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  • Creating an Extraordinary Life After Near Death
  • Sue Pighini

My first NDE was in 1972. I was struck by lightning while mountain climbing in Arizona. I was struck through my right arm into my body and out through my left leg. I was unconscious, and while in this state, a voice came to me and said, "You cannot leave now. You must go back to the children. (In my mind's eye I could see my two very young children.) You must move your legs back and forth, back and forth, to keep the 'fire' from reaching your heart." I did that and came back into consciousness and could feel my clothes had melted off my body because I was so cold. I could not get up. My husband, at the time, ran back up the hill from re-starting our motorcycle to put me on his shoulders and get me to a log cabin nearby. The cabin had a phone, and my husband called 911. I was then taken by ambulance to the local military hospital to check out my heart and see if I had sustained any cardiovascular, muscular, or tendon damage. I did have a heart murmur as time passed, and my left leg is now shorter than my right. Frequent exercise has been my saving grace.

I did tell my husband about the voice and visions, but he told me to keep quiet because my experiences could damage his career. He didn't believe me. The doctors just listened and said nothing. As might be expected, I divorced my husband several years later because I felt totally unsupported in this extraordinary encounter (as well as in many other aspects of our married life).

I did not know what to make of this spiritual event. What it did do for me, however, was propel me into fearlessness in life. I felt connected to some type of energy that was definitely more powerful than I was, and this force had urged me to expand myself without limitations. There was no support from the medical community. I just knew on some level that I was supposed to go out on my own and take chances to birth my dreams in the largest scenario possible. I did just that.

I divorced my first husband. I went back to work and took many risks to maximize my opportunities and became a marketing vice president in New York City. My children's welfare was my driving force. I remarried and loved this new life to the extent that I could oversee 3 stepchildren and a new life of business travel. 20 years later, I became the caretaker of my second husband, who was ill for 10 years and who later passed. I don't think I could have been there for him for so long if I didn't feel that I was supported by an extraordinary energy. I wrote my first book, "Bootstraps: A Woman's Guide to Personal Power." I rode and bought my first horse, who, to this day, is the love of my life along with a herd of 5. #FearlessLiving has been my mantra.

My second near-death experience was in 2016, though I had had several spiritually transformative experiences from 1972 to 2016. I had just published my second book, "Expect the Extraordinary," and was on a call-in radio interview. I was looking out my office windows across the front pastures of our farm (I was now remarried for the third time) looking at our horses as I spoke to the radio host. I unexpectedly saw a very large white ball of luminescent light coming across the pastures. It quickly came through the window and into my forehead. I was semi-paralyzed and fell to the floor. I quickly got off the interview call and speed-dialed my husband on [End Page E6] my cell. He knew immediately what was happening because he has a medical background. Paramedics came quickly, and I was rushed to the local hospital, which couldn't treat me because they could not find the bleeding brain aneurysm. I was sent to a different hospital where a very gifted neurosurgeon found...