So.  I’m a week late with returning from my holiday hiatus.
As you read today’s column, it will become clear why I missed last Monday.


Kind of a long column today.  As I wrote this over the past four or five days, I realized how important it was to get everything down and the more I wrote, the more I had to say.  You will NOT be disappointed.


I’ve been in the hospital for over a week now having been brought by ambulance on Tuesday, January 29 in severe respiratory distress. (Finally discharged on Friday, February 8 after eleven days.  The longest I’d been in the hospital since childhood.)  My oxygen was down to 60. I recovered on the way to Yale enough that I could breathe easier.  When emergency personal arrived, they said I was grey from lack of oxygen.  I was suffocating.



Image from:




I started to get sick two days prior to Tuesday and went to my doctor on Monday to get some medicine. I decided not to go home by myself and stayed with my family. It’s a good thing I did that because I was able to get help immediately Tuesday morning.


I felt better every day and even thought I’d be headed home by Friday. Friday night took a HUGE turn for the worse. Around 1030 as I got ready for bed I began having a coughing fit which lead to breathing issues again. I paged the nurse station and they came into check my oxygen. Next thing I remember is having a huge number of people in my room shouting:
Stay with us Chris!
Stay with us.



I only felt distress briefly while I couldn’t breathe in the first fifteen minutes after I paged the nurses.   I realized that by struggling I made matters worse.  Once I stopped struggling and gave myself over to whatever happened, everything became easier.  I no longer felt distress.


Then the room started to spin like an out of control merry go round, faster and faster. Doctor’s voices were fading away.


I was gone.  Flatlined.  Once more I heard someone in the room shout:
Come back!


I found myself in a big black empty field.  According to the preceding link, some souls stay in the void for longer periods of time.  Some see lights opening. That’s what I noticed:
Tiny pin pricks of light opened up to the far left, almost like a door opening out of the void.  Then the light moved all round me and enveloped me.


Perhaps these lights were souls of past people close to me, because when they appeared out of the darkness, blinking on, I never felt so much love and peace. I didn’t want to come back. It was absolutely amazing.


Don’t know how long I stayed there, but it felt like home.  It felt like that’s where I belonged. I didn’t feel anything but peace and all encompassing love.  I did not go through the typical tunnel one experiences. Again, according to the article, everyone enters the void first, THEN are guided through the tunnel.  I didn’t see the tunnel, which leads me to believe it wasn’t my time.


The next thing I vaguely recall is waking up sometime Saturday afternoon while in the ICU on a ventilator. Nurses tried to take me off but I still couldn’t breathe on my own.  Finally, Sunday morning around 1030 they were able to remove the ventilator and sent me out of the ICU in the early evening.


As I think back on my near death experience, because that’s what it was, I believe that image of a door opening through those pin pricks of light was significant because I THINK I was in a waiting room and someone peeked through and decided it wasn’t my time to be there yet so I was sent back. If the article I linked to above is correct, it seems that the void is definitely a waiting area before you are allowed to move on or return.


I recall nothing about returning and waking up briefly on Saturday when nurses in ICU attempted to take me off the ventilator.  But I do vividly remember the spinning room, the doctors saying stay with us and winding up in the void. All this happened. I find it fascinating that I don’t remember returning.  The only thing I can think of is that It would have been a painful trip back and perhaps those in the higher plane, in the void masked my pain.


This is an experience I will never forget and it proves to me once more that my worldview about death and dying is my truth. I found another article that deeply resonated with me:
Three Fundamental Realizations You Have after an NDE  
Everything in the precedingly linked article is so close to how I feel.  Fascinating truths there.

Should you want to know more about my thoughts on this subject, my book:
Taking Off A Coat: Ruminations on the Infinite Soul will give more opinion and thoughts.


Always having a strong faith in something and actually experiencing that faith with every sense, puts your life in a different perspective.  I’ve always believed we are souls having a human experience, that we are merely vessels, shells that carry our essence, our souls.  After going where I went when I flatlined, gives me even more peace.  I didn’t enjoy the initial trip getting there, but once I realized struggling made it worse, I let go and all that distress went away.  Maybe going through what I did, having had an NDE transpired to show me that struggle and pain are part of the human experience and when we discover this upon traveling home, to God, if we simply let go and let God, all that struggle will slip away as our mortal shell slips away.


I’ve never really been afraid to die because my faith is so strong.  I just don’t want to struggle.  Maybe as I said above, I had this NDE to show me NOT to struggle, to simply let go and whatever happens is supposed to happen.  I’ve always known this too but again having actually experienced something like this puts everything in a different perspective.  I will carry this with me for the rest of this latest incarnation I’m allowed to be in.  I’m grateful to my God for ACTUALLY giving me my own proof that we do indeed exist after these shells we inhabit deteriorate, that we don’t simply go into oblivion, that our essence, our souls do indeed survive and move beyond this earthly realm.


Obviously, I’m not done with my service here yet.  There is more for me to do and I look forward to however much time I have left.  I’m happy to have been sent back.  I would have been just as happy to stay where I went.  I felt so much peace and love there.  An amazing trip, and one I will never forget!



Be Happy!  Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.


11 thoughts on “Flatlined to a Waiting Room

  1. Martha J Orlando

    Oh, my word, Chris, what a miraculous experience!!! So grateful you are still with us, dear friend! Sending prayers for healing and peace.

  2. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

    I have never been sure if these are near death experiences, or real death experiences that don’t lead to brain death, so we can recover.

  3. Lisa O

    Amazing experience! So glad its not your time!! Like you always say, everything happens for a reason… Feel better !

  4. Barb Francese

    Hey, Chris. I am not a subscriber to your blog but sure would like to be. I will pursue this! Even thought I knew a small part of your story, this is fascinating! And scary! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Marge Cohen

    How are you NOW? You most definitely have my prayers and blessings.

  6. Beth Crowley

    Kari has been keeping me in the loop of what you have been going through and sent me the link to this post. So glad you are still with us and I hope your recovery is going well. But your story is also a wonderful confirmation of what I believe as well. So grateful you were able to return to share it and I know you will do wonderful things with this gift you were given. Be well my friend. Stay in touch!

  7. Julie

    So glad you came back, my friend! 🙂

  8. Brenda Bentley

    Once again I have come upon your writing. What a blessing your experience was to feel that eternal love. I’m happy you are staying around, there must be so much more for you to experience, learn and share while here.

  9. Lynette

    How fortunate that you were sent back because I just found your blog and I love it. Your NDE sounds like a divine trip and, as Roy noted above, not sure why they’re NDEs rather than Death Experiences. I hope you’re feeling better and healing well so (yeah, selfish me) you can keep writing. I’m envious. On another note, as I was beginning a pretty intense meditation practice in 1982, after 45 minutes to an hour, my body would tense and begin to spin within the room. My father, a brilliant scientist who had spontaneously left his body several times in the mid 60s, told me that was what was happening. I was about to slip free of my skin. I was still petrified of what was going to happen to me after death and fearful that leaving might bring on dying and a subsequent hell. Now I know better, and I can’t get it back. C’est la vie. One day, freedom.

  10. Lisa McA

    Wow Chris. What you went through. I am glad you are here to tell your story. Sending light, love and healing. Be well!

  11. Barry Schlosser

    Welcome back Chris! I’m glad you pulled through.
    There’s something about vibrational energy (light and sound) and transitions. I know because I’ve encountered the imagery first hand, but filtered by my core consciousness. As a complement to your writing, I do hope that you again get to roam the landscape with your camera to capture your visions. Best wishes, Barry

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