to go back to my family, can I go back, and what will
be the consequences?'
"The Voice responded: 'You may return, but you
may lose your reward.' My reward flashed before me,
and I saw that eternal happiness would be mine if I
chose to stay.
"The Voice also told me that there were no
guarantees if I returned. He said that if I chose to
go back on earth I would have greater pain than I had
ever felt in life to that point. Puzzling over the
risks of returning, I then asked: 'What gives me the
right to go back?'
"The Voice said: 'You have learned
accountability and responsibility. If you choose to
go back you have the obligation to teach those
principles to your family and your employees.'
"I wondered about that charge and asked: 'What
do my employees have to do with it?' He didn't answer
the question. I later learned that my employees were
included so that I would, over time, overcome my fear
of telling others about this entire experience. They,
too, were part of my 'family.'
"When I finished asking questions about
returning or staying, I again analyzed the risks and
rewards of staying or returning. After I was
satisfied that I understood the options, I said: 'I
choose to return.'
"The Voice asked me: 'Are you sure?'
"My response was: 'Yes, I'm sure.'
"He asked, again: 'Are you sure?'
"My answer, this time, was: 'Yes, I think so.'
"A third time the Voice asked: 'Are you sure?'
"This time it hit me. My answer must be
certain -- I must not lie to myself or try to conceal
my real intent from Him. I looked again at my family.
I thought about it, and I said: 'Yes, I choose to
"The next thing I knew, I was back in my
hospital room. The pajamas I was wearing and the bed
linens were soaked. The doctors and nurses seemed
concerned, and one of the nurses asked me what
happened. Not wanting to tell her about the
experience, I said that I must have choked. She
responded: 'You did more than that!'
"The night nurse came into my room, to stay
the rest of the night with me. I asked her to watch
and make sure that I didn't go to sleep -- I was
afraid to sleep. The experience I had just been
through was so traumatic I was afraid to repeat it.
"Settling in a chair behind me, the nurse
talked to me for awhile. Her chair was far enough
behind me that I couldn't see her without twisting to
an awkward position on the bed. Suddenly, however, I
could see her. Finding myself sitting up in bed, I
waved my arms at her to see what she would do. I was
amazed that she didn't see me.
"During this brief period, I was acutely aware
of many small events happening around me. It was
about 2:00 am, and the clock in the room was ticking
loudly. I was conscious of people in the hall outside
my room and of the light in the hall. It was an
increased sensitivity of my complete surroundings.
Sounds were much clearer than they normally were.
"Wondering what was going on, I turned my head
and saw my body lying in the bed. The *real* me, the
spirit self, was partially removed from my body. I
was sitting out of my body from the waist up.
"Thinking to myself, Here I go again, I
wondered what to do. I offered a little prayer in
which I said: Lord, I don't want to leave. The
impression came to me: Well, then, lie back down in
your body. I lay down -- I felt no transition -- it
was as if I had just woke up.
"Without moving a muscle, I said to the night
nurse: 'You can't just sit there and knit. You've got
to help me stay awake.' She responded: 'How do you
know I'm knitting? You can't see me.' I told her
that I knew everything that was happening in the room.
"The nurse commented that I had scared her
that night. Six months after the event I asked the
same nurse what her experience with me was during this
period. She said that when she first came back into
the room and found me, I was cold and gray, my mouth
was open, my eyes were glassed over, there was no
pulse, and my skin was clammy. That is when they
called for the crash cart and the doctor to
In order to better understand some of the
events in Don's experience, I received his permission
to ask questions. I began: "When you first moved into
the tunnel, you mentioned that breathing was pleasant
for you. Were you breathing air, or what?"
"I donít think it was air, but I have no idea
what it was. The pleasantness and reality of my
breathing, though, is still vividly clear in my
"When you found yourself in a premortal
environment, what did the room look like?"
"It was a rectangular room, everything was
white, and we were sitting in desk type chairs. I was
assimilating the teacher's instruction as fast as he
gave it to us. Notes were unnecessary. I simply
absorbed everything I was told instantaneously."
"Did the information you were getting seem as
if it were new information?"
"The procedures we were being taught were new,
but the principles guiding those procedures, I already
knew. The "how to" portions of the earthly experience
were new. I remember thinking about it and wondering
if I were ready to pay the price, and then deciding
that, yes, I was willing to pay the price."
"So, when you saw yourself in the premortal
environment, you could actually remember how you felt
in that earlier time?"
"Yes. I knew my thoughts from the premortal
experience. I could see myself sitting in the room,
yet I knew what I had been thinking and feeling when I
was in that room. I can remember thinking: Be careful
about that choice -- you don't even know what pain is.
"So it was as if you were two different
people, yet you had the feelings of both?"
"Yes. They were simultaneous feelings."
"When your son talked to you in the tunnel he
asked you what you were doing. Have you asked him
about the experience?"
"Yes. He is unaware of having talked to me."
"But you are convinced that he did talk to
"Absolutely. He never opened his mouth, but I
heard him call my name, and I recognized his voice."
"You mention the tunnel as a short one. You
didn't feel that you travelled a great distance?"
"No, it was about the length of a football
field. There was a drawing power, like a magnet in
the center of my chest that drew me into the tunnel
and toward the light. I didn't travel far."
"When you returned to your body, did you feel
"Most certainly. There was no pain associated
with returning to my body. I didn't feel that
process: I just woke up. The pain associated with my
operation was severe and instantaneous, though. Of
course, I've had other pain related to my disease
"What was your recovery like?"
"I was out of the hospital within the next few
days. My energy was up, and I felt invigorated. That
didn't take away the pain, however, I just dealt with
it better. The experience has helped me over time to
deal with pain better."
"Have you had greater pain than before?"
"I thought when the doctor used scissors -- to
slice into me without anesthetic -- that I couldn't
experience worse pain. This past winter, the winter
of 1992-93, I was in the hospital over ninety days.
They almost lost me twice. Again, I had a blocked
bowel in which they used barium while X-raying my
bowels. I was unsuccessful in cleansing my bowels of
the barium, and it set up like rocks in my intestines.
Passing those rocks almost killed me. I became
allergic to most of the pain killers they were giving
me, and I had to pass the barium rocks over a period
of four days without pain killer. The pain was so bad
that if it hadn't been for my Dad, I don't think I
would have made it."