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Part II: Near-Death Experience Changes Therapist's Life and Work


“There is so much suffering in the world. What I learned from my experience was that we aren’t able to understand the suffering. Haiti for example—it’s a terrible thing. People ask: How can a loving God do that? But we can’t understand how a loving God could do that, because God is the mastermind—not us. He has reasons for what happens that we just can’t understand. We are limited by our bodies, and our perceptions are limited by our physical form.”

7 thoughts on “Part II: Near-Death Experience Changes Therapist's Life and Work

  • February 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I disagree with the premise that is necessary for her view:
    “we can’t understand how a loving God could do that, because God is the mastermind”
    God is a loving God, but not a puppetmaster who directs the outcome of all events. God does not cause an earthquake – we have science that tells us the cause.
    Why did I have a heart attack at 43 yr old? Not because it was God’s will, or that God had a plan for me to help others live a healthier life. I had a heart attack because my left anterior descending artery was 100% blocked by a clot. I did not die because I got treatment quickly, and I was in good enough shape that the hours I lived with the blockage did not have fatal effects. God stayed with me thru it all – fear, cath lab, depression, rehabilitation, therapy, prescriptions, exercise. God is there on the good days and the bad days, my companion in life and in death when that time comes. But, not the mastermind of my life.

    No matter what you believe about God, I agree that after a traumatic medical event that people need mental health care. Too many doctors do not make that a required part of the follow up care that is provided, and that fear and depression can be as debilitating as the original illness.

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  • February 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I also had a NDE. Mary Jo is right on. I am a nurse and the mother of a physician. We have both watched as people struggle against their deaths. My goal is to share with as many people as possible the fact that death is not to be feared. It is only a transition. I hope that Mary Jo continues to spread the word.

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  • February 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I am so thankful that Mary Jo stressed the importance of someone being there to hand off a person to God. Several months ago my friend and neighbor died after her third bout with cancer. I thought that I had said my good-byes to her that morning in the emergency room after our pastor called me to the hospital because Kris had weakly said my name to him several times. But after I left her side, I could not shake a nagging feeling that I needed to return to the hospital. For the rest of the morning and afternoon I tried to shrug it off, reasoning that since her son and daughter were there, she did not need me, and I did not want to interfere with their last moments together.
    But through a seemingly random series of events that I now believe were not random at all, I learned that Kris was alone that evening. Her son and daughter could not bear to be with her when she died so they said their goodbyes and left. At that moment I knew why I could not shake the feeling that had been so strong all day. I called my pastor, who immediately made arrangements with the hospital staff for me to be there with Kris, and my son drove me to the hospital within minutes of finding out that she was alone.
    I was terrified when I walked into her room. I had no idea what to expect because I had never been with a dying person before. But I did what our pastor had told me to do. I held her hand, I talked to her, and I prayed. The nurses encouraged me to talk to her even though she could not respond; they told me that the sense of hearing is the last to go and she could still hear me talking. So I talked. Sometimes about nonsense, but I talked.
    About half an hour later, a man I had never met walked into the room. He introduced himself and I immediately knew who he was: he was the son she had given up for adoption nearly 40 years ago, and very few people in our neighborhood knew about him or that he and Kris had found each other several years ago and corresponded regularly since then.
    Although he hadn’t seen her since before she and I became neighbors and friends, he had driven several hours, hoping to be there before she died. And there we were, 2 strangers with a common bond between us, brought together by God to be with Kris in her final moments on earth. Less than an hour later, with her son holding one hand and me holding the other, she drew her last breath.
    The memory of that evening still brings me to tears… but as difficult as it was, I am grateful that God tugged at my heart that day.. and that I listened.
    Thank you, Mary Jo.

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  • September 16, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I too had a near death experience after suffering from a subarachnoid hemorrage. I just remember the most wonderful feeling I have ever experienced. And I remember not wanting to return. Sometimes I can still remember that feeling. But, I also remember feeling so alone afterwards. Like no one understood the importance of that feeling. I still find myself searching for someone who will understand. I guess I always will.

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  • September 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Just a comment or two.

    Emma, all MJ meant when referencing God as the “mastermind” was that his intellect far exceeds our own and what appears to make no sense to us makes perfect sense to Him because he sees clearly all the pieces to the puzzle.I don’t think she meant to imply that He was controlling every aspect of our lives. And giving the mechanistic causes of how an event happens isn’t the same as the concept of destiny which might lead to, say, a predisposition to eat high cholesterol foods which then led to a blocked artery. It’s all infinitely regressive when speaking about cause and effect.

    And Gwen, there’s someone out there, like MJ, who can understand. Maybe you should try and attend an IANS conference (International Association of Near Death Studies) and meet up with fellow NDEr’s. They’ll know what you’re talking about.

    I lost someone very special to suicide two years ago and though I haven’t had an NDE, I have grown especially sensitive from that trauma and your spirit awakes and you are open to God’s guidance more than ever. I have had my own life review after my personal tragedy and makes me believe in spiritual things with or without an NDE.

    Best…

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  • October 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This brings me some much peace 🙂

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  • February 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    Reply
 

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