LIVE BY DESIGN | What near-death experiences teach us about living life

Near-death experiences have long fascinated and intrigued people, often providing profound insights into the fragility and preciousness of life.

From viral videos capturing miraculous escapes from disaster to personal accounts of individuals who have come face-to-face with mortality, these encounters with death offer us valuable lessons about the value of life and the choices we make.

When I hear these stories, the reality that life can be taken away in just one moment hits me hard.

One recent example that comes to mind is the story of a Johannesburg man who narrowly escaped death in an underground blast just this week.

Amazed at his miraculous survival, many shared his story on social media, captivated by the sheer luck that allowed him to cheat death.

These videos often go viral as people ponder the mysteries of fate, contemplating the question of why some are spared while others are not.

I can’t count the times I have watched the video of the Wednesday afternoon explosion, but I hope he is reminded of his blessing and the opportunity for him to continue to live his one life.

The first thing that came to mind when the flying minibus narrowly missed him was: “Boy, you must thank your maker, whoever you perceive him to be, and find your purpose because you have just been spared another day on planet earth.”

What happens to those who cheat death? Do they simply go back to their normal lives, or does the experience leave a lasting impact?

This question lingers in the minds of many, sparking speculation and curiosity about what lies beyond the brink of death.

Some believe that these close encounters with mortality serve as a wake-up call, forcing individuals to reevaluate their priorities and make meaningful changes in their lives.

Allow me to share my own personal experience that sheds light on the transformative power of near-death encounters. In 2016, I found myself lying in an intensive care unit at Waterfall Hospital after being diagnosed with acute renal failure.

The seriousness of my condition was further magnified by the death of the person next to me, a constant reminder of the fragility of our existence.

At that moment, I truly believed that my time with my maker was drawing near. I remember directing my sister where to find my checklist for checking out, that’s LoveLegacyDignity’s Purple File.

I mumbled something about funeral policies, the rituals I wanted and a funeral programme.

A month after I was discharged, I recorded a video explicitly stating my end-of-life wishes, and I completed my living will!

It was also during this harrowing time that I realised the immense value of every breath we take, every moment we spend with loved ones, and every opportunity we have to pursue our dreams.

It made me contemplate the choices I had made, the relationships I had nurtured, and the impact I had left on the world.

It was a humbling experience that reshaped my perspective on life and propelled me to live each day to its fullest.

Reflecting on these “I almost died” encounters, we often find stories of individuals who have emerged from the brink of death with a newfound zest for life.

Near-death experiences provide us with invaluable insights into the fragility of life and the importance of seizing every opportunity.

From viral videos that capture miraculous escapes to personal encounters with mortality, these encounters force us to confront our own mortality and reevaluate our priorities.

My own experience in the ICU taught me to cherish every breath and actively pursue a life of purpose and meaning. As we hear more stories of those who have cheated death, let us remember the lessons they teach us: that life is a precious gift, and it is up to us to make the most of it.

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