Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Moment of death

What does it feel like at the moment of impending death?

I want to change the conversation to involve a little sharing on my part. I want to share this with you - dear Universe. It is a true account of an incident related to me by a friend. 

My first trip to the Gold Coast beach, Queensland's sunshine coast, almost ended up in disaster. With an advertisement tag line "Beautiful one day perfect the next", the Gold Coast became a mecca for young sun-seekers and surfers. I decided to take on surfing foolishly thinking it was no more than simply hiring a surfboard, paddle out to sea far enough to catch a big wave back to shore. How hard would that be and I have seen it all on TV? I was soon to find out.

Just like the surfers on TV, I paddled out to sea, riding the waves easily. When I thought I had gotten far enough and the breaking waves were sufficiently large enough to catch back to shore, I positioned myself for a fun ride back to shore. With great effort I tried to turn around to face the shore and struggled with the board and the waves. I found it hard to stay on the shore-side of the waves before they broke. With the buoyancy of the surfboard I floated easily over the waves only to be dragged further out by the rip current. Realising imminent danger, I struggled to keep control trying to stay on the shore side of the waves but failed every time. With every wave, I was dragged even further out to sea.

After numerous attempts I started to feel tired and thought it was time I got off the surfboard and waded ashore. It was then I realised that I was out too far; my feet did not touch ground. I was in deeper waters than I thought. A sense of panic gripped me as I looked towards the shore. It looked too far for me to swim, as I was not a strong swimmer. I thought a better option was to hang on to the board and try to 'surf' back to shore. The waves pounded on me continuously; I kept slipping off the surfboard struggling to stay afloat, knowing if I let go, I would not have enough energy to swim ashore. By this time I knew I was in trouble, too exhausted to swim and unable to 'surf' back to shore. Panic turned into trembling fear making it even harder to hang on to the board. The waves continued pounding and I knew I was fighting a losing battle. I was in near exhaustion fighting to stay afloat whist dealing with the gripping fear of drowning.  Just as my energy level was just about depleted, one particularly large wave crashed over me, dragging me under. With the board torn off my clutching hands and my body gripped with trembling fear, I was dragged down into the depths of the ocean. It felt like I was in a large washing machine going through its final washing cycle.

 As I tumbled underwater, I realised it was all over. It was the end of the struggle to hang on to my life and to survive.  Overwhelmed by intense fear and panic I remember saying to myself "You are gone now! You will drown."

Suddenly there was complete silence.

The moment moved in slow motion.

And with outstretched arms, my final thoughts were "Take me!"

The feeling then was one I would never forget. At that moment there was no more fear, just complete peace in readiness to be taken. It was as if once I had given up the struggle and surrender to the moment the end was peace and quietness.

Death and peace seemed to co-exist. Fear did not exist in the moment of death.

Then my feet touched the ground. I found my balance, got to my feet and stood up to ear-high water level. The large wave must have pushed me towards shore. Almost immediately fear and panic exploded in me. I had a fighting chance to survive, I was given a second chance in life. Struggling to maintain balance on tiptoes, I headed for shore trembling and perspiring. When I reached the warm sand of the shore, I slumped on the beach, breathing life sustaining air - lying in the sun, thanking the universe for not taking me.

"Breathtakingly true"....... Universe finally said something.

1 comment:

  1. This is such an interesting 'conversation' I would like to share my own experience (similar but different) to this feeling. I was walking my dogs as usual alongside a river. One of them went into the water at a big pool and was scrabbling to get back out but the bank was too steep and he started to panic. I leant over the edge to pull him out and the next thing I knew I was under the water, sinking. My immediate thought was 'I never thought drowning would feel like this' and actually I was strangely calm. Everything was in slow motion and I was being weighed down (fully clothed in heavy jacket and wellington boots) Finally my feet hit the bottom and my boots stuck in the mud. I managed to get my feet out of them and resurfaced. There I saw, on the bank, two very curious dogs, looking at me as if to say 'why did you go swimming in there?' and somehow I hauled myself out. It was freezing, and should have been really frightening, but I remember thinking to myself 'wow, at 40 years old I thought I'd HAD all the really profound experiences in life I would do, and that was quite an experience. Nothing like I would have imagined.' I suppose the point of similarity is that in certain situations something else inside you takes over from your rational mind and maybe fear is a construct of the rational mind. Maybe when one is beyond fear, or in my case, tricked by swiftness of staying 'before' fear, one sees who one really is and what one's real emotions and relation to the universe is!


Thank you for your comments. They are being moderated and will be published when complete.