Different religions teach different things about the afterlife, but some say they know the truth because they've been to the other side.
"The car began to roll, my seat belt ripped off and I was thrown out the car door,” recalled Felicia Tew. “He said he knew I'd be dead. He said it's the worst accident I've seen in 30 years.”
“I had been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, I went through chemo, radiation, a bone marrow transplant and five surgeries,” explained Kim Rives. “I started praying if I could die. I just wanted to go home, to my heavenly home."
These are two different experiences from two women of two different faiths. One is Catholic and the other is Mormon.
Both died, came back to life, and said they experienced the unimaginable.
A disastrous car accident nearly 20 years ago caused Felicia extreme injuries.
“I ripped my face open, broke my temporal artery, and fractured my skull, so it was open. I broke three vertebras, three back bones. They're shocked I'm even still alive."
But, at one point, she wasn't alive.
“It was blue, it was clouds, and it was beautiful. Then it was gone. Then, I saw my father… my heavenly father. It does not even compare with being with the person you love most in the world. No nervousness or worrying, just pure love."
Felicia remembers seeing the Blessed Mother Mary, Jesus, and God telling her four things: To trust him, be patient, to love her family more and to have faith. When Felicia thinks back to that moment, she says it changed her.
“Oh my gosh, I've learned that life is very temporary. We're only here for a very short amount of time and we're only here for Him,” she said.
“I just wanted to be free because I knew heaven had to be more peaceful than what I was going through,” Kim remembered.
After an excruciating, three-year battle with cancer, Kim said she experienced what she always knew was there: an afterlife ineffably beautiful and serene.
“There was a man who appeared before me, he encouraged me to follow him. I was taken into this beautiful, heavenly meadow where there were roses and vibrant colors. There were beautiful buildings with diamonds in the mortar and streets of gold and angels. I felt so much love and so much joy.”
No fear, no worry, no pain, and visions of her loved ones.
“Everyone I saw, they were in their prime,” said Kim.
Kim described sublime experiences with family who'd passed on, Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Mormon church, The Holy Mother Mary and The Savior.
“Light streams from Him from about five to six feet and He's just a being of light, so caring and so loving. His love is so unconditional, I felt like I could melt in his presence."
Then, suddenly, she was forced back into her diseased and lifeless body.
“It was the most excruciating experience I think I've ever had,” she said.
That’s something both Kim and Felicia remember suffering. In fact, Kim said it's no coincidence their journeys into the afterlife are remarkably similar despite different religious beliefs.
“Someone meets a being they describe as Christ or a powerful being of light and I found that to be almost universal, no matter what religion,” said Kim.
Both women were given a second chance and the opportunity to share with others their testimony: that there's a God, an afterlife and it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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