A man has described his near-death experience, where he says an out of body reconciliation with his abusive father made him feel so peaceful that going back to his body felt like a “punishment”.
Jose Hernandez was working in the US as an electrical line engineer when he fell from a step-ladder. Though the accident was only minor – he broke a few of his ribs – Jose explained how he was prescribed medicine to which he suffered a severe allergic reaction, ending up in intensive care.
Profiled for an episode of the This is Actually Happening Podcast, Jose recalled how his breathing became continually shallow, until he was led out of his body by a “shadow”.
He recounted the odd phenomenon of feeling like he had died, yet remained aware of his existence, saying: “My body actually stiffened, and my heart stopped.
“It’s a strange feeling to hear your heartbeat going crazy and then all of a sudden ‘beep’.
“And when that shadow touched me, my fear evaporated, it felt like I could breathe, I felt this incredible sense of love and peace, and calm and serenity.
“The next thing I knew, I wound up in the corner of the room and I’m observing what was going on.
“I see myself there, and said to myself that’s me and I’m dead.”
The key moment, Jose revealed, during his out of body experience was an encounter with his abusive father, who had died a few years earlier.
He explained: “I looked at my dad and the joy that I felt… This is my chance to tell my father everything that I never said in life.
“We had this moment where we expressed how we felt for each other. For the first time in my life my father’s telling me he loves me, and I’m telling him that I love him.
“And then we did what we never did in life, and we approached each other and I actually hugged my dad, and he hugged me.”
Jose explained that this strange re-union changed his perspective on what he had believed was a dysfunctional relationship.
“The love and grace that I felt… it’s hard to talk about, it makes me still very emotional”, he continued.
In fact, the experience was so blissful, that Jose found coming back to his physical form was initially difficult to come to terms with.
He explained: “This crazy thought went in my head, and the thought was, ‘was I such a s***ty person in life, that even heaven kicked me out?’
“When you come back into your body, it’s kind of interesting because it’s almost an alien experience.
“From the time I was born until the time I had a near death, my only experience of myself was in this body.
“The physicality was like a burden… it felt very awkward, uncomfortable and strange.
Coming to terms with his sublime experience, Jose began therapy and started to paint, using what he had seen in his out of body experience as inspiration for his work.
Now occasionally in and out of hospital Jose noted the peace he now feels at the prospect of dying.
He said: “I want to live as long as everybody else, but I’m not worried about when it comes anymore.
“I learnt to love who I was, and it just made me love life.”