When I Met Death…

Death quote

It was not a perceptual experience or a hallucination nor any feeling of detachment from the body; it was the sensation of being aware that ‘this is the end’…‘its all over.’

There were no questions, no anxiety, no eagerness to save myself; only a strange numbness and acceptance and a refrain ‘its all over.’

Another thought – Oh! My new car…probably this thought hit me before the numbness; not sure.

This was not what researchers call ‘Near-death experience’, according to which there is an awareness of being dead, peace and painlessness surrounded by positive emotions.

Let me reconstruct that moment for you. Intoxicated by the exuberance of youth and the arrogance of driving a new car, one morning when I was going to work, the speed of my car was nearly 80 (I was living in Delhi at that point of time) and it happened to touch the central curb…I don’t know how, probably the demon of driving turned the wheel. He had whispered into my ear a number of times to drive within a safe driving speed but who takes the advice of demons or even well wishers?

Obviously my car flew away and landed after three somersaults. I went completely numb, with only one thought in my mind: Oh… it’s all over!

It was early morning and the traffic was very light at the freeway.

I was amazed at the impact! How could I escape unhurt, just with a few bruises and blood at my face? How could I request the onlookers who offered to take me to hospital to drop me near my home? How could I walk home myself with a bleeding lip and hand? That was the day I started believing in miracles.

All fears evaporated as I had met the ultimate fear. The desires of acquiring material possessions waned considerably. All arrogance melted when I saw my new car in shambles and people refused to believe it had absorbed all the impact. My husband refused to believe that it had somersaulted three times! My mom told me it was the iron used in the car, which could be lucky for me!

This miraculous escape taught me:

  • Life doesn’t happen as we plan, it is more like a bubble. It can burst any time, live it with abandon.
  • Take out your favorite crystal glasses and use them everyday for whatever drinks you enjoy.
  • Plan that dream vacation right now as, tomorrow may never come.
  • Communicate what lies in your heart; unexpressed emotions may go with you into your grave any day.
  • Face your fears. The power of all fears recede when we learn to encounter them.
  • Learn to forgive. The moment we forgive, we feel confident and powerful. It develops and validates our goodness and compassion.
  • This fiercely competitive, engulfing world may be waiting to devour us but we have to approach it with calmness.
  • Success does not just mean a lot of money and power or the house of your dreams. It is living a meaningful life.
  • Savor little moments of joy everyday.
  • Feel the gratitude for this blessing called life, which can be snatched any moment.
  • Laugh out louder and learn to love people around you.

I was humbled by this experience, I changed, I came back happier, with deeper love for my family and friends. I have lived the bonus years granted to me, with profound gratitude“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” – Khalil Gibran.

send me flowers while I am alive

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.


50 thoughts on “When I Met Death…

  1. This is such a “powerful” post!
    Powerful because it has the essence of life. Its great that you were unhurt and walked out of the accident scene all safe and sound. Probably, this was a message from angels to live your life and enjoy the moments.
    Time and again, we come across these beautiful messages but within few days we fall back into daily grind, forgetting all about it. Its a pity that we humans chase money, power and fame, when in fact these are just the mediums. We make these mediums our goals. I’m sure we will remember a great vacation throughout lives rather than the endless hours we spend at work.

    I always quote this to friends – It really does not matter what you have planned for life in comparison to what life has planned for you!
    Thanks for sharing your life event along with these messages. keep inspiring us! Have a great week ahead!

    1. I agree with Arv (and very wise words too, Arv). This is indeed a poweful post, Balroop. What a tale to tell – what you experienced must have left you very much shaken, but above all with a lot of hope and believing in anything’s possible. That incident sounded like it was a blur – but so sudden, so out of the blue and you remembered every single moment of it. Maybe it made the news back then. But whether it did nor not, no one walks away from such an experienced without their outlook changing.

      Such positive points you list, and agree with you that we should tackle our fears and anything that comes our way head on. Every moment if fleeting, and today will always be over before we know it. So live in the moment and go after our dreams. Such an inspiring write again, and thank you for sharing.

      1. Yes Mabel, this happened almost 24 years ago but each and every moment is fresh in my mind…my nerves still tingle with the sensation and some parts of my body remind me about this experience on regular basis. And this sudden jolt came at the time when we just begin our life and start feeling the freedom of being really alive with all hopes and dreams before us..Yet I emerged wiser and I am glad I learnt to live in the moment 🙂
        Thank you dear friend for sharing your thoughts! Stay blessed.

