Sharon was only 8 years-old when she had a near death experience so beautiful and vivid that she can describe it in amazing detail to this day. Her near-death experience occurred after Halloween in 1954, while she and her family lived in San Leandro, California.
Sharon and her sister, eight years her senior, were raised in a Catholic family with her mother and father being deaf from severe meningitis at different times in their lives. Therefore, sign language was her very first language.
It was after Halloween, 1954 when Sharon started repeatedly complaining of pains near her stomach. Sharon recalls, “It almost always happened on Saturdays, when I had to go to Catechism. This went on daily for many months until my mom believed there really was something wrong, not just that I was trying to dodge religious classes. The nuns always scared me.” Realizing Sharon needed medical attention, her parents took her to a Catholic Hospital in Oakland, about a 15 or 20-minute drive from San Leandro, California.
After several tests it was determined her appendix was inflamed and through translating by sign language, Sharon communicated to her mother the plans to operate when the inflammation was under control. It surely had to be very difficult for an 8 year old to translate medical plans and procedures in this way. There were even more instructions given as to things she should prepare for and things that must not be done. Sharon explains, “I don't know if I got it wrong, or perhaps, she had misunderstand me, but Mom did one of the “do not do’s” and put me to bed.”
“My father was at work, on the swing shift. “She continues, “It had been a busy day and I fell asleep. At this point, you might say it was a dream but it wasn't. I had no body; it was below me on the bed. I felt a presence with me. I called it my Guardian Angel. It had no form but conveyed thoughts to me in answer my thoughts.
“We passed through a dark, cloud like tunnel. As I looked at the billowy gray around me, I could see faces that I didn't recognize. I was told that they were family who had passed before I was born. At the top of the tunnel there was light, rose pink to salmon, like a sunrise or sunset. Beyond this was a brilliant, clear light in the shape of a cross. As soon as I entered the rose color drenched light, I was immersed in such a love I wanted to get closer but was told I had to go back, it wasn't my time, and I had to go back.” Sharon says, wistfully.
She was “told” there was something she had to accomplish, a purpose. Sharon saw things in the future. The saddest vision was a picture of a girl on her knees, her hands raised to the people around her, crying while a body of a boy laying on the ground beside her. Sharon was shocked when more than 10 years later in 1970, the National Guard shot students protesting the war at Kent State in Ohio. That famous 1971 Pulitzer Prize photo taken that day was the exact image she witnessed during her NDE 10 years earlier.
Even just as amazing was what Sharon told me next. “I was also shown a screen that you could ask any question and get the answer. Back in the 50's, the average person had no concept of an iPad/iPhone or Smartphone.” Then, in Sharon’s vision was an image of future technology to come, much like what we have today.
The feeling of a thorough and unconditional love was so strong, so soothing that she immediately felt like she was being held in her mother's arms - protected. “I was so happy there,” begins Sharon. “ I did not want to return, but was pulled back down into my body like I was attached with a bungee cord. As I re-entered my body I was fighting to go back to the light, screaming, "No, no, no...” I returned to consciousness, opening my eyes, convulsing and in excruciating pain. I couldn't move. My sister had awakened my mother and called an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital. I kept asking the EMT who was with me if he was my Guardian Angel. My appendix had not only ruptured, it had blown-up my insides and peritonitis was spreading throughout. I went into surgery. The thing I knew I was in ICU and an old lady in the next bed was dying. She had this rattle in her breathing, and I was happy for her because she'd be going to that place of love. I stayed in the hospital for almost a month.” Sharon recalls.
From that time on, she said she tried to recapture that feeling of overwhelming Love. Throughout the next few years, she discussed different religions with her father and began studying other religions. The concept of God being a bearded man sitting in heaven judging was not what Sharon wanted to believe. Instead she felt that God was Love. Sharon explains, “What we do in the name of Love was doing God's work. We were made in love. Do no harm, Love!” Still she searched for answers from Wicca to Budism. Then there were university classes on Altered States of Consciousness and on to EST - always searching. “In my 40's a friend of mine and I went into business with a former Buddhist Monk, an American Indian who had gone to Nepal and lived in a cave near his guru, and then was ordained. I listened to Buddhist thought from him and read, learning to meditate. Meditation brought me the closest to that feeling I had when I was 8. My thoughts now are: God = Love = Enlightenment = God. Enlightenment is the brilliant white light that is Love ... it is God.”
Sharon sees her near-death experience as a beautiful experience. She says, “I do not fear death. Both my sister and a dear friend have passed. Prior to their passing I tried to take away their fears by relating my story and advising them to look for the light and go into it. It's so beautiful, so peaceful, so soothing and those who have gone before will be there, not in human form, but in spiritual form, and you will know them and love them. “