Imagine crossing over to the other side, only to make the trip back but a few minutes later. This is what happened to Chris Harrison, journalist at The Huffington Post, when he was just twelve years old.
After taking a cricket ball directly to the chest during a game, Harrison immediately knew something was wrong. After a sharp pain and a few short steps, his heart stopped. It was then he collapsed on the pitch and was clinically dead. He explained:
When I woke up some time later, or should I say: when they forced me awake some time later, by all reports I had a smile on my face. I had been to a welcoming place most people access via a one-way street. My father was relieved. I was too young to stay.
There are so many clichés around death. There was nothing unique about mine, apart from the fact I came back from it. And while I'm glad I did I would have been quite happy to stay. In that welcoming place I wasn't capable of regret, or sorrow, or frustration that I hadn't ticked things off a bucket list. I wasn't capable of conscious thought. All I felt was warm and safe.
My brief experience of the afterlife has changed my lived life. I was the fish tossed back in the ocean coz he wasn't big enough. And despite only entering the lobby of death's hotel – which I hope is five-star -- I feel I saw enough to know that death is probably the most relaxed pose you'll ever strike. It is peace. Pure peace. Nothing to be feared apart from the road you take to get there and the wellbeing of the people you loved and left behind.
So while Harrison’s experience with death and the afterlife does not seem as spectacular as many depictions in media show, it is quite reassuring to hear how tranquil his stay on the other side had been.
There’s a message in there to learn, we’re sure.