Like oppositional mirrors, life and death bloom in and out of each other, into infinity. Each new person, a tiny universe, awakening. And in every death a dwarf star glows on.
I was 11 when my lungs completely shut down. I was figure skating. I didn't see a bright light or float above but I did feel my body fall away from myself, piece by piece. Touch first. Then sound. And then sight. It was like being zipped into a spacesuit. The suit became a new skin, one I was no longer connected to, one I couldn't feel through, hear through, see through. It became a barrier to the outer world as I disconnected. Sealed up in my little capsule, pushing off on my final space walk.
No-one knows if there is a soul or life after death but there is science supporting my experience. Near death the body shuts down all non-essential organs in order to make any remaining energy/oxygen/etc last as long as possible.
I first learned about this phenomenon on Radiolab, one of my favourite science podcasts. Listen to them talk about Fight or Flight in this fascinating and beautiful episode on Stress.
This is one page of a larger Work in Progress called Dwarf Star. More soon!