David LaMotte

Raleigh, NC, United States

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David LaMotte
Posted over 3 years ago
What 3 things did you learn while you were in a near-death experience?
In 2001 I was on a solo concert tour in Texas and I had a bizarre and life-changing experience. Waking up at a friend's house after she and her daughter had left for work and school respectively, I found that I didn't feel well. Gradually, I lost language capacity, going through a phase of aphasia on the way (in which the wrong words came out of my mouth, completely unassociated with the concept I was trying to communicate — i.e. I pointed at a chair and said 'wedding'). My arms went numb for 20 minute intervals, and I became nauseous. In the emergency room I lost consciousness completely, and I remember vividly the sensation that my intellect, my mind, was receding. I had an almost three-dimensional experience of it as a ball of energy slowly moving away from me in a dark space. I was at peace, and watched it go. Only later, upon reflection, did it occur to me that 'I' did not reside in my intellect. It was the most tangible and clear experience of the existence of my own soul, spirit, essential being or whatever terminology one prefers, that I could imagine. The other powerful realization to come out of the experience was that it had been my hands and my words that had been taken from me, then hours later, returned. As a professional singer/songwriter and guitarist, my hands and my words are my primary tools. My sense of God doesn't allow for that kind of machination, and that's not exactly how I attribute this, but I couldn't help but have the sense that I was being reminded of the significance of being given these tools—hands and words. I felt as though I was being told "Now I have given these back to you. What do you intend to do with them?" The ER doctor, incidentally, diagnosed the episode as a "complex migraine." A migraine, it turns out, is not a headache, but a spasm of blood vessels in the brain. A complex migraine presents stroke-like symptoms.