Laurelynn Martin (www.laurelynnmartin.com) was at the height of a promising tennis career when she had a routine surgical procedure that catastrophically sent her into an ecstatic world of light, beauty and love on the “other side.” She was Home – Home in the Light! The following are excerpts from her book, Searching for Home: A Personal Journey of Transformation and Healing After a Near-Death Experience, which describes her near-death experience. Her book is a powerful story of a young woman’s love, hope and healing after a near-death experience. Dr. Kenneth Ring said this about her experience:
“Reading Laurelynn Martin’s account of her near-death experience and changed life can change yours. Many books have been written about such encounters but this is surpassingly rich in the spiritual insights it offers. More, it tells a humdinger of a story – surely one of the most inspirational journeys of transformation and healing. It deserves to become a classic.”
She helped me slide onto the operating table and gave me a motherly look. “Don’t worry. We know it’s your first time. We’ll make this a most pleasant experience for you.”
With those reassuring words, I drifted off to sleep. I awakened and found myself floating above my body, off to the right side, looking down, watching the attempts of the medical team trying to revive the lifeless form below. I viewed the scene with detachment. The surgical team was frantic. The color red was everywhere, splattered on their gowns, splattered on the floor, and a bright pool of a flowing red substance, in the now wide open abdominal cavity. At that moment, I didn’t make the connection that the body being worked on was my own! It didn’t matter anyway. I was in a state of floating freedom, experiencing no pain and having a great time. I wanted to shout to the distressed people below, “Hey, I’m okay. It’s fantastic up here,” but they were so intent on their work, I didn’t want to interrupt their efforts.
I had traveled to another realm of total and absolute peace. With no physical body my movement was unencumbered. Thought was the avenue for travel. I floated up through blackness where there was no fear, no pain, no misunderstandings, but instead a sense of well-being. I was enveloped by total bliss in an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance. The darkness was warm and soft, a blanket of velvety love, stretching endlessly. The freedom of total peace was intensified beyond any ecstatic feeling I’ve ever felt on Earth. In the distance, a horizon of glorious white, golden light beckoned me forward.
As the brilliance increased and the encompassing rays stretched to meet me, I felt that time, as we know it, was nonexistent. Time and existence were a blending and a melding of the past, present and future into this one moment. A sense of all-knowing enveloped me. Every part of my being was satisfied with an unconditional love beyond description. All questions were answered. An inner peace without striving or achieving was created and understood.
It flashed in my mind; this was the pleasant experience the nurse had spoken about. I understood why she didn’t elaborate. Words and descriptions somehow lost the essence of the experience.
As I admired the beauty of the light, I was drawn closer, feeling the radiant warmth, infinite love and lasting peace. I felt as if I were home – home in the light. Before I became further engulfed in the light, I became aware of many spirits. They surrounded, embraced and supported my journey with their gentleness, knowledge and guidance. I felt one of them approach from my right upper side. This familiar presence came forward and my feelings changed to sheer joy when I discovered my thirty year old brother-in-law, the one who had died seven months earlier from cancer. My essence moved to meet his essence.
I couldn’t see with my eyes or hear with my ears, yet I instinctively knew that it was “Wills.” I heard his smile, saw his laughter and felt his humor. It didn’t make sense, but it made complete sense. We were separate but we were also one. It was as if I had come home and my brother-in-law was here to greet me. I instantly thought how glad I was to be with him, because now I could make up for the last time I had seen him before his death. I felt sad and a bit guilty for not taking the time out of my busy schedule to have a heart-to-heart talk with him when he had asked me to. I realized I was not being judged by him but by myself. I was in his position – dying, wanting to say goodbye to those I loved, and then meeting people like myself not “getting it” – not getting that all the achievement, money or recognition in the world cannot be taken with you when you die. The only thing you take with you is the love you give away.
