What’s death feel like? I don’t know, really. All I know is I’m not ready to find out just yet.
And that I only missed it by a few inches.
For me, death, or what I guess you could call a near-death experience, was like walking through the woods.
No literally, I was walking through the woods.
Side note, why is it called a near-death experience? I did, in fact die. For twenty minutes, actually, while my friend kept my heart going with CPR. Luckily, I was one of the few very rare and fortunate ones who came back to life.
So I guess I do know what dying feels like.
For me, it felt like walking through the woods. That’s where I went, anyways. An old-growth forest with trees so tall and thin their scant canopies reached the up to the heavens – past where my conscious self could see. Their trunks narrow and smooth, light and refreshing. Their leaves green with just a tint of fall. Giant birch trees but in a forest I’d never before seen or visited in real life.
A completely foreign world. Quite possibly the farthest I’ve ever traveled in my life and yet I have no real way of measuring the distance.
The whole scene was soaked in the sepia tint of the afternoon that’s just about to approach sunset. Not quite golden, but you know the light is about to start fading that way.
The ground was silent. Dirt carpeted with a bed of soft leaves, scattered here and there. Sparse, as if dropped only for a moment to create the illusion of setting.
I was in the space between.
Maybe my life was influenced too much by Harry Potter and this was my very own version of King’s Cross Station. All I know was I could’ve stayed their forever. I’ve never felt so peaceful in all my life. It was my perfect combination of forest and the serenity of being outside amidst the vastness of space.
You’d be amazed how many people have been almost disappointed at my near-death experience.
Because I didn’t see a flash of light. Or hear a voice telling me to go back.
I just took a walk in the woods. Easy peasy.
I was suspended in the place between.
The path stretched on ahead of my feet. I walked behind myself – as though I was spirit, following my body. I watched myself holding hands with someone, a giant someone, who walked slowly alongside me.
I don’t know who they were. Again, so disappointing, right? They were tall, slender, androgynous. Silver haired and walking. I can’t describe the features of their face, the tone of their voice, nor if they, in fact, even said any words.
The place was total silence, as though noise were a worldly concept and I’d left all that behind. Even our footsteps were silence. Not that silence of steps muffled by the softness of leaves underfoot. But silence, as in the complete absence of sound.
A part of me wonders if the whole thing was even a near-death experience after all – or if it was just a drug-addled dream. I was in a coma for five days, after all.
Whatever it was, there I was, just walking. Hovering on the brink of life and death.Walking behind the me who was holding hands with someone else.
My spirit self, for lack of a better word, suddenly paused mid step. The self in front of my eyes grew hazier as I felt a jerk behind my navel. There’s no better way to describe it than that I felt a tug – a physical pull – at my belly button.
I have to go, I thought.
Where did that path lead? I wondered. Was I on my way to heaven, to hell, or to rebirth for a new life as a goldfish or something?
I don’t know. All I knew was I wasn’t ready to find out just yet.
I turned and left, just like that, and walked back into the world.
What’s death feel like?
I don’t really know.
But coming back to life hurt like hell.