Why I believe

(One of the reasons).

Wind back 20+ years to an isolation ward in QMC, where I am being treated for killer illness no 1. Earlier in the week I’ve been admitted with meningococcal meningitis and septicemia. “When we brought you in you were an hour from death,” said the consultant.

Now, several days in, I have awareness, and although up to this point I’ve been getting steadily better, today I have taken a dip. I can feel myself failing, I see my life slipping away and I feel very very frightened.

It’s Sunday night and the nearest doctor is several bleeps away. Visiting hours are over and the nurses are small comfort. They talk about getting me a blood transfusion in the morning. Then they leave me alone with my hellish thoughts.

“I’m going to DIE”

This is 1989 and there is no 24 hour telecommunication. I don’t possess a mobile and even if I did it wouldn’t be allowed in hospital. My only recourse is to pray.

In desperation I say the same words over and over again: “I’m scared. I’m scared. Please help me. Please help me. Please. Please. Please.”

I don’t know how long this lasts but after some time a sort of calm sets in. It’s impossible to maintain that level of anxiety indefinitely.

What happens next is remarkable. Something wraps itself around me. Something soft, warm and utterly comforting. Like a fleece blanket warmed to just the right temperature. This thing is entirely benevolent. I feel joyful and protected. And in this thing I sleep. I sleep for hours. I wake refreshed. I wake believing.

All that happened a long time ago, but the memory is still lucid. I don’t know what this thing was, (God/angel/spirit) but I am sure of one thing, it was external. It came from without, not within. And it came at a time when I had nothing in me but sheer fear.

Sceptics may have logical explanations. Endorphins perhaps, produced by the body in extreme circumstances? But how dull it must be to believe that all we see and hear is all there is. How limiting. The important thing for me is that I knew.

I had felt this thing before, in another moment of despair, so I recognised the feeling when it came. I have not felt it since, although something in me longs to.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 15:03:10

    Powerful stuff! Lucyx


  2. Anonymous
    Aug 03, 2010 @ 16:07:20

    It gave me goose pimples reading this

    Sally x


  3. chris_ds
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 11:35:07

    hi Claire, just read this and was very moved by it – a powerful testimony. I pray that the same 'thing' will be with you now.

    Christine (Joan's sis).


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