      2. I am sorry to hear that sometimes your body reminds you of that incident. Everything happens for a reason, and lovely to see you take something a way from it – and most importantly, to not take things for granted and sharing these thoughts of wisdom with all of us today 🙂

    2. I am amazed at your understanding of life arv! I am delighted that a life event, which changed my perspective about it carries a universal message and could elicit such wonderful response from a youngster. Many thanks for sharing your insights…I love this..”we will remember a great vacation throughout lives rather than the endless hours we spend at work.” So true! 🙂

      1. Life is a great teacher! Only if we all can make life simple. Happy to have come across this post. 😊

  2. What a profound post dear Balroop.. Those brushes with death I know from those whose accounts like yours have changed their perspective on life and the priorities within them. When they are faced with death for real.. A new sense of calm appears ..
    My sister and her experience of Cancer, altered her own life.. She would worry over little things.. Now her life is enriched because, she no longer sweats the small stuff… For it put into place her priorities and that was family first..
    So loved reading this, and your lists of things we should engage in the NOW always.. We too often put things off..
    Which is why I retired when I did.. early so that I could spend more time with my hubby.. Life is short enough and flies even faster as it is…
    Love and Blessings dear friend.. a wonderful post.
    Sue ❤

    1. Yes Sue, a sudden encounter with death is an unforgettable experience and brings along incredible joy to enrich our life with calmness and lull. Thanks for sharing your own story. May God bless your sister with a long life, well lived, free of any more pain. Love and blessings back to you dear friend.

      1. Many thanks for that dear Balroop.. Yes she had breast cancer at the age of 36 with a mastectomy.. she is now in her fifties.. and loving Life.. and grandchildren..

    1. We conquer all after vanquishing fear but know only when it really happens! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jacqui, much appreciated. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind words Diana, I am glad I could live to share this incredible story. Even I am wonderstruck at the blessings that life offers! 🙂

  3. Wow Balroop, that was certainly a scary experience. I wholeheartedly agree with all you’ve said here. We shouldn’t have to wait for terrible things to happen to us to realize all the gratitude we have, but often this is the case. A rude awakening happens to many which shifts our thinking and puts things into perspective. Thank you for sharing. ❤ 🙂 Sharing around 🙂

    1. Scary is a very soft word Deb, such an experience is incredibly mind numbing…I couldn’t believe for many days that I was alive, I couldn’t drive a car for months. The moment I would sit at the driving seat, I would get a feeling that the car is going to fly away. It was my husband who gave me the confidence that nothing of that sort could happen again and if I wanted to drive, I have to go alone. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      1. I could well imagine a life altering accident like that would leave behind emotional damage, not unlike PTSD . Glad you pulled yourself out of the ashes and rose from it. ❤

  4. A horrific incident but, life taught you eternal lessons through it. That one incident made you wiser and braver. Life is indeed like that; one moment we are smiling, another moment we are crying in pain. It’s like a drop of water on a fragile leaf…noone knows when it’ll drop down. The positivity and inspirational value of this post are immense. And truly, jio to har din aise jio jaise ki akhri ho… 🙂

    1. Thank you Mani, I love the simile you have used for life. Positivity is the only choice we have to make it worth-living. Often we appreciate light after facing darkness, even a streak of light inspires! 🙂

  5. What a wonderful message, Balroop! I need these reminders now and again. I’m sorry you experienced the accident. That must have been sooo scary. I can’t believe you walked home after the impact. Often trauma put us into confusion. It’s wonderful that you gained invaluable perspective on life through this experience. The fact that you’re sharing it with us is even better! Thank you! Oh, and I love that last quote 😀

    1. You are right Lisa, we all need these reminders to keep us going as they infuse new enthusiasm and hope. Thanks for your beautiful words of appreciation. Stay blessed!

  6. I was talking about your first bullet point in my therapy session today. Life never goes as planned, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make plans. They will go awry, but that can also be half the fun or at the very least a worthwhile learning experience.

