Death is an illusion. Death is a really nasty, bad lie.
~ Pam Reynolds Lowery, quoted in Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death by Judy Bachrach
If you caught a glimpse of heaven, would you choose to come back to life? Investigative journalist Judy Bachrach has collected accounts of those who died and then returned to life with lucid, vivid memories of what occurred while they were dead, and the conclusions are astonishing.
That is the beginning of the description that was emailed to me when Jen from TLC Book Tours asked if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing the book Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death written by Judy Bachrach. Not only is the subject matter fascinating, but the sometimes practical, sometimes scientific, sometimes adventurous, part of me responded to the information that the publisher is National Geographic Books which probably shouldn’t make a difference, but I’ve been a big fan of Nat Geo for most of my life so their name on something is impressive to me. The book was sent to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Afraid of death and the dying, Ms. Bachrach, a journalist and contributing editor to Vanity Fair, began volunteering at a Washington, D.C. hospice sometime in the late 1980’s. In the book, Ms. Bachrach describes her decision to do so as a way to directly face her fears. Her experiences at hospice with the dying along with her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s eventually led her to explore near death experiences (NDE) in an attempt to find out what happens to us when we die.
In Glimpsing Heaven, you will find the stories of Pam Reynolds Lowery, a U.S. singer-songwriter who in 1991 had an NDE during an operation for a brain aneurysm; David Bennett, an engineer who drowned off the coast of Santa Barbara, California; Anthony Cicoria, a surgeon who was struck by lightning; and others who have died, however briefly, and come back to tell about it. Ms. Bachrach also interviewed doctors and nurses who have worked with the dying or those who have had an NDE, as well as scientists who are studying the phenomenon.
It’s time for a disclosure. One of the reasons this book is of interest to me is because I have had a near-death experience although I didn’t think of it that way until I read some of the other stories in Glimpsing Heaven and realized it meets the criteria. My experience happened during a long fall down a set of slippery metal stairs in a castle ruin in Scotland. It couldn’t have been “long” though, because it happened fast if you go by the clock. Mere seconds. A minute at most. Yet I experienced it in a space of timelessness where I encountered such light and such warmth and such beauty that I have no words to describe it. It is something I don’t talk about very much. Neither does M, who somehow shared part of the experience with me. Apparently not talking about near death experiences (or death traveling) is common, too. Maybe someday I’ll tell you the whole story. Today is not that day because today is about the book.
If you’re interested in the subject of what might happen to us after we die, this book is a good place to start. It’s made me more curious about the science of near-death or death experiences. Death is something we will all experience, and yet those studying what happens after we die are few, far between, and not always taken seriously. As Ms. Bachrach points out in her book, that may be changing, but those who are studying it still meet with resistance from mainstream science.
The blessing, The Knowing, the bright light, the contemplative music, the wise strangers on a faraway hill, the dark block of stone that is really a temple, the luminous threads that connect every portion of the universe; I am not sure they are all the same thing, differently interpreted, but they are all part of the after-death, the welcome committee standing on the bank of the River Styx. They are all on tap to the religious, the unreligious, the scoffers, the believers, the confused, and the doubtful. How long they stay with us after our hearts and brains shut down — that no one knows for sure. But for a while anyway, they are there, offering a few answers to questions that plague the living. We are not alone. We will not be left alone. The puzzling dissatisfaction so many of us feel in life is answerable in death. We will, one day or another, one way or another, all be going home.
~ Excerpted from Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death by Judy Bachrach
Thanks for visiting today, and joining me on another book tour. To read more reviews on this tour, stop by TLC Book Tours for links to other stops (blogs).
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