In the 1950s, Edward R. Murrow pioneered a five minute radio broadcast on CBS called “This I Believe,” which encouraged people – everyday, famous and anyone in between – to write short essays about their own personal beliefs.
His program was resurrected from 2005-2009 by Jay Ellison and Dan Gediman on NPR, a project which also resulted in a number of book collections – the audio versions of which we have in our library! One patron was so inspired upon listening to these audio collections that she came up to the desk and explained how she had written a piece of her own. Since Linda was open to having her piece shared, it is my very great pleasure to post her beautiful essay on our blog. Enjoy!
“This I believe:I believe in death. The very thing that sends people into terrified spins is my friend. I know this sounds weird.I had a near death experience when I was in my 20’s. A blood clot lodged in my leg after child birth and I took off.I left my body. I ascended into a space that was so clear and astoundingly bright and beautiful, no words could ever describe this profound experience.On this amazing journey I was threaded through with major LOVE, and remember being transfixed by the grass at my feet which was lit from inside each blade. There was a clear light that also cannot clearly be communicated. It was unbelievably bright but didn’t hurt my eyes.I saw a tunnel which I did not take it and don’t know why, at which time I was shot back into my body hearing the words: “it’s not your time.”My body felt so small and confining and I knew something extraordinary had happened to me but it took me years to process it and understand it. This was in the 1960’s when there was no talk of near death experiences. No one to ask. No internet. This amazing and mystical experience just seared into me. If I live to be 113 I will remember the light, the love and the return trip. This astounding event taught me a new way of seeing life.The first thing to change was the feeling of being afraid of death. To my way of seeing now, crossing over is a blessing. This fragile earth we share is school. We are here to learn the big concepts taught in church or synagogue or the mosques such as love, compassion, generosity and forgiveness. That’s our job while we’re in these bodies during this life.And secondly: For me it was the end of seeing life on earth as a beginning and an end. I see now that we are born and then we die as part of the wheel, part of a continuum. Each life bringing us closer to the ideal.And when we finish our lessons and live out whatever time we have here, we get to joyfully reacquaint with your loved ones who have passed before you and those in our soul group including our pets.We shed your body like an old pair of clothes but our soul and spirit often remain near our loved ones in life.What I learned is that life goes on. Whether you’re in spirit on the other side or in your clothes on this side.This knowledge allows me to live my life with a longer vision in a loving and generous way, unafraid of the eventual “death”So I believe in death, to wake us up to life.”