Everyone was wondering, but yet afraid at some level to ask or say anything about “the light.” Excited, amazed, and generally feeling blessed to see me with my eyes open and doing something as simple as breathing on my own. The relief must have been in some ways overwhelming. For a small group of people connected to me, this was the hopeful miracle end of a ride that appeared to have tragedy written all over it.
Ten years ago today, I was starting another new challenge. I spent a month in ICU on life support where I faced life-threatening infections, had my lungs bleed out, and was given less than a two per cent chance of surviving, and I was now home.
I still struggle with placing this experience among the many I’ve had in my now 33 years. I believe it was a rebirth for me. It is for me, 10 years later, still impossible to describe the experience of having such intense energy, love, and compassion directed my way for an extended period of time but to be unaware of it, consciously. It is in many respects like being a new born, but my situation wasn’t about celebration. Not until I opened my eyes and started the trek back to independence.
A memory of being in the ER and begging a doc for some pain-killers and the memory of my buddies wheeling me up the stairs to my mom’s house are the book-ends of that ride. There are a very few precious other memories or dreams, real or created, that I have from that time. I don’t get the opportunity to actually talk about it very often, or hear others talk about it, but when it does happen the words are some of the hardest for me to speak yet some of the easiest to hear. To say I am curious about that time is a massive understatement.
In the run of lifetime milestones, defying death while turning the one per cent into reality ranks pretty high on the achievement scale. Yet unlike my university graduation, my wedding, and many other significant triumphs, this one comes with a memory vacuum.
Imagine not remembering your grad, your wedding, or other major life events. Don’t know if you can, but it’s kind of where I am.
Despite no actual memory for a month, I’ve fabricated some great re-enactments of that time. In my mind, I have even recalled a few dreams from the time under. Not sure if they help or feed my curiousity to know more about that time of my life but I can say this: I know enough about that experience to answer the question that was on everyone’s mind.
No I didn’t see the light, but I do now.
Live life. Love life.