My Near-Death Experience

A few days ago, my niece, Keira, 4, was playing by the fireplace and noticed a golden key sticking out of the wall. I don't know the details, obviously, of exactly what was going through her mind when she did this, but upon seeing it, she proceeded to give it a couple turns, then yanked it out of the wall and took it to another part of the house. So when everyone in the house couldn't hardly wake up Sunday morning, it suddenly became clear why.

My mom was sitting in the easy chair adjacent to the fireplace Sunday morning and was, for the most, incapacitated -- she couldn't hardly move and was having an even more difficult time keeping her eyes open. After she turned the television off so that she could take a nap (after just waking up, mind you), she noticed a hissing noise coming from the fireplace.

The gas was leaking.

Now, I was gone all day Sunday and Monday, so I didn't know about this. So when I came home Monday night and went to bed (my bedroom is in the basement), it didn't take very long for me to fall asleep. But why? I wasn't even tired! I had a lot of energy when I got home!

Last night, I discovered the difference between falling asleep and slowly blacking out. I was laying in bed and my head suddenly got very heavy -- my eyelids too. I couldn't keep them open while watching a movie and I couldn't move my head to its pillow. In fact, I couldn't hardly move my entire body! Every muscle just... gave out. I was laying there, helpless and defenseless. That's around the time that I started having trouble breathing.

I took deep breaths, not because I was relaxing, but because I was gasping for air. I was actually suffocating in my bed -- my near-death bed, if you will. I fought and struggled to keep my eyes open, because I had a feeling that if I closed them, I would never open them again. I wanted to get out of bed and run upstairs, but my muscles wouldn't even allow me to roll over. I was stuck.

Then the breathing stopped.

And my eyes closed.

And everything was black.

And I knew I was awake during all of this, because my heart started racing as I panicked and feverishly struggled to wake myself up.

Everyone has heard it said that, just as you're about to die, a bright, white light appears in front of you, or that all of your life flashes before you. Maybe I wasn't really about to die, but that didn't happen to me last night. Instead, faces and voices flashed in front of me, so rapidly that I had a difficult time recognizing them.

All of my best friends were there -- the Leighs, the Jorays, the Stellers, the Seelingers, the Rileys, the Van Homampours, the Nashes, the Mays. I heard their voices and saw replays of specific moments I spent with them. I saw Tim and Dustin at P.J.'s, drawing up ideas for a comic book on a napkin and I was taking pictures of them doing it; Suzi, laying into the couch with her feet on the coffee table and her cat, Tasuki, curled up on her big, pregnant belly; Katie at the hospital, sleeping in the bed after just giving birth to Claire; the Nashes walking their dog, Bella; Josh and Sam driving my car to Ohio; my Dad playing catch with me in the front yard; Jeff and Meggie, exchanging vows on their wedding day.

And, at the very last, I saw Megan. Everything slowed down for this vision, so I could watch it in real-time. She was standing in front of me, and we both of our hands clasped together between us. We gazed deep into each other's eyes and we were talking, but I couldn't hear the conversation. It just sounded like a murmur in an empty chamber.

And I realized I didn't want to die. I wanted to have that conversation, whatever it was.

Immediately upon thinking this, I woke up and shot straight out of bed, crashing onto the floor. My heart has beating so hard and pumping blood so fast that, if it weren't for my useless muscles, I could've flew, like Superman, up the stairs and outside. Instead, I crawled and dragged myself across the floor, up the stairs, through the kitchen and onto the deck outside. Then I rolled over on my back, just laid there and, like a person who just survived drowning, I breathed deep and savored every ounce of oxygen that filled my lungs. I was in the spot for about half of an hour, just regaining strength and breathing deep.

As it turns out, gas, unlike heat and fire, does not rise. Instead, it settles. So that Sunday afternoon, when my family realized that gas had been leaking for all of Saturday and opened every window and door in the house to aerate the place, they weren't doing a whole lot of good. Sure, the gas that had leaked into the rooms on the main floor was removed from the house, but the gas that had gotten into the vents and made its way down to the basement had not been taken care of. Instead, it filled the basement for three days, just waiting for me to come home, go downstairs and lock the door behind me, trapping me in a gassy grave.

But that didn't happen. God spared me and once again, I cheated Death.

And that's the kind of thing to write a blog about.


  1. Jeez that must've been so scary! I'm glad you and your family are all ok. Because what if you died? Would I ever know, or would I just think you havne't blogged in awhile? Eh?

  2. holy shit dood! that's messed up. was there no smell? that fart like smell that natural gas has is done on puropse to let people know that there may be a leak or something.
    might need to invest in a CO detector.