December 1, 1974, I was 22 years old and about to give birth to my first child, a little girl already named Maegan. After many hours of hard labor and asking for pain relief I was given a spinal block for anesthesia at the very end of the birth process. The OB/GYN administered it himself instead of following protocol and paging the on call anesthesiologist. He gave it to me too high in the spine and it anesthetized my heart and lungs which shut them down. My then husband was asked to leave and he passed out right outside the labor room door. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter at 7:50 AM and at 8:02 AM I was pronounced dead. The doctor went to the waiting room and told my worried mother and aunt that "the baby was fine but your daughter had a very hard time and she didn't make it."

In the cafeteria a few floors below the labor & delivery floor was a young African American Anesthesiologist that was on call. He came into the hospital an hour earlier, checked in and since there were no pages for him he went to get some breakfast. As he sat down with a full tray of food he got an overwhelming and unexplainable urge to leave the food and go to labor & delivery. That was the exact time when my mother was saying to the doctor delivering the news of my demise "No, she is going to be fine, you go back in there and take care of her, go back in there" as she grasped her rosaries and prayed harder than she ever had. My mothers propensity for denial finally paid off.

Shortly after the anesthesia was administered I told them I couldn't breath. Then whatever makes me, uniquely me, left my body and I became acutely aware of everything. I saw my body laying lifeless and I had no affection for it. It was as if it was an empty container, once useful to support my spirit but now, no longer needed. I was also aware of everything that was going on there in the delivery room and around the hospital. I could hear what people were saying and knew what they were thinking. When the doctor realized the mistake he had made what ran through his mind was "A dead 22 year old is much easier to deal with than a paralyzed for life 22 year old." He then threw a sheet over my face, declared the time of death and went to the waiting room. The nurses were thinking "Oh, no, another one!" I interpreted that to mean this was not the first time this had happened at the hands of this doctor.

When the young anesthesiologist arrived in the delivery room he asked "What happened?" and the nurses answered "Anesthesia shock." He said Oh, no, I'm going to get nailed for this one, I was on call! He asked where the crash cart was expecting that there had been an attempt to revive me. The nurses just shook their heads and shrugged. He started oxygen and ran for a defibrillator. I watched from an aerial view as my body was shaken and shocked by this machine. It looked so barbaric, I turned away and found myself in a tunnel of light. It was so warm and peaceful and even though the light was pure white it seemed as if there were flickers of color floating through it, some colors that I had never seen before. The light drew me into the tunnel, not by force but by choice, I kept going closer to the pinnacle of light and as I did the more peaceful and euphoric I felt. Knowledge filled my being and I became so aware of things that used to be a paradox or a mystery. All of the sudden, everything was so clear, it was so simple, "why didn't I get that when I was there?", I asked myself. I was surrounded by the presence of God and within that presence there was every one I had ever known that went before me there, one with God, me, us.

I was so joyful to be there and I was staying! Finally I was home, a place as familiar as my own bed, as safe as the womb. Womb! Oh, no, my baby! I turned back to the room where I saw them cleaning up my new little girl, oh, no, I have to go back, I can't leave that baby, no matter how much I want to go home, I must stay, I owe it to her. I knew if I turned back to look at the face of God, home, oneness, knowledge, peace, love, euphoria I would not return to my body ever. So, I chose, without ever looking back, I chose to enter the body that the young anesthesiologist with the black rimmed glasses and the neat afro was so desperately working on. It was 8:10 AM when my heart started to beat, my lungs started to breath on their own and my spirit experienced the pain of being trapped in the human body once more. Two days later I awoke from an unconscious state with a "gift of the tunnel," as I call it, a very heightened intuition. When I awoke, the man who saved my life was in the room checking on me. I opened my eyes and said "Hello, I remember you." I told him everything I saw from an aerial view, what he said, what he was thinking. I'm sure it frightened him as he backed out of the room, wide eyed and I never saw him again. Minutes later they brought my little girl to me and I saw her for the first time, at two days old, with human eyes. She was beautiful.

I would live to love and learn and teach. I would live to make a difference not just for that daughter but for the son who was to be born almost 12 years later. I would live to make a difference for thousands of people through personal growth work and parenting courses that put an end to child abuse. I would live to share my story of life after life. I was here for even a bigger reason than to be a mother, and I know now that we are all here for a bigger reason: to give and receive love and knowledge in our own unique way. That was one of the things I remember realizing during my time in the tunnel.

Most of that overwhelming knowledge that flooded into me when I was in the tunnel of light left as soon as I chose to be back in the body. My free will was still intact and that decision was completely my choice. There are a few other things that I remember and I'd like to share them with you.

First: God is LOVE. The power and might of pure unconditional Love united with every spirit in the universe is beyond our comprehension. God is so almighty that he/she could not possibly care about the trite things that we condemn each other for, impossible, LOVE and fear cannot occupy any being at the same time especially the supreme being who is simply PURE LOVE.

Second: When the spirit is free of the body the spirit is a billion times more powerful than when it is trapped in the human form with ego and limiting beliefs weighing it down. But there is one gift that the body can give to the spirit for all the spirit gives up to be trapped in the body; sensuality: touch, taste & smell. So savor all human touch, scents and tastes as even though you will not miss it, this is the gift that the body brings to this human experience. Hug each other often, lovingly and long. Wear your favorite cologne, don't save it, smell the flowers, the fresh air, a puppy. Relish your chance to experience every taste.

Third: When the spirit is free of the body there is no linear time, one minute after the next. The spirit can choose whatever time it wants to experience, before this life, during or after. The spirit can choose to be with any loved one anytime so the spirit misses no one. Every once in a while I experience déjà vou. I now know that is when my free spirit comes to visit me in this life again, to relive something or to guide. It is when your passed on spirit self visits your living human self.

Last: When my loved ones go on to their Journey on the other side the first thing that occurs to me is "Thank God Almighty, they are free at last, free at last." Then I selfishly grieve for the linear time I will be without them between now and when I see them again, when I go home and I thank God that I am once again, free at last!

Author's Bio: 

Tina Crumpacker, CO-owner, with Carlos Velazquez, of TMC Productions, has authored many courses that have changed lives. Tina believes our purpose in this life is to "give and receive love and knowledge in our own unique ways", and this is her way.

Tina is the author of “The Journey to YOU, more than a book, an Experience!” and she has written such courses as “The Journey”, “Advanced Living Principles”, “Leadership in Action”, “Creating Cooperative, Responsible Children”, and “The Loving Couples Course”.

Tina has coached over 10,000 people including other life coaches, entrepreneurs, employees, couples, parents, teachers, teens, and even prisoners. Her expertise covers the four areas of life; career/ finance & education, relationships, body/mind/spirit and being a contribution in the world.