Imagine if you spent five months hospitalized, half the time in intensive care. What experiences might you have? What lessons might you learn? Would any be extraordinary — life-changing?
This happened to a man from Utah, Jeffery Olsen, who was horribly injured in a car wreck that killed his wife and youngest son.
One of his legs was amputated. He was in drenching, fantastic pain for months — struggling for his life even as his wife and son were buried without him there. The physical pain (including a huge gaping slash in his abdomen that remained open, exposing his intestines, for months) was only exceeded by the ineffable emotional pain.
Yet God — and his wife — were with him.
This was confirmed by an emergency-room nurse and a doctor who went to visit him afterward. It’s explicated in his book Knowing: A Journey Beyond the Veil.
“When they life-flighted you to our facility, I was one of the first people to come into the room,” the nurse told Jeffery. “As I did, I experienced an intense feeling of love, stronger than any I had ever felt before. As I looked at you, you seemed to be surrounded by light.”
Tears welled in her eyes alongside Jeff’s bed as she continued: “I saw the form of a woman standing by your badly damaged body. We knew you had lost your wife and one of your sons in the car crash.
“But I saw her, your wife, standing right there in the light that surrounded you. I felt her love for you. I knew somehow that you were going to make it. I also felt her concern over you remaining here as she was on the other side. I felt her feelings so powerfully, and it has had a powerful effect on me.”
She and the doctor had decided their experiences with him were too important not to let him know. The physician, a bit hesitant (after all, a scientist), added, “I had an interesting experience as well. Had I been more involved in your actual care, I may have been too focused to experience what I did, but I felt a strong presence of your wife as soon as I entered the room. I was quickly assessing your injuries from a high level while the other experts were actually working on you, but I could feel your wife. She was behind me. The feeling was so strong that I turned and I too saw her. She was actually communicating with me. Not in words necessarily, but I felt her say ‘thank you’ and communicate in a powerful way her gratitude for all that was being done.”
Confirmation that we all live on — and that our loved ones are by us, even if, during this test of life, we aren’t usually able to see, touch, or hear them. Especially when we pray for them — and Lent is a key time for this — the veil between worlds thins. Deceased loved are able to see us.