And just like that, I was dead.

No, seriously! I was dead, just for a few minutes, but dead nonetheless. Long story short, on Sept. 25th an allergic reaction to a supposedly innocuous pill, caused my throat to close, shutting off my breathing and within minutes I was dead, literally.

But this rant is not about my ordeal from that night, which I can’t deny, was scary and surreal, and ultimately ended up with me waking up in the hospital, incredibly tired, with a sore throat and an extremely bruised chest, after 7 minutes of CPR.

This is about how this event has triggered on my friends and family a relentless determination to pervert me… I’m sorry, that should have read, convert me.

As if I hadn’t had enough with what I went through, now I have to endure the endless preaching of my family and close friends. Their arguments would be amusing if they weren’t so recurrent and therefore annoying…

“It is God’s way to let you know that He loves you” Yeah, he was showing some luv, sure. I mean, seriously?

“You must have had a near death experience…? You probably don’t remember but you must have!” Nope! No NDE for me. But we all know that NDEs are natural chemical reactions to Ketamine, and if you didn’t know that, you have some serious reading to do.

“Jesus wants you to accept him into your life.” Accept him? The king of kings? That’s quite conceited, isn’t it? Given that they worship Jesus, shouldn’t they be ‘begging’ him to come into their lives, or rather their delusional minds?

“This has been a warning; god wants you to appreciate the life that he has given you…” Of course, now THAT makes sense, right? Newsflash! I didn’t appreciate life before any less than I do now; and, the life that he has given me? Come on!

“God is giving you a second chance…” Yeah, a second chance to die! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t make such a big deal out of this event, but it wasn’t pretty. Those few seconds right before passing out – which are the last that I can remember, were horrible. Try to picture this, being unable to breathe, actually suffocating, watching the terrified faces of the ones around you and being fully aware of it. One shouldn’t have to go through this kind of experience more than once, really!

And my poor mother, who is the only one who doesn’t annoy me so much, and was probably the most affected of us all, keeps praying for me to believe in god as she has done since I was 5 years old. Oh yeah, that’s when I told the priests and nuns in my catholic school that their stories did not make sense to me, that I couldn’t understand, that I needed rational explanations; their responses were something like, those are the holy mysteries and that’s what ‘faith’ is all about – believing in what you cannot see or understand, which made me want to say “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!”

If you know me a little, or if you’re following me on Twitter, you’re probably wondering, is this the same Monica that baits theists and tries to make them think rationally? I know, right? Well, when it comes to theists on Twitter I’m fierce and heartless, but when dealing with the people that I’ve known forever, my loved ones, I can’t be blunt and tell them to stop (which has crossed my mind in terms of “why don’t you all leave me the hell alone!”)

I *AM* an atheist in a foxhole, or rather was in that moment. I was dead only for a few minutes, but endured the process of dying for much longer than that, and not even once the idea of god crossed my mind.

When I was done and couldn’t stay awake any longer, while giving in, my last thought was for my mom, for whom my death would have been such a terrible loss.

Putting aside the agitation and the pain, this is pretty cool, right? I mean, how many people do you know that have died and come back to tell their story?

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25 thoughts on “And just like that, I was dead.

    • Seems to me that I had so much more time than that to think, I did actually think about many things. Thanks for your comment.

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Your foxhole reference shines light on a great example of theists using sweeping generalizations based on their own, personal view of the universe to make an “argument.”

  2. A good friend of mine lost his wife to cancer a few years ago. They were both skeptics. Her family was apoplectic that she would end up in Hell. She, while dyeing a slow horribly painful death, ended up having to comfort her family when they should have been comforting her. She lied to them and said that she believed in Jesus.

    I thought that was a tragic situation.

    I think this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate to your friends and family that your life is whole and complete without dogma and superstition. God isn’t necessary and isn’t wanted. God is not there and that is just fine.

    Keep up the great work. I enjoy reading your tweets.

  3. I for one am very glad you were not really dead, Monica!!!

    How are you now? These things sometimes leave nasty stuff in the nightmare department. I hope it’s not your case. (Sorry, I can’t stop doctoring even online…).

    Knowing how you react to *really* believing you are dying is a precious experience, of course. However horrific the experience actually sometimes is. I’ve had it too, twice in fact. And in a way it’s not *really* explainable to someone who hasn’t been there, because all that you could explain you also knew before, no?

