05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, October 17, 2014

Close Enough

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. I guess writing a bit of paranormal should make me familiar with death and what might happen after. Personally, I've never had a 'real' near death experience, for which I'm grateful. There are a lot of things I've researched as an author--sometimes terrible things--and there are times I've even tested things out myself like holding my breath for as long as possible (I was researching drowning). But I've had one experience that, at the time, felt as close to death as I ever want to get.

In February 2008 I was heavily pregnant with little monster number three, and suffering from a nasty cold that had kept me in bed for a week. I'd already seen my doctor about the chronic earache accompanying the cold that stopped me from sleeping, and been curtly informed that she couldn't give me anything because I was pregnant. So I'd stuck with whatever pathetic remedies I could take--paracetamol for the pain, fluids, and a few drops of an aromatherapy breathe-easy type medication dripped onto tissue. I was all blocked up, coughing, feverish, struggling to breathe and thoroughly miserable.

Then one evening it got worse. I felt I was really fighting to breathe, and every passing moment the feeling intensified. I tried shouting for my husband, but I'd lost my voice and trying to shout only made me even more breathless. It got to the point I felt I couldn't breathe at all.

I crawled out of bed and onto the landing. By now, all I could think was that I was going to die, and so would my poor baby. And rather than scared, my overriding emotion was anger. Fury, even. If the anthropomorphic representation of Death (as portrayed by Sir Terry Pratchett in the Discworld novels) had turned up at that moment, he'd have got the beating of his, death. I can't remember being so angry in my life before. And that's my predominant memory of the event. I can remember hearing the panic in my husband's voice as he called an ambulance, and I remember feeling momentarily sorry for him having to deal with it (a terribly British attitude, I think). Apparently I went a lovely shade of purple.

By the time the ambulance arrived, my breathing had settled down but I was very shaky after the whole experience. The paramedics gave me oxygen and recommended I go to hospital. I wasn't going to say no (although I have to say the night spent there was almost as hellish as my near death experience, between constant checks, needles, monitors, a chronic snorer and another patient moaning and talking in his sleep). Less than 24 hours later I was sent home with antibiotics for a chest infection and a memory I'll never forget. And that's as close to a near death experience as I ever want to get... *plans on immortality*

Perhaps that's why death and resurrection are a common theme in my stories, even though I don't personally believe in reincarnation or any kind of after life. And yet they're often in my writing. Funny how my stories don't reflect my beliefs in those things. In my newest release, my hero has lost the love of his life, and makes a risky attempt to summon back her soul during All Hallows' Eve, when spirits are most likely to be abroad and loved ones come home. I'm glad I hadn't gone far enough to need any magic to bring me back. But how would you feel about being brought back from the dead, especially if you'd been gone a year?

Hallow's Eve, paranormal romance short


Twelve months ago, Hal’s world crashed and burned, taking the love of his life with it. He’s waited all year for that one special night when the souls of the departed come home, hoping his candle will summon back one in particular to heal his broken heart. But the forbidden knowledge he’s learned could call something far worse, and put more than his own soul at risk...


Judith Ashley said...

Funny you never thought you were experiencing a 'near' death event when your sister bashed you over the head with a rock must be that anger-thing you write about in this post.

My mother told tales of one of her sisters coming after her with a coat hanger! among other things (I only had detestable brothers). So I think you are telling your daughter the truth - brothers are icky and pests but sisters are dangerous.

Pippa Jay said...

Lol, she didn't hit me hard enough. Funny, pretty much anyone I've spoken to who had sisters says the same thing. I wonder why. My boys fight but they haven't tried to kill each other yet.

Sarah Raplee said...

Anger is sometimes what we need to survive a dangerous situation. It certainly served you well, Pippa!

Hmmm...since I believe we continue to progress after death, and that being called back after a year might interfere with a loved one's progress in the next life, I would not want to be called back to this one.