One With The Light
Randy Gehling's Near-Death Experience
Randy Gehling of Arlington Heights, Illinois, had been
begging for a new bicycle for his birthday all summer
long. On September 8, 1988, the tenth anniversary of
his arrival on planet Earth, he got his bicycle - but
he also came very close to changing his mailing address
Steve and Kathy Gehling, Randy's
parents, found the accident bitterly ironic. Randy's
near-death experience appears in Brad Steiger's book,
One with the Light.
"For months he begs
for a new bike for his birthday," Steven said.
he spotted it on the porch, he tore off the ribbons,
ignored the eight little friends gathered for his birthday
celebration, and took off for a "quick spin"
around the block. He just didn't seem to see the teenager
from across the street using the alley as a shortcut
the anguish of the long hours that they spent in the
waiting room, not knowing for certain whether their
son would live or die.
been unconscious ever since the neighbor boy hit him
with his car. His new bicycle was all mangled. Some
of the neighbors said that Randy was sent flying fifteen
or twenty feet by the impact. All we could do was pray."
After a three-hour
surgery, the doctor visited them in the waiting room
and told them that the prognosis looked good. Randy
was in a recovery room, and as soon as it was advisable,
he would be wheeled to a hospital room where they could
wait by his bedside. The doctor could not promise whether
Randy would be conscious enough to respond to them yet
The next morning
at about seven-twenty, about seventeen hours after his
accident, Randy opened his eyes, saw his parents at
his bedside, and smiled.
He accepted their gentle hugs
and kisses in silence, then told them:
"Wow, Mom and Dad, what
Steve and Kathy
chuckled at their son's first words. Then at a loss
for the proper response to such a comment, Steve said:
"Yeah, I guess you really
went flying over the handlebars, eh?"
then winced at the pain of the movement. His head was
completely swatched in bandages, leaving him with only
a peephole around the eyes and a small open space for
flew up to the stars and went to heaven. I saw the angels,
and I even think I might have seen Jesus. Oh, and I
saw Grandpa Hansen, too."
Steve and Kathy glanced at one
another in meaningful silence.
under the effects of the anesthetic," Kathy whispered. "It's
like he's dreaming."
Randy protested what he overheard
of his mother's whispered analysis.
"It was no dream. I was
Steve and Kathy
decided to agree with their son so they would not aggravate
his condition so soon after surgery. But over the next
days and weeks, they came to have a different opinion
of their ten-year-old son's visit to heaven. They had
to admit that Randy may well have experienced much more
than a dream.
the notes taken by Kathy Gehling, here, somewhat abbreviated,
is Randy's account of his near-death experience:
really know what had hit me. I just seemed to go flying
through the air.
a really funny thing happened. A part of me - I guess
my soul - just kept flying, and I saw my body smash
into the ground. I knew it had to hurt to land that
hard, so I was happy that I was where I was - wherever
got a little higher, I saw that it had been Kurt's car
that had hit me. I always told him that he drove too
fast in the neighborhood. He would usually just make
a face at me or flip me the bird. He should have listened
to me. I figured that he must have killed me and now
he would go to jail."
Randy felt a moment of panic
when he realized that he might be dying.
this beautiful angel appeared beside me. She was really
pretty. She looked like a movie star with wings. Her
voice sounded kind of like Mom's when she is comforting
me when I have a stomach ache or something.
me not to worry. She said that she was with me and that
she would stay right by my side. She took my hand, and
I felt a lot better."
Randy said that
they soon approached a dark tunnel. When he held back
and said that he was afraid to go into the darkness,
the angel smiled and told them that this was the only
way that they could get to their destination.
I could see a bright light at
the far end of the tunnel, so I said:
"All right, as long as you
don't let go of my hand!"
She laughed and said:
you that I would never leave your side. I have been
with you ever since you were born. In fact, I was there
at your mother's side when you were born. I am your
Randy asked her what her name
have names in the manner that you mean," she said, "but
if it makes you feel better to call me something, you
may call me, Areo (ah-ree-o)."
The tunnel did
not prove to be such a terrible ordeal after all. Randy
and Areo seemed to whoosh through it quickly.
we stood before this totally awesome light," Randy
said. "It was so bright and powerful that you really
couldn't look right at it.
at Areo, wondering what we were to do next. She said
that we would enter the light and become one with it.
Before I could ask what that meant, she just gave my
hand a little tug, and then we were inside the light.
really cool! I kind of felt as though my body exploded
- in a nice way - and became a million different atoms
- and each single atom could think its own thoughts
and have its own feelings. All at once I seemed to feel
like I was a boy, a girl, a dog, a cat, a fish. Then
I felt like I was an old man, an old woman - and then
a little tiny baby."
And then Randy
and Areo were standing in what appeared to be a lovely
part, bedecked with "millions and millions"
of colorful flowers. Randy could hear beautiful music
playing somewhere off in the distance.
little ways off I could see a bridge with someone standing
on it. Beyond the bridge, I saw a golden city with towers
like European castles. The whole city seemed to be shining
with light that shot up into the sky like a giant searchlight.
see that some of the domes of the city were red, others
were gold, and a few were blue. The gates and walls
of the city seemed to be made of bright blue, red, and
Randy asked Areo if they were
going to visit the city. The angel nodded.
"That's to be your new home,
They began walking
toward the bridge to the city, and Randy saw that the
man standing awaiting them was his Grandpa Hansen.
Randy ran to
his grandfather and felt his strong arms close around
him. Grandpa Hansen had been a farmer all of his life
in Minnesota. He had died, still a powerful man, when
Randy was six.
Randy asked his beloved grandfather
if he would now be living with him in heaven.
"One day," Grandpa
Hansen told him. "But not just yet."
When Randy questioned his grandfather,
he told him that he still had things to learn on Earth.
bought the farm this time, Randy-boy," Grandpa
Hansen said with a chuckle.
you aren't ready to cash in your chips yet."
Aero seemed puzzled.
seemed to me that I was doing the right thing. The word
that I received indicated that now was Randy's time
to return home."
Grandpa Hansen shrugged.
"I was told
to meet you at the bridge and tell you to take him back
home. He's got some lessons that he hasn't learned yet
- and lots of work that he hasn't even started to fulfill."
Before Areo took
him by the hand for the return flight home, Randy said
that another figure materialized beside Grandpa Hansen
on the bridge.
right away that it was Jesus," Randy said, convinced
of the majestic visitor. "I knew by his eyes."
quite remember all of the things that Jesus said, but
he is certain of some of the words.
that I would never quite be the same as I was before
I visited heaven. He said that some of the power of
the light would remain within me. And he told me to
let the love that I would feel in my heart express itself
to all people.
that I should never worry if people doubted my story
or could not understand what I was telling them. 'One
day,' Jesus said, 'everyone will come to see for themselves
what you have seen.'"
only an experience through which you are
meant to learn a great lesson: you cannot
NDEs with Animals Index |