When I was a very young child, I had an out of body experience. How greatly this event influenced my views is unknown to me, however; though I cannot quantify the extent, I am certain that the influence is there, as are many others. I do believe in life after death, though my interpretation of that may vary from yours. I do feel that my experience was proof that we are not confined to our flesh by anything more than our own perceived limitations.
The accident that preceded my experience occurred when I was a little over 2 and 6 months old. My mother was cooking dinner and I was playing on the floor in our kitchen. I had decided that I wanted a cookie, so I asked my mother for one. Before giving me the cookie, my mother left the kitchen. Impatient and clever as any 2 year old, I decided to fetch the cookie myself. The cookies were located in a cabinet over the counter.
I opened one of the lower cabinets beneath the kitchen counter and dragged over my small child-size table. Using the ledge inside the cabinet, I hoisted myself onto the little table. From there, I climbed onto the kitchen counter and from here I stood up and opened the cabinet above me.
I don’t remember the actual fall, or the turning around to face away from the cabinet, my mother filled in the blanks for me. She says that she returned to the kitchen after being gone only a very short time to see me standing on the edge of the counter. Her first thought was that she was afraid to yell, because it might cause me to jump and fall, but before she could even run forward, I did fall. I toppled off the counter onto my head. The floors in our kitchen at that time were
cement covered in linoleum.
My memory picks up again a little after this point. My mother and I were being taken to the hospital by my uncle, my father, a police officer at the time, had also been called and was ahead escorting us to the hospital. I recall my mother slapping my cheeks lightly and begging me to keep my eyes opens open while alternately yelling at my uncle to slow down. My mother was seven months pregnant with my brother at the time and terrified.
Again, I have gaps in my memory. I don’t recall arriving at the hospital What I do recall, is staring at myself in a hospital bed. I did not stay and study myself long. I was lying in a bed, covered in electrodes. I believe I just stared at myself for a moment, not really at any particular point, or for any reason that I was aware of. It did not alarm me to be looking at myself from a perspective that would
have been in front or above me, none of this struck me as usual at all. I also never once looked down at myself (the “me” doing the looking) during the time I was surveying my surroundings.
After looking at myself, I looked around the room, and at some point I began staring into a window in the wall. In it, I could see my mother and the nurse, they were in another room. My mother was standing next to the nurse who was sitting at a console and they were talking. I could not hear them, but I could see their lips moving. I watched them for a little while and that is the end of this memory. Sometime later, I recounted all of this to my mother; it was then that I learned I had been unconscious the whole time I was in the observation room.
I do believe that what I experienced that day was an out of body experience. Since then, I have had other experiences that have solidified my opinion that there are “more things in heaven and earth, Horatio...” For instance, I once witnessed a child’s memory crying in a corner, I have seen a man dressed in period clothing cross into a lane of highway traffic as if he were completely unaware that the road
existed, and I have panicked my mother into swerving to avoid hitting a man walking in sneakers and hoody on a rainy night, before I realized he was not really there.
I am not religious. I do not believe that when all of us die we go to some extremely crowded kingdom in the sky or that we are judged and divided. Is there life after death? My mother told me when I was a child that the “only constant in life is change.” My answer to this question is, yes. We do not die, we only change. Is this “life” after death? Would you recognize it as such? Will you know yourself? Will you be capable of knowing yourself in the level you do now or will it be from a different less individualized level? These questions are difficult for me to answer as I feel that the strength of an individual’s spirit plays an important role in determining the quality of their “life” after death. What I am sure of, is that day when I was a child staring down at myself in the hospital room, I crossed the boundary of my own limitations and for me the “other side” is a reality.
Michael Mary Leathers