Almost 20 years ago, while kayaking in Chile, a drowning accident left me technically dead for more than 30 minutes. During that time, I had what’s called a near-death experience (NDE), during which I journeyed to Heaven and back.
As a practicing orthopedic surgeon, I’ve spoken publicly and widely about the spiritual and medical implications of my extraordinary experience. Invariably, after I speak, a crowd lines up to talk. And trust me, it’s not because I’m an unusually riveting speaker.
Two things compel people to linger, often for hours: Either they can’t wait to share their own out-of-body experiences, or they desperately need answers about life after death. I remember a mother and daughter who waited out a long line, then stood in front of me…and stood. "We just wanted to look in your eyes," they finally said. "We had to see if what you just said is true."
I get it. We all wonder about what comes next—it’s a quest that drives science, art, and religion. I wrote 7 Lessons From Heaven to share what my NDE taught me, and I’m convinced that what I learned is not just for one kind of believer or unbeliever—it’s for everyone.
When people wait around for answers, certain questions consistently surface. Here are the most common ones.