  7. First, Balroop, what an escape and how frightening. I’m so happy you were okay but understandably an event like this will change you forever. In my twenties, I had a brain thrombosis and was seriously ill…so much so that I didn’t fear death and the moments I was awake I worried most for my mother. Afterwards I mostly recovered – but my inner core, beliefs and needs had changed dramatically. Life is so fragile and fleeting and when I notice myself taking it for granted I pull myself back. I became more patient with others, less hard on myself and took time…for everything. Thought-provoking post, Balroop and one that will stay with me. Take care, be safe! 😀❤️

    1. It is so interesting how a number of us here have had a close-to-death experience that has led us to writing and to a path that searches for some kind of understanding of all of that cannot be seen. 💚

    2. Thanks for sharing your personal story Annika. True, life is too fragile to be taken for granted. Good that we learnt it early in life and focused more on making the best of it. One major change besides living without any fears was to give the best memories to my children and myself and overlooking the flaws we have…patience and forgiveness were the hardest and the last ones to visit me. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal experience with us. I do know of what you speak. I have had a similar experience, not from a car accident but from a medical condition. All I can say about it is that I totally agree with your points about enjoying every day, about not worrying so much about materialistic things, about being grateful for every joy in every moment; these are words of truth. You are a beautiful soul, and I love the way that you share your soul-full thoughts.

    1. Many thanks dear Pam for lovely words of appreciation…I think too many setbacks or challenging experiences sharpen our skills of writing…most my poetry is linked with those and even ignites our imagination 🙂

  9. I had no idea you were such a wild child 😉

    But seriously, I think for people who have had near escapes or who for those who have lost a love one in youth, it can change your perspective, giving way to what’s important and what’s not, as you listed above. You sound like you are grateful, as odd as it might sound, that you gained something from that harrowing experience. Thanks for opening up and sharing such an experience.

    1. Lol! I still am quite wild Lani as I live through my heart 🙂
      I had both experiences, I lost my father when I was very young and that too to a road accident but I always told myself what happened to me couldn’t happen to my children, I couldn’t die so young and my conviction must have also played a part in this meeting with death 🙂
      Thank you for standing by to share your thoughts Lani, much appreciated.

  10. This post resonated with me in a very deep place, Balroop. Fear is so powerful if we refuse to face it. Whatever we choose not to look at will control our lives. Using our favorite crystal glasses for everyday, learning to forgive, feeling gratitude, expressing what lies in our hearts ~ you have touched on all the important things in life. What a blessing that you learned so much from one incident and while in your youth. So many go through life without having any of these enlightening insights. I am grateful to know you, dear friend Balroop 💚

  11. I often say that I grew up in the cauldron of circumstances and this experience was the ultimate lesson, which stayed with me forever. When I emerged alive, I saw how much my dear ones loved me and the kind of care that was showered when I was recuperating brought along another hamper of learning lessons, overpacked and overflowing… tears well up in my eyes when I think of those days of tender, selfless care that I received. I realised how blessed I was just because I had the right people in my life.
    Many thanks dear Tina for being such a warm and kind friend. Love and hugs.

    1. Tears welled in my eyes reading your reply, Balroop. Such love often moves us to tears. It’s a wellspring of emotion that opens the heart to endless possibility ~ including finding kindred spirits like you. Love and hugs, sweet friend 💚

  12. Hi Balroop, This is definitely one of your best or maybe the best post.
    Thankfully you escaped unhurt but the realisation and the humbling effect that it brought along is invaluable. Putting off the use of crystal glasses for special occasions is something we all tend to do till we realise that those might remain unused for ever. Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the blessing of life. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your lovely words of appreciation Somali…reminders do help us in a positive manner. Every single day should be special and precious for us. Stay blessed!

  13. A little late in catching up with this narrative of yours, Balroop. What an experience that was. I have driven cars hitting speeds of 200 kmph on the highways, not in India but outside, devouring distances of 450 kms in just three hours and thirty minutes. Looking back I often shudder as to how I did it then and your experience brings the sobering realisation of evanescence of life and the importance of living it fully while we have it. What will remain with us is our experiences, and not material possessions which can change hands as we move on. So acquiring experiences instead of accumulating possessions is the way to go.

    1. Youth is vain and considers risks as adventures Raj…do we ever think we could face this monster, which could cripple or make us lifeless? When I was told that one must drive within a safe driving limit, I retorted…’there are always the brakes!! Ha! I never got the opportunity to use them when the crucial moment came! 🙂

  14. This was truly a miracle, Balroop. I’d start believing in miracles if I came through something like this 🙂 Haha I think I did. Not in a car accident sense but there are many instances in life when we feel out of control but life takes the steering wheel and drives, or flips us but somehow gets us safely to the end point, without too much damage!

    Your big take-away and inspiration for me is to live fully and like everyday is our last. I’m going to write a poem on this LOL thank you for your inspiration, friend.

    1. I am so delighted to know that this came as an inspiration to you…as far as I am concerned, this incredible experience of survival made me understand how precious life is but we take it for granted.
      Thank you dear Vishnu for standing by to share your view. Have a wonderful weekend.

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