Hello and welcome to the blossom, your awesome podcast, episode number 14. Today on the show we have got Kathy Mcdaniel, she is here talking to us about her new book and her near death experience how it transformed her life, how it changed her understanding of life after death, what we can expect on the other side, it is really a prolific conversation, I can't wait to get all the details on this and I have so many questions for Kathy because I have always been fascinated with the subject. Cathy, thank you so much for being here. I am so honored to have you here with me today, teaching us, guiding us, sharing your wisdom and light. Welcome. I'm so happy to be here. Thanks for the invitation.
So Cathy, I'm gonna say we jump right into it, can you give me a little bit of your background and um and then well I would love to talk to you about your book and more of that. Okay, um I'm 75 years old, so there's a lot of background so I'll kind of skip around. My, my dad was in the Navy as and when I was growing up, so we traveled a lot all over the United States. We landed in santa Cruz, where he retired. So I lived there for 35 years and loved it and I had my own property management company there. I had been working for other people and decided to open my own and that was really the highlight of my life then my kids were off at college and and I had a nice stable relationship and so it was just great, I was helping people, I was helping tenants, I was helping the landlords And I loved it. So I did that for about 11 years and then decided at 50 I was going to retire.
Um I sold the business and I figured I would just let life fill in the blanks. I was just going to kind of be a free spirit for for once in my life, which is really my true nature. And um my best friend a couple of years later called me out of the blue and said he wanted to come visit and he had, he had contracted leukemia and he was only 53 I was just blown away. I mean he was my dearest friend we've had, you know been engaged for seven years and kind of went our separate ways when he went to the East coast for business. And so he asked if I'd be his caregiver and I said sure. So I had to fly to Seattle where he was going to be at a research hospital And then he and I and another caregiver went up there and it was supposed to be for 3-5 months And it stretched into about eight And uh many months in, she broke her foot. Now I was taking care of both of them and it was just a 24 hour day process because he'd get well or better and he'd go home with us in the apartment and then he'd get dramatically traumatically sick again.
We have to take him back. So it was a really chaotic exhausting time mentally emotionally physically then he passed away and it was too much. I had had been uh well to make a long story short I had been um going on with my life for the last month. He was ill because the other caregiver asked me to leave. They had been married for a very short time and um so I stayed around and worked well working put me even in worse condition. I had met a nice man, we were just casually dating and uh I called him in the middle of the night and said you need to help me. I I'm coughing up blood this is not good. So he came took me to a doc in the box. They couldn't find a pulse. I was rushed to the hospital. Uh put into I. C. U. Um They determined that I had pneumonia that had gone into Arbs which is um a form of lung failure very similar to what covid people die of and they ventilated me.
Put me in a coma for three weeks and crossed their fingers. They really didn't think I was going to make it. So while I was in the coma I my spirit drifted off into another dimension and I found myself in what they call the void which is an extremely dark quiet place. And mhm the most people go from the void to heaven or they go straight to heaven, but I found myself in a very unpleasant, spooky scary place and um it was when I asked the person who said, do you know where you are, out of this horrible fog and I just whispered hell, he just maniacally laughed in this echoing voice and I took off running and found myself in a very scary situation. I did not realize I was dead at any time. I still thought I was alive because it was my spirit, you know that part of you that's really you, that was experiencing this, It was traumatic.
I met all sorts of scary people, I was put in testing places where they would say you must do this and it would be a terrible thing to be doing and I would say no and they moved me to something else with more threats and yelling at me that I needed to despair, I would never give out, get out. So this went through a very, very, very, very long process. It's all detailed in my book until I finally got to the last portion scenario whatever and miraculously was released and found myself in heaven. There was no other explanation for where I was, it was total light and love and and bliss and joy and I looked over and I saw my friend, the one who had died the month before and I was kind of shocked and he looked great. You know? Last time I saw him in the hospital, he looked terrible.
And so I thought to myself, oh my goodness, he doesn't know he's dead. And he just started laughing. And so I it dawned on me, oh my gosh, if he's dead then I'm dead and we're in heaven and this couldn't get any better. Well, a little bit of more conversation ensued, but the bottom line was he said I had to go back that I had too much left to do. And that's not a pleasant thing to hear when you're in complete bless you, you've made it, you know, and I said no, no. And boom, I was it was it was terrible. I was gone and I was back in this body, I couldn't move. I just looked around this room and there's all these people that I dawns on me after a while, they're my family and there's they're so happy I'm back. And um they're talking all at once. And my daughter says, you've been really, really ill mom, but you're gonna be okay now.
