My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

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My Life Flashed Before My Eyes

9 March 2022 Hits:1185

I’ve almost died five times!

The first time, I was six years old and fascinated by music, record players, and speakers. I guess my radio career was already developing! One day, I decided to “make” a speaker to play music. I’m not sure what was going on in my little brain, but I figured that if I pierced a tin box with a nail and then shoved the whole thing into a power point, it could possibly work. What it did do was throw me across the room (this was before safety switches). I thought my mum had come in and whacked me across the top of my head. I turned around, and no one was there. I then realised what had happened. I was frightened out of my tiny mind!

The second near-death experience was as a 19-year-old hitchhiker in northern NSW. The truck I had hitched a ride in collided head-on with another truck. Two guys died, but I wasn’t one of them. It was that experience that led to my Christian conversion.

A year or so later, as a lapsed Christian who was getting into drugs and various New Age philosophies, I was battling depression (although I didn’t know it at the time). I was at a very low point, and one night after the pub was shut, I tried to overdose to end the pain. I am glad I failed. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Things Can Only Get Better?

Shortly afterwards, I returned to my faith in Jesus. I eventually went to Bible college and became a pastor. A few years later, I met Christie, got engaged, married, and enjoyed a two-week honeymoon. In the last few days of our honeymoon, I began feeling unwell. When we got home to Melbourne, I felt like I was getting the flu. A few days later, I couldn’t get out of bed without passing out. Christie called an ambulance, and I was rushed off to Monash emergency, where I became unconscious. More on that experience in a moment. I was diagnosed with meningitis with a viral complication.

And then, a few years ago, I suffered mid-level burns from a ruptured hot water bottle ~ along with residual electricity from the electric blanket. In agony, I was booted out of bed onto the floor and spent the next eight days in the Alfred Hospital burns unit.

I really hope that’s the last near-death experience I have for many decades until it’s REALLY time to go. I have the feeling that God has me on earth for a purpose, but I’m done with almost dying!

Near-death Experiences

Did I see my life flash before my eyes? Well, no, not really. The truck accident brought me to Jesus, so that was pretty spectacular. And when I passed out with meningitis, I remember being unconscious. I was consciously unconscious, felt incredibly peaceful, and not sick. Christie told me later that I turned grey. She thought I’d died. The next thing I remember was the ED nurse yelling right in my face. I was furious because I was awake and again in a world of pain.

But some people have reported their life flashing before their eyes during a near-death experience. And now neuroscientists have accidentally stumbled upon some possible proof for this. Their research is reported in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Accidental Research

“When an 87-year-old patient developed epilepsy, Dr Raul Vicente of the University of Tartu, Estonia and colleagues used continuous electroencephalography (EEG) to detect the seizures and treat the patient. During these recordings, the patient had a heart attack and passed away. This unexpected event allowed the scientists to record the activity of a dying human brain for the first time ever.

“They discovered rhythmic brain wave patterns around the time of death that are similar to those occurring during dreaming, memory recall, and meditation. [Their research] brings new insight into a possible organisational role of the brain during death and suggests an explanation for vivid life recall in near-death experiences.

“Imagine reliving your entire life in the space of seconds. Like a flash of lightning, you are outside of your body, watching memorable moments you lived through. The study suggests that your brain may remain active and coordinated during and even after the transition to death and be programmed to orchestrate the whole ordeal.”

Dr Ajmal Zemmar said, “As a neurosurgeon, I deal with loss at times. It is indescribably difficult to deliver the news of death to distraught family members. Something we may learn from this research is: although our loved ones have their eyes closed and are ready to leave us to rest, their brains may be replaying some of the nicest moments they experienced in their lives.”

I hope you find those words as comforting as I do.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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