Wills gave love away his whole life. In a sense he was ready to leave our physical world and continue his work in the spiritual world. People, like my sister, who were left behind without their beloved, sometimes didn’t understand. I would have to remember to tell Gwen about my discovery.
The ones who depart are in a loving space with much guidance, understanding and purpose. Their wish upon departure is not to bring sorrow and grief to others but to honor the divine plan. It is their time for transition, for the continued development of their soul. Many times, the departed loved one will work in ways to help, serve and guide others.
Wills’ gentle guidance allowed me to view my innocence. I understood, instantly, life was about people, not pursuits. I was putting pursuits first as a means to seek approval and love from people. Once I understood, I forgave myself for my actions and in the act of forgiving I received love in abundance.
By giving love, one receives and experiences a tremendous love from the universe.
Wills was like the “Spirit of Christmas Past.” By reviewing my past, I was brought to new places of discovery within myself. Many events were shown simultaneously. I recalled two examples. When I was five years old I teased Tammy Fowler, another five year old girl, to the point of tears. I was now in a unique position to feel what Tammy felt. Her frustration, her tears, and her feelings of separateness were now my feelings. I felt a tremendous amount of compassion for this child. I was Tammy and needed love, nurturing and forgiveness. My essence gave love to both of us – a love so deep and tender, like the love between a mother and child. I realized by hurting another, I was only hurting myself. Again, I was experiencing oneness.
The next incident was similar. I had made fun of Billy Bradley, a scrawny, malnourished asthmatic kid. He died when he was seventeen years old from a cerebral aneurysm. He seemed to be in the realm of existence I was in. Yet, still I was not sure where I was. When Billy was twelve, he had written me a love letter that I rejected. I was experiencing his pain which became my pain. At the same time, I felt a tremendous amount of love for this boy and myself. My contact with him went beyond the physical and I felt his soul. He had a vibrant, bright light burning inside of him. Feeling his spirit’s strength and vitality was an inconceivable moment especially knowing how much he physically suffered when he was alive.
The message was clear. The message was – LOVE.
Above and beyond anything else, one must first learn to love oneself non-judgmentally and unconditionally. Then one will actually love all people and all things the same way.
I realized how important people were in life, how important it was to accept them and love them. And I finally understood the old Mohegan Indian saying I had heard when I was in Girl Scouts, “Never judge another squaw until you have walked a mile in her moccasins.”
As I reviewed my life with Wills, my judgment prevailed and I remember thinking, “I’ve done worse things in my life.” My question was answered before I finished my thought.
All events in your life are significant. To bring an understanding of all things, even the experiences which you consider insignificant, will bring you to places of great awareness and compassion.
By the time my review was finished, I understood. I was aware of an almost cathartic release. I experienced emotion without the physical signs of tears. It brought me to a deep place of understanding and compassion. I never took the time to think how my actions affected others or how I treated myself. I felt a grieving for all my unconscious actions. With awareness of my unaware state, I released all the grief I had ever caused and joyfully moved into forgiveness.
Other thoughts were conveyed and I remember thinking, “Wow, now I get it. Everything about our existence finally makes sense.” I had more questions for Wills. The transference of information was immense and reassuring. He kept saying, “All is known. You have simply forgotten.”
I didn’t feel like I knew anything; yet, there was a place in me that knew everything. I asked Wills if I could stay. He said, “It’s not your time yet. There’s been a mistake. You have to go back.”
I remember thinking, “Okay, I’ll go back, but I can get back up here.”
At that same instant his thoughts were mine, “You can’t take your own life. Suicide, for you, isn’t the answer. That won’t do it. You have to go back and live your life’s purpose.”
I responded, “I understand, but I don’t want to go back.”
Wills’ thought came to me again, “It’s okay. We’re not going anywhere. We’ll be here for you again.” His last communication was, “Tell your sister, I’m fine.”
With those final thoughts, I felt myself going back, dropping downward through darkness. I was not afraid. Instantly, I felt myself slam into my body.