Beyond the door of death and back: one woman's amazing account

By Michael H. Brown

       Among the more fascinating near-death experiences to come out of the recent flood of such testimonies is that of a Louisiana woman, a devout Catholic named Sondra Abrahams, who "died" in 1970 after undergoing a hysterectomy. The experience had such a profound effect on her that ever since she has devoted her time to helping and praying for others, often all day and all night. She learned the beauty of death but also the seriousness of life. And how important it is to make use of every opportunity to serve our fellow humans.

        I'll let Sondra explain.

       "They gave me an anti-nausea drug that was brand new on the market," she says.  "They gave me the medicine the day I was leaving to go home after the surgery.  I felt odd that morning and the nurse thought it was just nervousness over going home because I had three very small children.  My husband brought me home--my mother-in-law was there with the children.  After he left and went back to work I went into the bedroom and started feeling funny in my throat and in my face.  It felt like I was being paralyzed.  My face was drawing back and I had no control over my mouth.  My jaw was like locked together. And I told my mother-in-law to call my husband Kenneth immediately.  I said, 'I think I'm having a stroke.'" 

       "He rushed home and when he got home he took one look at me. Well, by then I was in great difficulty.  I couldn't breathe and I could hardly talk.  My throat was closing.  He called the doctor and the doctor said to get me to the emergency room. I was having a reaction to the drug.  We had a wild ride to the emergency room, and when we got there my husband carried me in.  I can remember the table and even the direction it was facing, the doctor and on the other side the nurse.  I can remember looking up at him.  I was trying to breathe and trying to talk and I couldn't do either.

       "And then he hit me in the chest.  I guess I had gone into heart arrest and I remember looking down and seeing him hitting me on the chest.  It's like I'm looking down at him working on my body and hearing things that he was saying and seeing him throwing things and I remember thinking, 'That's me. That's me there.'

        "And then all of a sudden I felt a pull, like something pulling me.  And I was going through this dark tunnel.  On each side of me there were little sparkly lights, like tiny firebugs all around me, and I looked and remember seeing this light that was way down, this little bright light that, as I was getting to where I was going, was getting larger.  I knew I had to go to that light, that there was safety in the light.  I went into the light and it was brilliant and the Light was Christ, and He looked just like He did when He ascended into Heaven.  He wore the white tunic and He had His hands up. I saw the wounds. He just embraced me -- and the love!  I have never known that kind of love.

       "I thought I knew what love was.  Being a mother I love my children and grandchildren so much, but the love of Christ is so consuming, it's just unbelievable, beautiful. He spoke to me but it wasn't words.  I could hear Him but I didn't see His lips moving.  He was thinking from His mind to mine. He asked if I was satisfied with my life.  I remember looking around.  He pointed and whenever He did my whole life went from the time I was a little tiny child at the age of two on up to the birth of my three children and up to the present time.  It was just like a movie, seeing my life. I could see everything I had ever done wrong -- He showed that to me -- and everyone I could have helped and I didn't!  And oh gosh, there were a lot of people I could have helped that I didn't.  I felt His sorrow that I had turned my back on them."

          That wasn't all. Sondra was also shown heaven, purgatory, and hell. She was spoken to about the future. And we'll be exploring all this in future articles.

(This is adapted from Mr. Brown's book After Life (Queenship Publishing)