ANGIE FENIMORE (Life is not yours to take)

SUICIDE/HELLISH: ANGIE FENIMORE, a wife and mother haunted by abuse in childhood and overwhelmed by despair, was in a desperate state of mind. On January 8, 1991, she committed suicide, hoping to escape her sense of emptiness and suffering. But clinical death didn’t draw her to the light seen in so many near-death experiences. Instead, she found herself in a realm of darkness.

The hell she experienced was far more horrific and personal than the old fire-and-brimstone metaphors. Her hell was a realm of terrifying visions and profound psychic disconnection. Miraculously, she was restored to life: imprinted forever with a new sense of faith, of being subject to the sacred will, and of being truly a child of God.

I was being shown in vivid detail exactly what my childhood was really like. The pictures flew past me, but I easily absorbed every moment, each one triggering an entire memory or a chunk of my life. So this was what people meant when they said, “My life flashed before my eyes.”

The closer I came to the end of my life, the faster the pictures flew past me. It was incredible! In an instant I had experienced the entirety of the twenty-seven years from my birth until the moment that I found myself dying on the couch and passing into the warm tunnel. Then the fast motion of my life rushing past and through me stopped abruptly.Now what?

Where was I? I was immersed in darkness. My eyes seemed to adjust, and I could see clearly even though there was no light. The darkness continued in all directions and seemed to have no end, but it wasn’t just blackness, it was an endless void, an absence of light. It was completely enveloping.

I swung my head around to explore the thick blackness and saw, to my right, standing shoulder to shoulder, a handful of others. They were all teenagers.

“Oh, we must be the suicides.”

With a laugh, I opened my mouth, but before I could form the words, they came tumbling out. I wasn’t sure whether I had thought the words or had attempted to say them, but they were audible without my having to move my lips. Then I wasn’t sure if these other people had heard me, until the guy next to me responded.

He didn’t say a word to me. He slowly looked down at me and turned forward again. There was absolutely no expression on his face, no warmth or intelligence in his eyes. Suspended in darkness, he and all the others stood fixed in a thoughtless stupor.

Second over from the other end of the line was a girl who looked to be in her late teens. I was coming to see that feeling – what some call intuition or the sixth sense – was the preferred method of transferring information here, where unvoiced ideas grew audible. As I exercised my new power of sensing/feeling, I had an inkling that I was remembering a long-forgotten, natural, familiar skill that had been supplanted or subverted by words, and I quickly grew proficient at this new way of gaining knowledge.

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