And I thought, well, gosh, if I'm okay, why can't I move? But it turned out I dropped £86. I had no muscle mass. And I spent another week in the I C. U. And then a full month in a physical rehab hospital learning to do everything again. I've lost all my muscle memory. So I had to walk, talk crawl button feed myself all that stuff in a month and then went home and thought where is my life? So that was that was the first big horrible um part of my life where I felt so alone, so angry, so humiliated. Um it was a terrible time, wow, that is a remarkable story and I have so many questions so I'm gonna jump right into that Kathy now tell me you know people are so skeptical of this a lot of times.
And was this something you had always believed in or you know the possibility of a near death experience or being able to kind of go to the other side and then how did have you always believed in that or what were your feelings before that experience before that? Um It goes way back to my dad, he was an atheist when he was studying to become a lawyer. Um He um he was in World War Two, his plane was shot down on a beach. Um he landed on the beach upside down in his plane and uh he was dying because the um the top of the plane had been pushed back because he couldn't see out the window because it was oil all over it. So his head was in the sand and he was drowning in the sand and he says God if you're out there if you can get me out of this mess I will become a catholic.
And miraculously these marines ran out from the jungle and lifted the plane off of my dad. They pushed the tail down and he popped up they cut him out and drove him into the jungle and saved his life. So when he got married and has kids came along they we were Catholics from day one uh my parents are still devout Catholics. My dad died of covid in january but um he's in heaven he's gotten in touch with me, he's fine. Um So I was always taught from day one that there was heaven, there was hell and there was purgatory and purgatory was the place you went unless you were like a saint and you would go to purgatory for a while before you went to heaven and you got your sins burned off so that you could be pure before God. Now this is what they tell a small child you know so that kind of sticks with you and throughout my life I was encouraged with you know you do a rosary and you get so many days indulgence off your time in purgatory you do a good deed and you get you know that sort of thing you do a bad deed.
You get more time in purgatory. So I just bought this. I thought that everybody believed it and that was the way it went. As far as N. D. E. S. I didn't know anything about them, nothing. Um I just thought you died you went to purgatory, you went to heaven. So I was a firm believer in my faith. I loved jesus, I loved mary, I prayed every day. I went to mass every sunday and I was a good person and and and throughout my life like everybody I had had traumatic things happened. My first baby died when she was two days up older and it was a terrible death and that was that really shook my faith in God. Why would why would you do this to me or to my baby? So I would still hang on you know I thought well I'm kind of being blackmailed now by God if I if I turn away from him I'll never see my baby again. So that happened when I was about 20 and um So I fought all the way to the time I was 53 when all this happened believing in a merciful God.
I loved the parable of the prodigal son. I I really believe that was the epitome of the gospel for me that God loved me no matter what. So when I slipped away into this terrible hell and then went to heaven and was set back, I had questions and nobody had any answers. My family didn't want to talk about it. My friends didn't want to talk about it. Neither did the doctor, they didn't want to hear about hell. Um my, the family was horrified. What did you do to deserve that? I said, hey, I'm just a normal person. I never killed anybody or anything. I don't know why I went there. I don't know why I went there and I don't know why I went to Heaven was sent back. So it took 10 years for me through all these synchronicities which I learned to trust later. And the voice in my head there, this, I don't know everybody has the voice. It's kind of like your guardian angel or your conscience or something that you know, you get in situations sometimes and you hear, no, that's really not a good idea.
Well when you go on the other side and come back, that voice is really loud and that is for me the voice of God. And so God was telling me to go to these meetings and I didn't want to go. It was a long drive to Seattle and the traffic was terrible. And all I ever heard about when I got on their website and everything was all these people that had all these glorious heaven happenings, you know and angels and and beautiful. Yeah, I didn't have that experience. I was embarrassed to go. But finally I was made to go, I just kept hearing this voice so strong. I thought, oh I'll just go once and get it over with. Yeah, I might fears were right. All I heard was the good stuff in these meetings and and uh but when I was quizzed by what people you know you're new. You know what happened to you? And I I did not have have a very nice experience. So I don't really feel like I belong here. And they said oh no no you've got to read Howard Storm. You've got to read nancy Evans bush. There are people. The thing is there's about the statistic is something like four between four and 20% of all N.
