I have always felt like someone has been watching “over me.” I just thought to myself, “Maybe it was G-d” “Maybe it was in my head,” “Maybe people would think I was a freak.” “Stephanie, just don’t question it. Suppress, suppress, suppress.”
I didn’t have proof, and it seemed too daunting to try and find out how I would get proof. So, I compartmentalized anything that felt “supernatural.” I would still have that nagging feeling, but it was easier to hide from it.
Until, I died.
The day I gave birth, a little over two years ago, was the day I died. It is also the day I received the validation I needed that something else beyond this world exists. I told everyone, months before it happened, exactly what was going to happen to me. It wasn’t the first time in my life I’d had visions, but it was the first time I saw myself dead. I needed to do something to stop it.
As you will read in my book 37 Seconds, I did not question where those premonitions came from at first. I didn’t pray to G-d or meditate for an answer to reveal itself. I was in panic mode, and they felt like a tidal wave bearing down on me. I had no choice but to do something, anything to save my life.
Ultimately, I would go on to suffer a full-on amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) in childbirth. It is normally fatal. When not fatal, it ordinarily leaves women and newborns with horrible permanent complications. I survived because I had spoken up, and my physicians prepared the delivery room with extra equipment and supplies.
When recovering from my AFE and in complete shock, I realized everyone who had made me feel like I was crazy for talking about those visions, quieted down and were in their own state of shock. I also understood in that moment, maybe all of those years I had seen things before, were actually quite real.
I have a strong faith, but even after the premonitions I had experienced, I found it hard to accept that something or someone outside of this dimension communicated with me and helped me. There had to be a reason I had viscerally experienced all of those feelings throughout my body and that I was seeing things beyond this world. There had to be an explanation.
When I was recovering, my medical doctors, family, friends and the many people who witnessed my entire ordeal tried to help explain what happened. At one point, one doctor said “I can’t give you a medical reason you survived. I think you need to go spiritual on this one.” So I did my best to research how I could do that. I spoke to my Rabbi; I met with energy healers; I looked inward through meditation — but none of this helped. I tried traditional therapy — still no help.
A friend referred me to a different kind of therapy with the hope that I would somehow get the answers I was looking for — and if not, at least get peace from a “dead-end.” Regression therapy is a form of therapy using hypnosis to take you back into moments of trauma. Maybe something would reveal itself. I videotaped my therapy because I had never been hypnotized before and wanted to remember what I was saying. I didn’t expect what would happen. No one did.
The therapy, which you can see in the video, shows me in incredible pain. Warning: it is graphic, it is raw, and it is very real. When I came out the other side, I felt lighter and better. My husband noticed the change in my attitude almost immediately and so did my children. This was something that was actually working. Some of the sessions revealed what happened in the operating room after I flatlined: things I couldn’t have possibly known, things I saw but didn’t hear, things that were not in my medical records. Later, these things would be verified by the doctors after they watched the tapes.
The results were shocking, to say the least, for everyone involved. My husband, Jonathan, has a Ph.D in economics from University of Chicago, a former Air Force pilot and someone who is a logical, rational and linear thinker. My therapy helped me connect more and more dots and my experience was making increasing sense to me; my husband saw me straying farther and farther from “the scientific method” (true to his formal training) and found my path of discovery confusing, or worse, that it would counter the principals upon which he operates.
He heard my many M.D.’s talk about how this could not be possible. Over time, both my M.D.s and Jonathan would come to see that their scientific methods had limits. Those limits would be further constrained by what came next.
The clip below will show you the first time I was able to see within those 37 seconds in Heaven. There was a lot to download in those seconds — a lot. Some people say “she didn’t die long enough to experience all that she says she did.” I say, time and space do not exist in this other dimension. As discussed in this Daily Mail article, Professor Robert Lanza shows how space and time don’t mean what we know it to mean in a linear fashion. Understanding and believing in that from many other sources throughout my research, helped me open up to much more.
More: Regression therapy let me see what really happened when I died
It is why I was able to see many loved ones who had passed and give back messages to their family members I knew. It is why I met others I did not know who had messages to give back to their loved ones, all the while asking me, “How do you know this?” My answer had always been “I don’t know!” A lucky guess? But how could I know about a detailed coin or a specific design on an apron a mother used to wear 30 years before her death from someone I had just met. How is it the visions of a clear, beautiful Christmas experience with my friend and her late father came into my mind, with what he and she were wearing, doing, sitting and saying.
“How?” I kept asking to myself. As more and more of these experiences started happening and my premonitions kept coming, I felt like I had accidentally opened a portal and there was no turning back.
Jonathan was not a huge fan of any of this. He saw the pain and agony I was going through in the process. What he did not know (and could not know) is the benefit I would ultimately obtain from my voyage of self discovery. He would ask, “Can you just close that portal? It is interfering with our everyday life.”
I said “I don’t know how. And I’m not sure I am supposed to.”
I spoke to my regression therapist and she said, “Stephanie, you might not want to think of yourself as a medium, but it is what you are.”
I thought about it and I told her, “I am not a medium.” I felt, wrongly so, that a medium was a svengali, a side-show act, a circus freak — name all the labels you want and it was how I also felt. I couldn’t grasp onto it, and I didn’t want everyone asking me about what their relatives were doing on the other side.
It wasn’t until I saw my husband’s father and told him exactly what he was wearing, doing and saying, that Jonathan had no choice but to start accepting this as truth. He had been fighting it for so long, but when he kept seeing me tell strangers accurate details of their loved ones, much like that of his father’s, he conceded that I possessed this gift. He got there by way of proof through elimination (again, scientific method, but everyone has their own path), which he summed up by referencing a Sherlock Holmes saying, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
My husband has supported me 100 percent ever since.
Something happened to me when I flat-lined. I crossed over, and maybe the wires got crossed, because what has opened up is a world I never knew existed. The more things that happen on a weekly basis, the more I have no choice but to let go of everything I thought before and appreciate and embrace the new life I am now living.
I finally have admitted to myself, “I’m an accidental medium.” I didn’t ask for this, but now that I’m in it, I am in it — open to it and all that comes with it.
I definitely “see dead people,” which means to me, they are not really dead. Their spirits, just like yours, are forever thriving, growing and experiencing new things — just as mine is today.
I am just me. Stephanie Arnold. Wife of Jonathan Arnold. Mother to three amazing children. Strong. Present. In both body and spirit. Full of light and love.