Posted in Autumn, Books, Death, Exploring, Gifts, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, TLC Book Tour

Glimpsing Heaven

Glimpsing Heaven

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.

Judy Bachrach
Judy Bachrach

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

One. (A composite.)

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.  🙂




Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

17 thoughts on “Glimpsing Heaven

  1. I was at my mother’s side when she died. It was the most peaceful ‘transition’ I’ve ever experienced. She died very quietly, and ever since I have had a different outlook on death. It’s inevitable anyway, so why spend life worrying about it?


  2. I think there are a lot more people who have experienced this than we think. You’re right, we don’t talk about it. I think it’s because we know people will look at us like we escaped the loony bin if we say anything about it. It’s an important stage of live that we should study and talk about.


    1. Hi Corina
      I know exactly what you are writing about — so many people are afraid to recount their experiences after death — what I call in my book Death Travels. A real pity in my opinion!


  3. My father is not at all sentimental or emotional, so I was surprised when he had a NDE how vivid it was and how hard it was for him to decide to come back.



  4. Here we are again! I am so glad you decided to review this book – not because I need to read it, but because we have shared another experience. I found that even when trying to describe what had happened to my closest friends the event was somehow cheapened or diluted – the experience itself could not be transferred via mere words. So therefore one doesn’t speak of it. I have never been afraid of death, for much of my younger years I longed for it. I discovered in my 40’s I had nearly died at my fathers hand when pre-verbal. I imagine much that explains me and my life path stems from this event and the next which happened when that memory was revived in me.

    Today I am wondering whether to speak of my experiences to a friend who is dealing with an onslaught of human pain and death and who is losing her centre in the turmoil. Maybe it is speak out.


    1. So many commonalities, Pauline! It’s amazing, isn’t it? Or maybe not. I’m pretty sure there is an order to things even if it does seem chaotic at times. 🙂


    1. The title sounds familiar, CM, but I don’t think I’ve ever read it. I’ll have to check with the local library and see if I can get it there. Thanks! 🙂


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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