In her book, On Life After Death, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-born psychiatrist, and one of the world’s leading authorities on death and dying, and renowned pioneer in the study of the near-death experience (NDE), states that her first account of an NDE came from “a certain Mrs. Schwarz” who was declared dead following 45 minutes of resuscitation attempts. Miraculously, Mrs. Schwarz was resuscitated back to life.
Mrs. Schwarz lived for another year-and-a-half, during which time she met Dr. Ross and related her near-death experience to a crowd during a seminar on death and dying at the University of Chicago.
Less than a year after Mrs. Schwarz’s death, Dr. Ross had a difficult decision to make. Her seminar on death and dying had started to deteriorate. A minister she loved teaching with left the school to take over a church, and things weren’t the same anymore. So, with a broken heart, she decided to leave the University of Chicago. After class she was going to give notice immediately.
From her classroom to the elevator, she would meet up with the minister. There, she would tell him about her decision. One of the minister’s biggest problems was that he couldn’t listen. This was just another grievance she had. As she attempted to tell him about her important decision, he didn’t say anything. Then, according to her experience, and in her own words:
“At this moment a woman appeared in front of the elevator. I stared at this woman. I cannot tell you how this woman looked, but you can imagine what it’s like when you see somebody that you know terribly well, but you suddenly block out who it is. I said to him, “God, who is that? I know that woman, and she’s staring at me; she’s just waiting until you go into the elevator, and then she’ll come.” I was so preoccupied with who she was I forgot that I tried to grab him. She stopped that. She was very transparent, but not transparent enough that you could see very much behind her.”
“I asked him once more, but he didn’t tell me who she was, so I gave up on him. The last thing I said to him was kind of, “To heck, I’m going over and tell her I just cannot remember her name.” (That was my last thought before he left)”
“The moment he had entered the elevator, this woman walked straight towards me and said, “Dr. Ross, I had to come back. Do you mind if I walk you to your office? It will only take two minutes.” Something like this.”
“And because she knew where my office was, and she knew my name, I felt kind of safe, I didn’t have to admit that I didn’t know who she was.”
“This was the longest walk of my life. I am a psychiatrist. I work with schizophrenic patients all the time, and I love them. When they would have visual hallucinations I would tell them, “I know you see that Madonna on the wall, but I don’t see it.” Now, I said to myself, “Elisabeth, I know you see this woman, but that can’t be.”
“All the way from the elevator to my office, I did reality testing on myself. I said, “I’m tired, I need a vacation, I think I’ve seen too many schizophrenic patients. I’m beginning to see things.”
“I have to touch her, to know if she’s real. I even touched her skin to see if it was cold or warm, or if the skin would disappear when I touched it. It was the most incredible walk I have ever taken, not knowing why I was doing what I was doing.”
“I was both an observing psychiatrist and a patient. I was everything at one time. I didn’t know why I did what I did, or who I thought she was. I even repressed the thought that this could actually be Mrs. Schwarz who had died and was buried months ago.”
“When we reached my door she opened it with this incredible kindness and tenderness and love, and she said, “Dr. Ross, I had to come back for two reasons. One, to thank you and Reverend Gaines….” (He was a beautiful black minister with whom I had a super, ideal symbiosis), “to thank you and him for what you did for me. But the other reason I had to come back is that you cannot stop this work on death and dying, not yet.”
“I looked at her, and I don’t know if I thought by then, “It could be Mrs. Schwarz,” I mean, this woman had been buried for ten months, and I didn’t believe in all that stuff.”
“I finally got to my desk. I touched everything that was real. I touched my pen, my desk, my chair, and it’s real. I was hoping that she would disappear. But she didn’t. She just stood there and stubbornly, but lovingly, said, “Dr. Ross, do you hear me? Your work is not finished. We will help you, and you will know when the time is right, but do not stop now. Promise?”
“I thought, “My God, nobody would ever believe me if I told them this, not even my dearest friend.” Little did I know I would later tell this to several hundred people. (By now millions)”
“Then, the scientist in me won, and I said something very shrewd and a big fat lie! I said to her, “You know Reverend Gaines is in Urbana now.” (This was true; he had taken over a church there.) I said, “He would just love to have a note from you. Would you mind?” And I gave her a piece of paper and a pencil. You understand, I had no intention of sending this note to my friend, but I needed scientific proof. I mean, somebody who’s buried can’t write little love letters.”
“And this woman, with the most human, no, not human, most loving smile, knowing every thought I had – and I knew, it was thought transference if I’ve ever experienced it – took the paper and wrote a note. Then she said, (but without words) “Are you satisfied now?”
“I looked at her and thought, I will never be able to share this with anybody, but I am going to really hold onto this.”
“Then she got up, ready to leave, repeating: “Dr. Ross, you promise?” implying not to give up this work yet. I said, “I promise.” And the moment I said, “I promise,” she disappeared.”
“We still have the note.”
Dr. Ross went on to say that she needed to stay, as there weren’t many in her field that could do what she was doing, and also, what she was about to do. She discovered her real job was to tell people that death does not exist; which she spent the rest of her life doing! Thank you, Dr. Ross!
Since then, many scientific people, like her have come forth, testifying of their own undeniable experiences of life after death. Because of them, and the many other brave people who have also experienced this amazing phenomenon, and have courageously told about it, there is hope, comfort and light brought into the a world laced with fear and darkness.