I know that I and others have been given near death experiences so we can share our experience and make people understand that death is not to be feared and that Heaven is real.
I know there are people who struggle with the idea of near death experiences, some of them regard them as flights of fantasy or imagination, and some reject them outright saying if they cannot be proven they must be false.
There is so much about the spiritual side of ourselves that is un-provable, but that doesn't make it false. I believe that no one - scientist or thinker - will ever be able to definitively prove the existence of Heaven, but nor will they be able to disprove it.
It's a matter of faith, and we are all given signs to help to support us in our faith. Near death experiences are one such sign.
Let me tell you what I experienced when I went into a medical crisis, immediately after an operation, in a hospital in Ireland some years ago.
"I was on a very wide bright stairway that curved upwards. An angel was holding my hand and telling me to hurry. I was very happy and could feel nothing of my human body. I was full of joy; I knew where I was going - to Heaven - and I was so happy to be going there. I had no sadness or thoughts of leaving my children behind me. There were hundreds of souls with me on their way to Heaven. With each of them was their guardian angel. In some cases the guardian angel was walking beside them. Others were holding their hand and in a few cases, the guardian angels - who were enormous - were carrying the souls in their arms with great tenderness, a bit like carrying a baby. The look on each guardian angel's face was one of pure love. Around each soul there were also hundreds of other angels.
I was fascinated, watching the souls on their way to Heaven; they were happy, completely at peace, there were no tears, no sign of stress. Other souls came down to greet them and they seemed to talk in a human way with great excitement. I could tell the difference between the souls that hadn't yet reached Heaven and those that were greeting them. The souls that had been in Heaven for a while were much more radiant, much brighter and their human appearance was less marked than those of the souls who had just left the earthly world.
I felt wonderful, I felt perfect. I had left my human body and any pain behind. I was going to where I wanted to be and I was so happy. I had no fear or anxiety and, I had no thoughts at all of anyone left behind - not even my children."
Some days after the operation I became conscious in intensive care. The surgeon told me that that they believed they had lost me, that I had been gone for ten minutes and they hadn't been sure whether they could revive me or not.
Many other people have had near death experiences. Some like Eben Alexander MD (author of Proof of Heaven ) and Anita Moorjani, (author of Dying to be Me ) have talked out about their own experiences, but many other people, particularly highly educated people, keep quiet about their own experiences because they fear they will be laughed at or ridiculed. It's such a shame that this happens because it stops people from sharing the hope that is inherent in these experiences.
I believe we are given near death experiences to strengthen our own faith and to share with others so we can strengthen their faith and lessen the fear of death that is so pervasive in our society. The common thing about my and most near death experiences is the feeling that death is not to be feared. I felt enormous peace and joy that I was going to Heaven. I felt so relived to be unencumbered by my rickety physical body and away from pain. I had no wish to go back, even to my children who were fatherless and still quite young when this happened.
Having had a near death experience I have no fear of death; being honest if God would take me now I would go willingly without even the slightest look back.
See Lorna talk about her near death experience.
As part of the celebrations surrounding the publication of A Message of Hope from the Angels in the USA on 8th Oct , Lorna will join Eben Alexander M.D (author of Proof of Heaven ) and Anita Moorjani (author of Dying to be Me ) at 'A Journey to Heaven and Back: A Symposium on Near Death Experiences' in New York on 23rd November organised by The New York Open Center . Details here