D. E. S are distressing. It's just people don't want to tell you about them. They're embarrassed or they're humiliated or they just don't want to say anything. So the number is probably much higher. So they said no we need people like you we need people we need to hear what happened and and you need to come and tell us and then maybe you can find some peace and some explanation. Uh as you go well that's what happened. I thought it I didn't go back to another meeting for quite a while. The Voice made me go I was supposed to meet somebody. They said and so I went to this meeting and I did meet miraculously meet this woman who found me and sat down next to me and I said wow I was told I was going to meet somebody today and she says I know and I said what do you mean? You know? She says well, didn't the Voice tell you? And I says, yeah, and she says, oh, you'll get used to it. She says, I was walking down the aisle here and the voice told me, go sit by that lady. She's really nice. So, because of her, um, I finally got the guts to tell my story and um, the reception was incredible at the end.
People clapped, they were thrilled and I couldn't believe it. So that was opening the door for me to accept that what I had experienced was real was valid. One of the things they tell you is that, you know, if it was a dream or a hallucination or the drugs that wears off, that'll go away. This doesn't, it always remains like it happened yesterday. So here I am almost 22 years later. And I remember every word of what I wrote, because it's still fresh in my mind. I can't tell you the dream I had last night. So, I know this is real. And I came to believe and understand after reading some of these people who had the dark experiences in a nutshell, they are generally given to brave people that will have the experience come back and understand that this is a message to be shared with other people and have the courage to tell people because this is not easy.
Uh it's uh it's not an easy thing to do. It's not something you would choose for yourself, believe me. Um so what I learned was God is all loving. I experienced God, it was God is total love and God cannot, will not judge or condemn anybody when you got dye, your natural place to go is to heaven. And the other things that I learned from being with my friends and ions is that so many of them went and stayed for a long time and got to learn things and and most of the time when you come back you can't remember anything because that's kind of like cheating but a lot of them were given messages to come back like I was but their messages were that we are all part of God, all of creation is part of God, it's just one big spirit, one big piece and we choose to come down to earth and learn lessons and that's a long involved thing.
But you know if we time I could, I could go into it but we're all little pieces of God. We're all little pieces of spirit and we come down and we want to learn maybe empathy or trust or kindness or whatever it is because in heaven, you know everything and you're part of this collective consciousness and so you want to come down maybe and just be an individual, see what that's like. So we pick our lessons, we want to learn, we pick the people, we want to come down with that's called our soul group and then we come down here when we're born, that gets wiped out. That we were in heaven. We just had that yearning for home. That's what heaven is home. And we go about and we grow up as human beings and we try and figure it all out when we're down here and then we go home. And the thing about judgment that cripples a lot of people like myself that were born and raised with that wrathful God, that that judgment day, that sort of, you know, the sheep from the rams that whole bit. It's not true.
I mean if people, I understand how people believe that and I'm not here to destroy anybody's religious beliefs, I'm just saying my experience was that's not true. What I what has been explained to me is that there's a life review and it is not a judgment is a chance for you to see how you did. You're learning process when you were at school here on earth. How how did you do? So you get to see your whole life and and it's with a couple of of friendly guides or angels or people that you knew from earth and you you look at every single second of your life and you get to realize how you acted and then they turned it all around and you get to be the recipient of your actions on earth. So you get to feel what it was like to be your friend to be your son, to be your enemy, to be your boss to be that person next door. That just drove you nuts. You get to feel all that they felt and that's not a judgment that's just learning and it's done in a loving way.
But you do realize that you've caused pain in people's lives because you feel it, you understand that because you get that sensation and then you know, if you want to come down again, learn a few more lessons great, but eternity, it's like this eternal. Now it's not time like we've got here. So um you've got, you can you can't use human language to explain eternity or God, it's just not possible. So we we use metaphors, you know heaven is like, that's what jesus did in the bible. He was always saying heaven is like such and such. Heaven is like such and such. So um now that I'm back, how that's changed my life is I realized I'm not a victim, I chose everything in my life. I chose every challenge, every joy, every trauma. And so I don't blame God, I don't blame fate.
