All I remember is a terribly dark place with a landscape similar to ours here, except everything was in different hues of grey and black. And there was a terrible noise! Billions of shadows in human form were crying out to me, wanting a blessing and rest – just like on the mountain in another life. At first I did not understand what they were saying, but gradually I realized that they were trapped in this place and condemned to roam around without ever being allowed to rest. Their overseer kept them in constant activity, and although there was nothing to do they still had to look busy and occupied. This was going on relentlessly, since time was not measured. My heart went out to these spirits, and I blessed them. They sighed and evaporated like mist. So gradually the noise from those terrified unhappy spirits became less and then stopped completely. There were no shadows left. As a result I was attacked by the overseers who were unspeakably angry because I had not only taken away their work, but also the food of the Lord of the Underworld. That is the last thing I remember, but it felt good nevertheless to give those poor souls freedom and rest.
Anyway, I am here again now. Very slowly my senses start working again too. It smells like there had been a dead body in here, but that seems to subside slowly. There is also a lingering perfume of embalming ointment around. Was that me? Am I being brought back to life again? Never mind, I hear heavy steps from somewhere nearby. They seem to go back and forth, like a guard of some kind, sounding almost military. But then something strange is happening. I hear feather light steps and whispering sounds, as if another person is in this place with me. I try to move again, but something is happening to my face now: I feel pressure and movement. My face seems to have been covered; however the wraps are being taken away by very gentle hands. Carefully I move my head from side to side – it works. Then there is more activity around the rest of my body; very awkward and painful in some places, but by and by I can move my arms and legs too. Amazingly there is also a sliver of light, so I can see a tiny bit.
There are two figures in white with me here. I am still feeling very weak, so I stay where I am; still warming up and gently regaining control of my body. Although the light in here is very dim it still hurts my eyes. So I shut them again, but suddenly there is an incredibly loud and screaming sound, and at the same time there is brightness everywhere. I don’t even need to open my eyes to realize that the sun is up and the door is open. The person in white puts some clothes next to me and then patiently helps me to get dressed again. It all takes quite a long time. The dying do everything very slowly, and I am feeling as if I am working my way backwards to return to life again. So I start moving slowly but by and by I become master of my limbs and senses once more.
When I cast my eyes around I realize that the place in which I am is a burial place. On a slab of stone I see heaps of bandages. I ask the gentle persons in white about them, and they tell me that I had been dead for three days and two nights. Now I gradually can also recollect some of the things that happened before the nightmare in the black place. It was terrible, but now I am alive and gradually I am filled with unspeakable joy and gratitude for the gift of life that is given to me again. Then I move slowly forward to the spot where the light is coming from, and I am face to face with the most glorious garden I have ever seen. Paradise looks like this.
I move towards the entrance and hear someone weeping. When I look out there is Mary, and she looks at me as if I was a stranger. She seems to be deeply grieving. Then she asks me where they have laid my body. Good job I know now that I was dead, so I am not too shocked. I call her name, and she recognizes me. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that, because now she takes hold of me as if she were drowning. I have to remind her to let go of me so that I can move again. I tell her that I need to ascend into heaven. Then she questions me about what happened today.
Someone wrote a poem about this interview, so I shall share it with you:
Why do you look so different?
Because I had clothes divided
So someone brought another suit
And my old life subsided
I come from death’s dark abyss
None ever lived after this
So my face too
Changed its hue
What does the delight in this garden mean?
In a garden my suffering began
And to go back to Eden all humanity’s keen
So here I heal the division of God and man
And show how love death outran
So this garden too
Changed what is true
Why do you now hold me back so much?
I hurt from where I have been.
Wait – into the sky I need to ascend.
From there your pain I shall mend.
My hug will be power never seen.
Then of fire my body will be,
And many God shall see.