So, just survived my third near death experience this afternoon, this time it was a truck driver who didn’t see the red traffic light as I was crossing the road in North London, they’re badly positioned traffic lights, barely twenty feet from a junction and he came out and around the junction looking the other way for oncoming traffic and accelerating towards me as the green man was showing. I looked around and instantly knew I was about to get splattered across his bonnet and in a flash my entire life flashed before my eyes (again!), I could clearly see faces from long ago, faces I had forgotten about, faces from childhood and even teachers from kindergarten, all clear and time itself slowed down and there was no sound, like a slow motion movie and I had lots of time to think and observe and wonder WTF was going on and then suddenly time and sound returned and the van was serving past me as I was standing on the pavement with no memory of how I got there..
This is not the first time this has happened, about 20 years ago I was driving with ex GF around Scotland and as we went down the side of a small mountain we sped up faster and faster until we were doing nearly the ton when suddenly a tractor pulled out of a field, I swerved instantly to avoid it and I saw a large oak tree coming straight towards me, the car lifted onto two wheels as I tried to avoid the tree and again my life flashed before my eyes, this time images of past deeds and faces were accompanied with a flash of me having to go Jens house and tell her dad (who hated me with a passion and forbid Jen to date me) and tell him I had killed her. Again, sound ceased, time stood still and it felt like ages and then suddenly, like someone had switched on a film projector suddenly, all life came back on and the car was sitting with all wheels on the road and coasting along gently and Jen was oblivious to it all and wondering why I was stopping..
The third near death experience was by far the most interesting. About ten years ago I was in Cornwall and went swimming in the sea. There were lifeguards on duty and we all had to swim between two flags because of dangerous currents, so there were a lot of swimmers in quite a tight area. I got a bit fed up running into others messing about and not getting a decent swim, so I swam out into the area were a couple of surfers were waiting for waves to bring them in. I swam past the breaking waves and into the relative calm and chatted with one of the guys on a surf board as I floated on my back. Then the waves started getting quite big so I swam back towards the beach and the waves started breaking closer and closer to me. I kept an eye on them as I swam back but suddenly one large one crashed on top of me and I went under and it felt like I was caught in a washing machine, I came back up to the surface and immediately another huge wave crashed down on top of me, I went under again and again and this keep repeating, and I was getting breathless and tired and straining to know which way was up or down and panic was starting to set in and I made one more attempt to swim up to the surface when another huge wave crashed down on me and I was thrown deeper and deeper into the sea.
At this point I was totally exhausted and I had no idea which way was up or down and which way I should be swimming, I was completely out of breath and absolutely no energy left and I thought to myself “this is it, the coast guard are going to find my body in a few days time washed up on the shore somewhere and so this is how I am going to die..” when suddenly the world stopped moving again, all sound stopped, the waves stopped and instead of panic I felt utter calm, the calmest and most peaceful I have ever felt in my life and the movie that was my life for 40 years suddenly paused, I actually felt great and serene and wide awake and I had no sense of time and space, only a feeling of complete peace and I thought to myself, well, if this is what it’s like to die then I have absolutely no fear of it, it’s a beautiful experience, if this is the transition from this life to another then I feel completely calm and as I was thinking these thoughts I felt a presence behind me – I can’t explain why but I looked over my right shoulder and I felt someone standing there watching me and he/it just seemed to radiate energy and love and peace and I heard a voice say “it’s not your time..”
and suddenly somebody grabbed my wrist and life started up again, sound returned, waves returned and I was back in the sea and a lifeguard was standing in KNEE HIGH water pulling my arm up and telling me only to swim between the flags and he walked off..
And I was completely shocked, I couldn’t believe I was in three feet of water and a few feet from the shoreline, the last thing I remember was being out in the open sea and struggling/drowning and yet somehow I was in knee high water and a lifeguard telling me off before wandering off muttering under his breath about idiots in the water trying to their best to drown.
I stood up, amazed and staggered to the shoreline and sat down and was at a loss to explain any of what just happened, I remembered everything vividly, the sheer exhaustion and the calm and serenity and then the presence behind me and then by some miracle I had ended up about 100 feet from where I should have been, and I looked around and life was going on as normal, kids were running past splashing in the shallows and the sun was shining but I was in awe, I had no idea what just happened but by some miracle I had managed to avoid drowning in Widemouth Bay.
And it makes me think about a lot of things, I have zero fear of dying now – but am in no hurry to checkout early – but that’s three times I’ve managed to avoid checking out and over here the expression is ‘third time lucky’ and across the pond they say ‘third time’s a charm’ but obviously not, is it because the Universe is a rotten shot or does it have other plans for me, I’m hoping to Christ that I’m shot by a jealous husband when I’m 101..