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  • Kristan Higgins

The view from above

Updated: May 6, 2022

Being that I am spiritual and religious-ish and grew up Catholic, I do believe in the afterlife. This month, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject…near-death experiences and such. It has inspired me to tell you about my own.

Okay, it may not have been a near-death experience, but it was an out-of-body sort of thing. And I was very, very sick at the time. So let’s go with NDE, shall we, just for the sake of coolness.

Picture me, still a brunette, many (23) years ago. I had just had Dearest Son via an emergency c-section that included orderlies and my doctor RUNNING my gurney through the halls to the ER. I had a rare illness, you see, and it had gotten so bad so quickly that I was having seizures. McIrish was on his way, but the doctor said they couldn’t wait. (He got there just in time.)

Dearest Son was born. The doctor announced that he was a boy, and I cried with joy (and terror, because he was 10 weeks early and wicked small). I sensed someone else in the OR with us…there was a warm, golden glow behind me (or I was hallucinating). I remember thinking I’d done everything I could do now, and his life was in God’s hands. I got to see him, and after that, I don’t remember the next three days.

The sickness I had is called HELLP syndrome. Sometimes, it gets worse after delivery, though delivery is usually the cure. In my case, it got worse. I kept seizing, no matter how many drugs they gave me. I couldn’t stay conscious more than a minute or two, but I would ask McIrish, “How is he?” when I was awake. My dear husband would reassure me, and I’d fall back into blackness.

And then…and then I saw the future. I saw a little boy with dark, curly hair and giant brown eyes running along the path between Higgins and Gull Ponds in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, a favorite spot for my family. The Princess was following him, her hand outstretched protectively toward his shoulder, and they were both laughing. There was so much love between them, it warmed my heart.

I saw him sitting at my kitchen table, home from college, and I hugged him from behind and told him he’d always be my little baby. He looked back at me and smiled, and his hair was so thick and curly and gorgeous, and those brown eyes were so loving and kind…

Then I was sitting up in the hospital bed, McIrish by my side. “Everything will be fine,” I said. “I’ve seen the future.” He was so glad to know.

And then…then I saw myself from above. I was having a seizure, a bad one, jerking and convulsing hard. That must hurt, I thought, feeling vaguely sorry for myself. I was in the corner of the hospital room, up near the ceiling. I could see the wires and infrastructure of the building. I felt as if I was rising.

But there was my husband, asleep on the couch next to my bed. I realized that I hadn’t told him the baby would be fine. He doesn’t know, I thought.

Just like that, I was back in my hospital bed, still seizing, the pain just about slicing me in two. The seizure stopped eventually, and I remember thinking it strange that a nurse or doctor hadn’t come in.

The next morning I woke up, weak as a newborn kitten. The nurse came in. “Well hello!” she said. “It’s so good to see you! We thought we might lose you last night!” Her cheery attitude infuriated my husband, who demanded to see the doctor.

Long story short…there was nothing they could do except wait it out. I’d been in liver and kidney failure, my blood pressure had been through the roof, and the seizures were all part of that.

Clearly, I got better. I felt that the doctor who’d diagnosed me and sent me to the hospital had saved my life (thanks, Dr. Morais!). That idea was confirmed. Another day, said a different doctor, and both my son and I would have died.

My son is 23 now, about to graduate with his MBA. He has thick, dark brown, curly hair and the most beautiful brown eyes. He is responsible, hardworking, and kind…and he looks exactly as I saw him in my dreams that night. He and his sister are and always have been very close friends.

In other words, all my dreams came true.


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