Two Years Ago, to this Day, I LIVED!

Paul sammonds1Two years ago to this day, I lived.  As I am writing this, two years ago at this exact hour, I was being driven to the emergency room, unsure of anything, except the glorious sunshine as it beamed through the leaves so givingly and exuberantly.  When I look back, I think upon that car ride as a moment in time where I was enormously happy and faithfully present with the magnificence all around.

 It is a potent event in one’s life to have almost died, and the truly poignant moments for me came several weeks later when I became fully cognoscente of my brush with death.  It was The Day of the Dead and people in my community were honoring those who had passed.  I realized, from my friends’ and communities’ eyes, what it would have meant for them to have had to place me on that altar of honoring.  And I felt a love in my heart, both inward flowing and outward, that I wish upon everyone to experience – to be that loved, to be that loving.  And I decided that we all need to feel that much more in our lives and so I began telling people the ways I appreciate them, the ways they affect me, the ways I see that they contribute to this world, how grateful I am to be here with them.

 Another affecting moment came during a fire ceremony where I was hearing songs about how forms come and forms go – yet the circle of life remains.  I was unexpectedly struck with knowing that all of this life would happen with or without me here… and that the world, my friends, my family would continue on and be okay regardless of whether I had passed or not.  I was suddenly no longer afraid of death or of life for that matter! This was a mammoth moment in my history when I felt completely free and powerful.  I forgot all about how I had needed help walking to get there and simply stood up and not only walked, but actually danced for the rest of the night!

So right now, I sit here in this moment feeling and holding in one hand, my own, each others, and this world’s vulnerability.  In my other hand I hold my, each others, and this world’s strength.  We are at a pivotal time on this earth’s history.  We are immensely blessed to be here.  I was blessed to be given more time to be here on this beautiful, beautiful planet with you all.  When I lived, all I could think of and feel was how lucky I was to see each and every face again that had made their way to me.  All of our personality differences, misunderstandings, etc… were all gone.  I was, quite simply, in love with everyone and firmly rooted in each and everyone’s and all of life’s blessedness.  As I continue to heal from this trauma, I am constantly reminded of both my vulnerability and my strength and I feel the call to step up, show myself, open my heart even more, take more risks, say what I see, contribute to others and to this world, celebrate my gifts, celebrate other’s, to vision a better world and to take action.  I try to not let one day go by without letting at least one person know that they are loved.  My wish for you is that you do not have to have a near death experience, but that you can read my story and consider it a fire under you to step it up.  As Paul Williams said in his poem, Common Sense, “How dare I be discouraged by anything so trivial as personal failure”. What are some of the ways you have been holding yourself back?  What is something you wish you would have said or done?  OK, now go out and do it!

Note: the above photo was taken in the Berrydale Forest on the Island of Hoy, Orkney, north of Scotland, by my friend, Paul.  Please see his other beautiful photos at


12 Responses to “Two Years Ago, to this Day, I LIVED!”

  1. deborah riverbend Says:

    Hi Diane

    I very much liked this posting. I’m so glad that you’re still here on the planet.

    See you in a few weeks.

    Love and peace

  2. John Morgan Says:

    Thank you for letting out your love.

  3. Dolly Osborne Says:

    What a fabulous, fantastic, beautiful writing. I too am very elated that you still walk the earth. And you know that there is a reason for still being here. You were on my mind all day, wondering what you would do, and now I know. You are a beautiful person always stay that way. I love you so much. Mom
    P.S. Kitty Kat is happy also

  4. Paul Says:

    An Inspired piece of writing Diane.
    Nice to see that you have come away from your experince with a very positive attitude.
    Best wishes,

  5. Sashana Says:

    Dear Diane,

    I just remember how glad I was to see your face in the hospital.

    It is fascinating to watch what it is that brings people to gratitude, sometimes something large, something the miniscule. One time I remember watching the movie, “The Milagro Bean Field Wars” (something like that), where this craggy old man looks at himself in the mirror every morning and gives thanks to God for another day of life. What a way to begin the day! And it stuck! My encounters with those on the other side have been profound for me. They are so reverent towards the experience of being embodied and able to be present in the physical world that they have taught me a lot of appreciation, that and watching people pass, their reluctance to let go of this life, even when it is so painful and their bodies are so done! And getting older, time spinning so much faster, realizing that life is so short has also made me more appreciative.

    Thanks for your musings.

    Love, Sashana

  6. chris burkhouse Says:

    wahoo! thanks so much for staying here with us, sharing your experience and insights and for pushing us us to love more – your ever loving cuz, chris

  7. Lisa Farago Says:

    Hi Diane–

    Thank you so much for your beautiful writing and reflections….and sharing your experiences with the world. I am so glad you are here!! I have been eternally fascinated with near death experiences, as well as all things in the spirit realm. My mom almost died this past spring after a severe case of pneumonia and septic shock and I believe she was brought back to this earth for a reason. I would be more interested in hearing the details of what happened if you are willing to share (through my email)–if not that’s O.K. too. I’m enjoying your website and blog very much! Take Care–thinking of you in Maine!!


  8. Mark Says:

    Hi Diane, I’m glad you are still around, your thoughts were beautiful.

    Mark x

  9. Crowbob Says:

    Thanks for letting us know that it is good to be alive. More than just alive, but full of love and love of life. I could use that little spark, the one that glows every day.

  10. Dawn Says:

    Dear Diane,

    What a powerful description of a life changing experience. You are amazing!


  11. Yasha Says:

    These tales of emergency journeys to the abyss, the deep dark shadows of life, and back again to tell the tale, can be so valuable for those who have yet to go through something so intensely packed with transformative potential…thank you! So it was for me, hearing your story several months ago, hearing and reading others over the years, of course, but being there for part of the aftermath of your coming to terms with your near-death; i think it had a bit of a catalytic effect on me, opened me up more for my own deepening into Life.

    Then two brushes with death this last summer in the Sierra took over and have matured me in ways that are still playing out…and i am “milking” it all for all i can!:

    First was the not-old man of about my age who collapsed and died in front of a couple dozen people who knew him. I did not, so perhaps i felt freer to kneel down and hold his hand as he turned blue, then white, and passed into the Great Mystery…all those precious minutes before the paramedics came, while CPR was performed, and still until they were done shocking his body and performing other fruitless acts on it and took it away…

    A few weeks later, returning from a day-trip-climb during a week of backpacking with friends, i went very unintentionally surfing on a giant boulder that my weight suddenly set free to slide way down onto a snowfield we were right above…There is no describing the experience of suddently realizing you are about to be pitched into the path of something that will almost surely kill you (or leave you wishing it had) if you don’t follow your guidance for “flying” off of it immediately…My friends heard and felt a big rumbling, then saw my head disappear… Of course this happened in an instant, compared to Diane’s much slower emergency…but it’s the way the experience keeps “cooking” you afterward…if you don’t go back into denial…which would feel more like insanity to me at this point in our personal and planetary predicaments, than going for the personal-level “great turning” such events offer us. So let’s keep it going…help keep our awarenesses growing, Diane!

  12. Linton Says:

    Hi Diane,

    This is lovely and so true… a good reminder to share our love when we feel it, right then, without embarassment. Really, I just need to say it more — more often, more loudly, give little kisses every day.



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