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Near-death experiences: what do they mean?

By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW

There has been a recent upsurge of interest in near-death experiences (NDE) as a result of the best-selling autobiographies of physician near-death experiencers, neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander and orthopedist Dr. Mary Neal.

On Sunday, Sept. 15, Dr. Pam Kircher, family medicine practicioner, hospice physician, author and a near-death experiencer, will adress the topic titled, “The Latest Findings in the World of Near-Death Experiences and How They Affect Us All” at the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Kircher’s book details NDEs and is titled: “Love is the Link.”  She recently was a participant on a panel discussion with Drs. Alexander and Neal at the International Association of Near-Death Studies annual conference in Washington, DC over Labor Day weekend. Researchers and near-death experiencers met at the annual conference to discuss the latest findings in the field and the physician NDEr panel was one of approximately 30 presentations that weekend.  Having just returned from the conference, Pam will give an update on current advances in the field of NDEs, that seek to clarify age-old questions about consciousness and life and death issues.

Kircher had a childhood NDE at age 6 during an episode of meningitis.  Like most other people with NDEs, she now has no fear of death and believes that our main purpose of life is to learn how to be more loving toward each other and to recognize that we are all connected.  She will discuss how NDEs relate to our UU principles of compassion and the worth and dignity of every person and to assist the dying and the bereaved.

The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosah Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign.  All are welcome.

This story was posted on September 12, 2013.