would like to share it, we would enjoy hearing about it through your comments to this article. Thank you, from another soul who lived to tell of her own experience!