I don't blame anybody, I don't blame me, I just kind of chuckled to myself sometimes it takes a little while to get to that chuckle and say, well I wonder what I'm supposed to learn from this that has freed me in a way that I can't even begin to tell you how freeing that is to know that that you really are in charge of your whole life, your own life. You know, getting into meditation and and learning all of about how we make our own lives, you know, that's really true. Um and so there's a lot of peace around that and so for me, I do these podcasts, I go out and and share this message that I was given because when I get my work done I get to go home. Mm that is beautiful. Um you know this tell me Kathy how for people who don't really like this doesn't necessarily resonate for them or they can't put it together because it's not an experience they've had offer us some comfort in going home.
You know, like dying is doesn't need to be scary. It doesn't need to be morbid. It doesn't have to be sad. How do we understand that or you know, receive it in that way instead. Well we're still humans and I love woody Allen's quote, he says I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens. You know, and no matter how prepared we get, you know, it's always scary. My dad and I did a lot of talking about this, he was 97, he was in the world, he was in World War Two for crying out loud. He was he stayed in the Navy for 30 years. He was an aviator. He loved to fly. And so the last couple of years he we we talked about it you know and I I was telling him you know he read the book but he says I really want you to I've got questions so we would go back and forth and um so oh just shortly a month or so before he died and I didn't know he was going to get sick. I said what are you gonna do when when you're on the other side dad, first thing you're gonna do And he just looked at me and smiled and he said I'm gonna fly and I says cool, tell me about that.
So you know it was I'll be in the plane sometimes and sometimes I'll just be flying like superman and I'm gonna go, you know, he was just so excited about getting on the other side. And then so a month later when he got Covid it was really a blessing again. You gotta when these things happen now I can see the blessing because my mom, my dad, my sister and my brother in law got at the same time, my dad went to the hospital, they said you cannot come in and see him, he's going to die. And so they said that's not ok. So they turned my sister's kitchen into a bedroom, they let him come home because all of them had Covid anyway and he died with my mom and my sister holding either hand and my brother in law there. And um I got to talk to him on the phone and um when he was getting ready to go, he was, you know, an oxygen. And and he would, he would sniff it a little bit and then take it away and then he put it back and he was, he was anxious, you know, understandably, you know, no matter how sure you are, there's always that 11% doubt, you know?
So all of a sudden he looked up at the ceiling and got this huge smile on his face. I had told him that people would come to get him and to look up at the ceiling. They're usually in the corners, even if people at hospice will tell you they didn't see him. I said, somebody's going to come get you, I don't know who. So he got this big smile of recognition on his face and he closed his eyes and he went, and that was so cool. And um so he, you know, I always wondered, you know, who was, you know, and there are people out there, they're gonna bark when I mentioned the word medium, because I get all kinds of flak on that. But the lady who produced my book also was a medium. You know, they're just extra sensory uh special people that have disability to, you know, spirits talk to him. So we were talking about, we were redoing our contract, This was like three or four days after dad died. And she just said well who's mary and I out of the blue, we're talking about you know paragraph four section nine.
And I says me she says no the other one. And I says well my grandmother, my dad's mom, she goes oh okay and a few minutes later we're talking she says did he have a sister? And I said yeah your aunt. And I said yeah and he said she said that was your dad's sister. I said yeah I said what's this all about? She says well he he's sitting here, he's bugging me to tell you that his aunt and his mom came to get him. Ah And I was so thrilled. I said that's so exciting. That's super you know? And um then she he said she said um oh wait a minute he wants me to tell you this. He said that the takeoff was bumpy but he landed safely. I love that isn't that wonderful. Uh You know so I know he's fine, you know he's given me signs, went on my birthday this year. We were up in Alaska and we went out of the restaurant in the morning uh and I looked up in the sky and clear as a bell in clouds.
