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My Near Death Experience

By on June 7, 2018 in Spiritual Awakening
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by Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D.,
Contributing Writer,

Close your eyes and imagine you are an eight year old.  At that age, the world, as the old adage goes, is your oyster. Everything was an adventure, well, nearly everything. The usual childhood diseases besides pneumonia and a bout with rheumatic fever all fell into line. They, however,  were nothing compared to my experience when I was eight years old. My father had an appointment in New York City, a diner thing at the Club 21.  My mother and I went along on the train trip into the big city.

The day we left was already hot by 9:00 AM. We were escorted to our compartment. Once we had our luggage secured we went to one of the other cars. The dress in 1940 was considerably different than today. Men wore suits and women dresses down to their ankles, hats,  white gloves.  Traveling by train did not excuse you from being dressed. Being the age I was, I was allowed to wear shorts with a matching shirt, socks up to my knees, and black shoes.

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Time eked its way into a monotonous clickety-clack of the train’s wheels.   Giving into the sweltering heat, I opened the window by my seat. Trains were not air conditioned at this time. Refrigerated Air was just being added to some of the major department stores in New York City and something I looked forward to experiencing.

As the train sped along it soon came into an area where there were brush fires along the tracks. I had to close my window because of the ugly smell. Smells at that age were ugly, stinky, or yum depending on what was being cooked. This smell was definitely ugly. It burnt my nose and made me sneeze.

Grand Central Station was just that. Grand. It’s hugeness nearly overpowering. Once we were off the train I spotted a man holding a sign with my father’s name on it. We were escorted to a waiting limo and whisked off to the Waldorf Hotel.  A  light lunch was sent up to our rooms. After that, we hit the street. Since this was my first trip to the Big City, I wanted to see all that I could see.  I soon began to tire and had a decided turn in how I felt.  Back at the hotel, my face was hot. My mother decided I had had too much sun and insisted I take a nap.  Then, the itching began.

My father had a dinner meeting at Toots Shore’s. My mother and I were expected to go. The itching was really getting to me, but I went anyway. Really didn’t have a choice. They wouldn’t leave me at the hotel.  I was spell bound by all the famous people’s photos hanging on the walls. The man my father was meeting was the president of the New York Central Railroad. Shortly, after we were seated a man stopped by our table, shook hands with my father, nodded to my mother and me. My father introduced him as Packey Rogers of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Most kids my age would have been thrilled. I was just too sick to care.

The next thing I knew I was on a cold examination table in a doctor’s office. He was one of the doctors for the Brooklyn Dodgers and whatever was wrong with me was out of his range of training. I was taken to another doctor. He said I had poison ivy and I must have breathed it in. My temperature alarmed by mother. A couple of phone calls and we were back on the train headed for home.  I was an oozing mass and my mother had wrapped me in a sheet, bare butt naked. The doctor had given me something to make me sleep.

World War II was raging and there were soldiers on the train. At the time, I didn’t wonder why we didn’t have our compartment. It was much later that I learned my father had given our compartment to some soldiers so they could get some much needed rest. When we arrived home, our family doctor was at the door waiting for us.  My sheet was removed. I was a mess. After he left, my mother put me in a tube with mild temperature water. I yelled with pain. She dumped a box of baking soda into the water, splashed it around and using a washcloth began to dribble the water over me. That became a daily routine.

I was still not eating. My mother gave me water, and chicken broth, a spoonful at a time. The minister came, according to my mother. I guess it was the last rites.

The following day, I sat up on the edge of my bed, looked out my window. There was a large fluffy white cloud. The rest of the sky was a deep blue. The cloud opened. Three very tall pink figures appeared. They had no faces and they were not how angels are painted; they had no wings. I felt myself being ever so gently lifted up from my bed. I turned, looked back and saw myself slumped over my bed. Then just a quickly I felt a cool breeze waft over me.

My mother entered my bedroom, saw me sitting on the edge of the bed. I heard the panic in her voice as she said lay back down. I said I’m hungry. And so I was. My mother said she would bring me some soup. I asked her to look out my window and wave goodbye to the three pink figures as they drifted away.  She said, “There’s no one there. You are hallucinating.” I continued to sit on the edge of my bed. She had barely gotten out of my room when a huge bird flew up to my window, tapped on it with its large beak.

I leaned forward a bit as its mouth opened. I heard it say, “It’s not your time. You’ve been chosen.”

I have a lingering question. If I really was hallucinating, how do I know what my mother said and what the bird said to me? I realized later that the bird was a bald eagle. Today, the bald eagle is my Spirit Animal and wherever I go I see them flying in front of me, circling, showing me the way.

Norman W. Wilson, Ph.D.

About the author: Have you ever met a shaman? I have. I was seven years old, and it was at that time I was “chosen” to be a shaman. After my vision quest, I was taken into the deep woods of the Baskatong Reserve (Quebec Province, Canada) to learn about plants and animals. Eventually, I wrote a series of essays on shamanism, which are now available as Shamanism: What It’s All About. My doctorate in the humanities allowed me to study other systems, particularly the myths of the Ancient Greeks, and to examine in depth the Romantic poets, novelists, painters, and musicians. Like those Romanticists, I too, have a deep abiding fascination with the world of mythology. That interest has wound its way into my novel The Shaman’s Quest and the remaining five in my series, Shamanic Mysteries. In addition to Shamanism What It’s All About there are Activating Your Archetypes, Manifesting, the Shaman’s Way, and Healing-the Shaman’s Way. I live in the Puget Sound area of Washington State with my talented wife, photographer Suzanne V. Wilson, and we are ruled by a cat, who graciously allow us to reside in her abode. I have over 450 articles published on the internet, and several college textbooks co-authored by two colleagues. I have completed a second doctorate in metaphysical humanism, certified as a Reiki Master, minister, and spiritual counselor.

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