To this day I don't know if I actually died or not, what I DO know is it changed me forever.
It happened 20 years ago. I was at the dentist. It was a Sunday, and the office opened just for me. The dentist and his assistant started to work on me. Because I was pregnant there was an issue with the pain medication. I don't remember much about the before, but I can vividly recall the assistant yelling "HELP! WE ARE LOSING HER!"
Everything went black. Pitch black. I felt calm and peaceful. A small white light appeared and grew bigger and bigger until the entire room was bathed in brightness. I was still in the dentist’s chair. To my shock, it was surrounded by people. Clear as day. People I knew. People who had died.
On my left was my first boyfriend. He looked just the same as all those years ago. He was wearing a yellow jacket and his hair was long and curly just as it looked the last time I saw him - when we were 17. His voice was the same and he was smiling.
Next, was my childhood dentist. This irony is NOT lost on me. "My father talks about you all the time!" I said, he smiled and said, "I know, we hear you when you talk about us". Some were standing, some sitting. My grandmother was at my feet, her white hair braided as I always remembered. Some I did not recognize but more on that later.
They talked to me. They told me that one of my siblings would write many books and be on television. They told me he would marry and described her appearance and how many children they would have. They told me "Everything will be ok."
I don't know how much time passed but I didn't want to leave them. Everything went black and then bright light again. This time though, there was the dentist and his assistant. The dentist seemed very angry and left the room. The assistant sat with me in silence for a long time. She then walked me to my car. I drove home in a daze. I decided I am not going to tell ANYONE this happened. Especially my parents.
My childhood was filled (to my parent's dismay) with me sleepwalking and appearing to talk in a foreign language. I would blurt out things I could not possibly know like what neighbors were doing in the middle of the night: from organizing their kitchen cabinets to hiding liquor bottles in their basements. I would hear voices and negate plans they had just announced. "Nope, the car will break down and we'll be stuck in Atlantic City and mom will be very VERY mad." Everything came true. Eventually, I learned to keep my mouth shut and not say a word.
Months went by and I was speaking on the phone with one of my siblings. "I just met the love of my life! I met the ONE" he said. I blurted out… does she have brown hair and brown eyes and is she very petite? Oops. He couldn't believe it. "I haven't told a soul… How did you know that?" he said. After much insistence, I divulged my near-death-dental-debacle.
He insisted we meet at our parent's house so I could tell them. OH NO, no, no, no… but soon I was in my car driving to their house.
I told my story. I explained in detail the appearances and what everyone said. I explained the people I didn't know with intricate detail: ruddy cheeks, pipe in hand, mustard-colored wool suit, brown eyes, small in stature, raspy voice, snarky mannerisms, even someone in a uniform with white socks over his pants and medals on his chest. I kept blurting it all out. Every detail. My parents looked at each other. They looked at me. My brother sat nodding his head. My father said quietly "I'll be right back." My mother looked pale and seemed to be speechless.
Soon my father laid out on the table several photographs I have never seen before. The people I was describing suddenly had names and their ancestral roles were explained. The white socks were the boots of the WWI uniform and all the details of appearances and voices had stories to go with them.
My parents soon were laughing and smiling and promised to never doubt me or tell me they didn’t want to hear about my experiences.
My brother did publish many books and became a well-known author with many appearances on TV. He did marry the girl and they have all the beautiful children that I was told they would have.
I never returned to that particular dentist, though I am sure they never forgot me as I will never forget my experience there.
Did my heart stop? Did I die and come back? I don't know and it honestly doesn't matter.
Since then, I have had many more encounters with the people that came to me in the dentist’s office that day. Conversations and dreams, signs and channeling. Sometimes, when I am doing a medium session, I will see my first boyfriend (in that yellow jacket) or many of the others who have since passed. Notably my dear parents.
I smile and my heart feels like it will burst with love.
PS - I still hate going to the dentist.