    In theory it could be an occasion to express your confidence in your own position. And maybe in some cases (here, for example) it actually is. But that’s sort of not how it works with family is it? If I can venture a little advice from a second generation apostate: it does happen, but it takes time. Depending on how deeply religious your family is, you may need to think decades, not months. It’s OK not to bait them. More than OK. In fact, you may want to simply disregard the religious stuff altogether. Just – don’t – budge – an – inch on your own positions if they bring it up themselves. Stay very clear on where you stand. And stay a good person. My answer to my Grandma who kept praying for me to convert when I was 25? ‘I love you too’. I was answering what she was ‘really’ saying. This made her happy. It also made her stop hassling me (for then), which made me happy too.

    And one thing is way better these days than it was years ago: we are now here online for you… 🙂

  4. I’m glad you didn’t stay dead!

    I really hate it when people jump on a life threatening experience and try to use it to convince the other that they should think their way… It’s just plain rude!

    Thank you for linking me to this… A great read 😀

  5. Great post.

    funny how ‘god loves you’ is a reaction to everything for some people. And even to the horrific things that should actually are the proof that there are no gods. At all.

    Get hit by a bus? Lost a child? Loose your whole family in a tsunami? god loves you.

    it is really puzzling. And no religious person EVER has ever been able to give me a solid explenation for this.

    Be safe. I would like to read more of your posts so stay away from those pills now y’hear?

    Vizhnet

  6. Hey Monicks,

    Nowhere near as bad as your experience but, a long time ago, I was in the position of being choked by a sweet requiring a fellow student to use the heimlich manoeuvre to force the thing back out (it went flying). Like you the thought of god never once passed through my mind just the thought that I couldn’t f***ing breathe! Also, like you I appreciate life just as much both sides of the event.

    All I can say is I’m glad you’re OK so keep on keeping on!

    Kyu

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  8. I was never clinically dead like this but a few years ago I hit a patch of ice on the road and did a 180 spin slamming into a street light striking just behind the driver’s side door. I was not wearing a seat belt. I was sore but not injured. Cops and doctor said I was lucky to be alive and that same night 3 other people in my town were killed in similar accidents. I was quite shaken and scared, but never once considered God interfered and saved me. I’ve had MANY Christians claim that God had a reason for saving me including my son’s mother. I’m merely alive by fortunate coincidence, not because my life is any more valuable than the 3 other people who were killed that night.

    Thanks for sharing this story. I’m glad you were revived.

  9. I enjoy reading your posts. I too, go through the same with my family. I have family members praying for me and I just smile and say, “If it gives you peace & I love you” They all know that I didn’t buy into religion from the time I was a child. I would always say, “that doesn’t make sense” from the time I was 8 or so. I was 8 and full of questions, Noah’s Ark was quite troubling to me at an early age. I remember asking my Dad as clear as if it were yesterday, “How did he keep the animals from attacking each other or them?” So many questions from such an early age that had no apparent answers, or at least any that made sense. I truly thought something was wrong with me, all my family seemed to believe and I was this young child, saying Impossible! After the age of 12 I was no longer required to attend Church with them, except for Holiday’s. I had asked the Priest what his “day job” was. I said I can’t understand why we give money week after week and he didn’t have to work, he had plenty of time. I never had to go back! I was 12…an outcast! But a very happy one…free at last was what I was thinking…Religion poisons minds with it’s scare tactics and false promises and I realized that at an early age.
    Anyway, just my inner child rambling… Take good care and I am so happy you lived to tweet!!!
    Candace

  10. I understand how you feel. Not the death part, I have no idea how that feels and I don’t want to know. The “surrounded by theists” part is the one I understand.

    It’s much easier to debate people you don’t know, because it’s much easier to accept that they are ignorant and unreasonable. When people you care about behave that way, it’s much harder to accept it and remain calm in your discussion. This is why I also avoid this question any way I can at home.

    • Yeah, I have learned to avoid this kind of situation with my loved ones. Ultimately, if you think about it, their motivation is that they care about me, and honestly think that I am going to hell – even though most of them admit that I don’t deserve such punishment.

  11. What a horrid experience!
    Technically, you were not “dead”, which is an irreversable state.  You were, however, very close.

  12. it’s true that the moment of death itself is actually now determined to be some point after consciousness is lost or the body has actually shut itself off. the cell death process takes longer, and they’ve found that it is slowed or stopped by low temperatures, allowing more time for rehabilitation and a safe path toward resuscitation. still, this experience is very valuable of you to share.

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