As I stood on the edge of the platform of Huntingdon train station, I realised the edge of my thick sheepskin coat was clamped between the two sliding carriage doors that had just slammed shut. Just the edge of it. That was all. It was a freezing cold winters day in 2006 in St Ives. I’d moved there from London a few weeks earlier and I was seeing off an old friend who was catching the fast train back to London.
I tried to pull my coat free, but it was stuck. And then I heard a noise that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. The train engine revved up and the train wheels began turning. I didn’t have enough time to unbutton my coat, so I was dragged along as the train gathered speed and when I lost my footing, pulled down underneath the wheels.
This was the moment I knew I was going to die. And the Mediums message I’d been given a few months before in London had been a warning that this was going to happen.
One night, just a few months before my accident, I saw a poster advertising a Medium demonstration in the local Spiritualist church. I’d never been interested in that sort of thing before, but for some reason I went along. The Medium, Julia Knight, seemed very impressive and about twenty minutes into the demonstration, she pointed to me and said, ‘Your life is going to change dramatically. They are telling me it’s going to be a big change. Very big. You must be ready for it when the times comes.’
As I was dragged along the platform, her words came back to me. As strange as it sounds, at that moment, it felt like time slowed down and I felt like someone or something was protecting me as I was dragged under the wheels of the train.
By some miracle, I survived, although I was very badly injured. The paramedics rushed me to Addenbrooke’s hospital where a team of surgeons were waiting for me. It was when I was waiting to go into the operating theatre that I had my near-death experience.
A radiant tunnel of light
One minute I remember looking up at the harsh overhead fluorescent lights of the emergency department, the next, I found myself floating in a dark endless space, lay on what looked like a grey slate alter which felt very soft and comfortable under my body. The bloodied hospital gown was gone, all my injuries were healed and my body was covered in a shimmering blue cloth.
When I lifted my head to look around, I saw someone standing at my feet. A strange and beautiful androgynous Being with white blond, wavy hair and pale, luminous skin and a simple black cloth worn over its body.
Two more Beings appeared either side of me and moved their outstretched hands over different areas of my body, as though healing me with some kind of energy that I couldn’t see.
Then a swirling, three-dimensional tunnel of radiant light appeared overhead, with a glowing luminosity and intensity that was blindingly brilliant, and yet I could look straight into it. I felt the most overwhelming, indescribable love radiating from the light and that was when I realised, I was in the place we go to when we die. But I didn’t mind at all, it was so peaceful and loving that I just wanted to stay there forever, watching miracle after miracle unfold before me. I just wanted to stay there forever.
But it obviously wasn’t my time to go as the next minute, I found myself back in the emergency department, in terrible pain and bleedingly heavily. The operation to save my arm took seven hours.
As soon as I woke up from the anaesthetic, I felt an overwhelming compulsion to paint what I’d experienced in the Afterlife, to show people that there is nothing to fear about death.
I was in hospital for several weeks and once I got out, although I was still badly injured, I managed to get hold of some paints and a blank canvas. My friends Richard and Jane who ran a Pilates Yoga centre in St Ives, offered me their empty attic to use as a studio. Over the next few months, I produced a series of paintings about my experience and I believe I was channelling energy from Spirit every time I picked up my brush.
Even more surprisingly, I then started composing classical music. This was all the more astonishing as I’d never received any training in classical music and never composed such music before my NDE. In fact, to this day, I still can’t read or write any musical notation.
My debut symphony, The Divine Light, was inspired by my NDE and I was lucky enough to have it premiered at a sell-out orchestral performance.
Since then, I was commissioned to compose a follow-up symphony, ’The Falcon’, which was also premiered at a sell-out concert, as was my Cambridge Clarinet Choir commissioned piece ‘Awake’, conducted by renowned Clarinet player Andrew Webster. I am currently composing a new symphony entitled ‘I Wasn’t Expecting This’.
Sharing my story
I came back from the Afterlife charged with an incredible energy, a burning desire to tell everyone there is nothing to fear after death, life continues on. I now realise this is why I was given my creative gifts and this is what the Mediums message was all about.
In 2017, when I was lying in bed, I received a message from Spirit telling me it was time to write a book about my experience and I heard the words “Shine on, you keep shining on”, and I knew instantly, it was to be the title. The next morning, I started writing ‘Shine On’ and I truly hope it will spread the wonderful message I was lucky enough to receive.
Before my NDE, my life had been completely ruled by guilt and lack of self-worth. But my NDE gave me the knowledge that we are loved and cared for more than we can possibly know. This has given me the self-love and confidence to try whatever I want to do in life. It’s a wonderful feeling and I want everyone to feel this way.
David’s memoir, Shine On: The Remarkable Story of how I Fell Under a Speeding Train, journeyed to the Afterlife and the Astonishing Proof I brought Back with Me, will be published
by O Books on June 26th, 2020.
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