Near-Death Experiences As Children Change Lives - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/08/06-East Texas

Near-Death Experiences As Children Change Lives

"I was putting pebbles in a bucket and I was having a really good time."

Linda Jacquin was just four years old.   Playing in the water though she was so young, she says she remembers everything.  Including when her foot slipped off a rock and she was caught under the surface.

"I was underwater and I started breathing underwater because at four and a half years old, you didn't know you can't breathe underwater," she says.

What happened next isn't completely clear.  But Linda says she began to leave her body -- floating away.

"With a vantage point of being in the corner of the room, I didn't have a body, but it wasn't frightening," says Dr. Pam Kircher, who says she too left her body while gripped in the pain of meningitis.  She was six years old. There wasn't the medical equipment to say whether she really died or not.  But the experience, she says, was from another place.

"I felt absolute peace and the feeling of being surrounded by God. It was perfect."

But for just a moment.

"As soon as I realized it was me, I was back in my body.  So mine was a brief near-death experience, but it was profoundly influential in my life," Kircher says.

Linda recalls the view from above her body: "I saw blond hair floating on water, which was my blond hair.  I was perfectly happy where I was.  I felt safe, I felt loved, and I didn't want to go back in my body -- back in the place where I was."

Linda spent moments, she says, with her grandmother.  Also with Jesus amid colors she says were more beautiful than any rainbow.

"The closest thing that I could say is that it looked like is when light hits an icecicle and it refracts for that brief second, and you see all colors at one time, but they're crystal clear," Jacquin says. 

"I can remember how sad my mom and dad were and I could tell how panicky they were and then my gaze went to my brother Bobby.  And I said I have to go back for Bobby -- he's going to be in a lot of trouble if i don't go back," she says.

She chose to go back.  Others who have a near-death experience say they're powerless to go where they're heading -- only following or being carried.   Most also say that they're bathed in warmth and love.

Debbie James has been a nurse her entire career, and is no less fascinated she says then when she first started noticing the phenomenon.

"Some people who had been in chronic pain say I am finally at peace -- it didn't hurt for the first time.  So when you hear adults and children say those things, once again you've got to pay attention," she says. 

"I don't know exactly what i believe about that in terms of where we go from here and if there's an afterlife and those kinds of things, but I can tell you I'm moved and encouraged by what they tell me."

Kircher says it is true, that she did leave her body all those years ago.

"Those people who have a near-death experience become very spirtual.  What I mean by that is that there is something more than this material world."

Those who come back -- they call themselves "experiencers" -- unanimously say those who are allowed to come back from death have a profound responsibility.  Many say it is given by God -- and it's to teach and to love.

"The only thing that exists on the other side is love.  And if people just did that and had compassion for other people the world would be a lot better place," Jacquin says.

"I really do believe that we're here to learn about compassion and love, and anytime we're not doing that, we're not doing our job," says Kircher. 

Morgan Palmer, reporting


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