Really big was written h I with a dot over the I my birthday and I looked at my friend and I said oh my God my dad just left me a message and he says, well that's weird, there's no other condensation clouds around it or you know, marks where airplanes have flown by just hi in a blue sky. So he uh you know on the, when you're on the other side, they're really just just a hair's breath away from you, your your loved ones are with you all the time, they hang out and you can talk to him. And uh that's another wonderful thing I learned is that nobody's dead. They're just a hair away. Just a whisper away. And and when you die, you know, some people, I've been told by some of the hospital people they've seen this whole room fill up with like little dots of light, like little globes of light and so you can have a whole crowd come get you or one or two people, there's usually two, wow, that is just so amazing.
And I think it's so powerful for us to be having this exchange because again, you know, this topic can be so morbid scary, just all of those negative connotations that go along with death. But I think it's so incredible to know that it doesn't have to be right. There's this other perspective that we can take on this that's so beautiful and yeah, yeah, and and the neat thing is to like I had questions, you know, you can talk to God God will talk back to you. That's you know, that's the voice or getting quiet or prayer? That's what prayer is. And I asked, you know, why did my daughter only be here for such a long, a short period of time? And and um other people would tell me to who, who have talked to spirits. She chose to only, you know, she she loved me. She was, you know, one of my soul group and says, you want to have that experience of, of how that is to lose a child. Well I'll be your child and I'll come down and then I'm I don't want to stay very long this time.
So I'm gonna go back home. I'll wait for you there. So the good thing, you know, and it took me years to realize this, that happened from losing that child is that I learned the difference between sympathy and empathy. Empathy is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Somebody. Uh when I had, I had two of my best friends within the next three years, lost babies and one of them said, I don't know what I would have done without you because it's really easy for people to say, oh, I'm so sorry, you know, you'll have another baby, you'll forget about it. You know, that's horrible, horrible thing. They think that sympathy, but to say, I know how you feel, it's awful, You'll survive it. She says that that keeps me going mm That is so beautiful. Now, Kathie tell me for what about some guidance and wisdom to help us better understand?
Like you know you mentioned this experience with your young, having lost a child at a young age early age and doubting that God and feeling like why is this happening to me? And this is so unfair. And is there really a God? So how do you now when you know because bad things happen in life, but you having touched the other side and having this deeper perspective now give us some insight into how we can better manage hard stuff when we have those moments of God. Why are you doing this to me? This is so unfair. Is there really a God? How do we manage that powerfully? Um after being in the presence of God or experiencing God and just knowing that God is all love and wants what's best for us. And also that he gave us free will. How it was explained to me was I chose to come down and learn these lessons and when I pray to God to change what I've asked to do, he God says in a colloquial way, you know, I have conversations with God, like he's my grandfather.
So God says you have free will, you chose this if I break in and and and change it because you asked me to I will be going against your will and then you will not have learned the lessons that you chose And it just doesn't work that way. So God doesn't interfere when we we have these things happen. God will give us grace, grace strength uh comfort, solace um people to care for us. But he won't change our will. He can't he can't and won't do that. So now that I know that I chose those things uh you know like my dad dying, that was horrible. But knowing that That my dad chose to live to be 97 and be a father to me all those years and how grateful I was and how he was really ready to go home.
He was so tired and in pain all the time and knowing he was going to be going home. Um you know there was a joy to it instead of a loss. I mean sure I miss him. I want to pick up the phone and call him but I can talk to him. It just changes things. Knowing that this is all just temporary, that I chose my life. I'm gonna learn my lessons and I'm gonna go home and see everybody again. It's gonna be a party. Uh you know, I focus on that. You know, I really do my my soul group, I joke about this because I get comments but my party and my party, my group's gonna meet in a beautiful bar with all free orders and we're gonna sit around and just laugh and talk about our interactions here on life and are we gonna do this again? I just see home as the goal and this, this life here, I'll be here as long as I plan to and then I'm out of here wow, that was amazing.
I'm going to say we just okay at last. That was so awesome. And I want to close with that out of here but I want just leave us something else awesome. Another little tidbit of wisdom and insight to live our most awesome lives while for the short time we are here. I talked to God about that. I said you know I I want just something short that I can say is a mantra every morning. What am I what am I supposed to do? And I was told over a series of months you are to be loving kind, merciful, forgiving, encouraging, grateful, nonjudgmental and useful. Oh wow. Mhm That was amazing. Kathy I am just want to say this was such a powerful, profound, insightful exchange. And I just thank you so much for your time.
Oh I loved being here. Thank you for having me. Thank you so much. Mm hmm.