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  • Writer's pictureRay Catania

The Day of The Dawn

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Perhaps the greatest day of my life, was the day of my death. It sounds strange, doesn’t it? Yet, it’s a true statement, for me, anyway. I am not saying I want to die. In fact, it was that I got to return from the experience that made it even more wonderful. I lived most of my life as an Atheist; one who believed in absolutely nothing after death. I was convinced that this had to be way things were. You see, I had a rough start in life. One filled with turmoil and trauma, as well as many other things that I could not believe a “Higher Power” would allow to happen to innocent people, especially kids.

Turns out, I was partially correct. There was no one entity “in charge” of my life events, so to speak. But I was wrong in thinking that there wasn’t much more going on here, than meets the eye. So much more, that I wrote an entire book about what I discovered.

Back when I was growing up, we struggled financially, always needing money. And I was always finding ways to make it. Growing up like this, I quickly learned to do whatever was necessary for me to get what I needed. Many of those “things” placed me in some very dangerous situations.

I have nearly died several times: I have been shot at; I was nearly blown up by terrorists; I was abused by people I trusted both physically and emotionally as a young man; I was in a fire and was resuscitated; I was in a car crash where I had to be cut free by the jaws of life and another involving a head-on collision with a bus; and I’ve had at least one incident of alcohol self-poisoning that I can remember. The most amazing thing of all, is that physically, I am fine. In fact, I am better than just fine. I am in very good health. It was almost as if something was there to scoop me up at the last minute each time my life was in danger and showed me how to get through each of those incidents. I do not know if I will ever understand exactly who or what did that for me. Someone or something not of this Earth had my back time and time again. These events transpired throughout most of my life until I accepted them as reality.

After my NDE, there was no more denying the fact of an afterlife, although I very much tried. But still, I had seen it first-hand. And if that wasn’t enough, people in that realm of existence (dead people) began to communicate with me.

The story below is an account of my near-death experience. It’s an excerpt from chapter eight of my book entitled, “The Atheist and The Afterlife — An Autobiography — A true story of inspiration, transformation, and the pursuit of enlightenment,” published by Limitless Publications ©2020. The book itself is the story of my life, including the significant events that empowered me to begin my true spiritual awakening, including beginning life as an Atheist, to visiting the afterlife, and ultimately, developing my newfound spiritual abilities, including Mediumship. I am grateful for all these experiences, and I am honored to be able to share them with you.

Let’s go back in time to my late teen years. I called in sick for work the night before so I could sleep in late that morning. It may have been a weekend, because both of my parents were both at home. I was in bed feeling a little crappy in the early morning when I began to hear sirens from police cars getting closer and closer. Then I heard a lot of commotion directly under me on the first floor. The kitchen of the house was located directly under my bedroom where I was now trying to sleep, but everyone was making so much noise downstairs I figured I should check and see what was happening. I tried to lift my head but I couldn’t. I could not lift my head off the pillow. This was the first sign that something was very wrong.

The noises got louder downstairs and people were yelling. I had to get up, but I couldn’t move my head. This is fucking crazy. What the hell is happening to me? I couldn’t yell either. I couldn’t move my face. I could only move my right arm. It was the only part of my body that I could still communicate with. I used it to grab the edge of the bed and began to pull myself toward the edge, giving it everything I had. One arm worked, but nothing else. How would I get up? My legs were completely paralyzed. With my right arm, I continued to pull as hard as I could to get to the edge of the bed.

Very slowly I moved some, and then I passed out. I heard a loud clanging sound downstairs, which woke me back up. I started to pull myself toward the edge once again with my one working arm. I was pulling with every ounce of strength that I had. If I just lay there, I would be dead. This much I knew. No one was coming for me. I continued to pull, but I passed out again. Loud yelling woke me once more, and I knew this was it. I had to pull myself out of that bed.

When I finally got to the edge of the mattress, I used the same arm to begin pushing my body upright or close to it, so I thought, and then I passed out again. This time, though, I fell out of the bed. I hit the floor chin first and I was out cold. Completely unconscious. What happened next would be the defining moment of my existence.

I woke up to see what was happening. I was high up looking down at myself. I saw my father holding me and screaming for the paramedics. He must have heard me hit the floor with what would have been a loud thump. He was holding me in his arms. I was not moving. I was no longer in that body. I was above it looking down on the scene. I felt terrible that my father was suffering like this, but I also felt euphoric. I had no pain, no fears, no problems; I was just floating and feeling absolutely wonderful.

To my right was a huge cone-shaped bright white light, like I was on a stage and had the spotlight on me. Just me. I began to go deeper into the light because it felt amazing. There was something at the end of the light that I couldn’t quite see, but it said, “It’s okay to come into the light, Ray.”

It knew my name! I looked into the light and for some strange reason, I believed this “being” when it said that the light was safe to enter, and so I proceeded to move more into it. The euphoria intensified as I went deeper into the light. Now I heard my father yelling, screaming, and crying, and I made a decision at that moment that would alter my existence forever. I said to the “being” at the end of the light, “I’m sorry, but I cannot leave him like that.” I was referring to the emotional state of my father. So I went back into my body, but it was a difficult decision to make because that light was incredibly amazing.

When I woke again, I was no longer in my room. I opened my eyes to see two paramedics over me working very hard and very quickly. My first words were, “What the hell are you doing to me? Why are you here?” I looked down to assess myself, and I saw that I had urinated all over myself. Now I was really embarrassed. I was still a bit euphoric and almost felt a little high when I began to apologize for my current state of wetness. There were what looked to me like about thirty people in my living room looking at me. Maybe it was fifteen and I was seeing double. Who knows? Police, fire department, and paramedics. One paramedic said to the other, “He has a very low BP [blood pressure]. It’s too low. What do we do?”

I was like, “Guys, please, I am fine. In fact, I feel great. Did you guys see the light? Wasn’t it amazing? I’m sorry, I don’t know why I’m all wet. Okay, let me go. Did anyone else see that light? Why are you people here again?”

I later found out that there had been a fire in the kitchen of my home, which began when my mother turned on the stove. There had been a gas leak for hours coming from the stove in the kitchen before the fire began, so there really was no way to know how many hours I was inhaling the gas fumes before the fire broke out. The fire was small and contained quickly by my parents before the fire department arrived, but the gas fumes had been rising into my room for who knows how long.

I had been clinically dead. I’m not sure for how long exactly, but that is why I pissed myself. Medically, this is what happens when one dies, apparently, but I didn’t know that at the time. Probably a good thing that I didn’t.

No one else saw the light. No one else heard the “being.” I felt like complete shit from head to toe and started to wonder why the hell I hadn’t just stayed in the light. I had no pain there; it was great. I felt I had completely fucked up and made the wrong choice. Why would I choose to come back to this life? To the pain and anguish that it was? Why did I even have a choice or the power to choose? Who is given a choice like that? This is really terrible! I want to go back to the light. I want a do over. Will someone please take me back to the fucking light?

The next year of my life was spent trying to figure out what had happened that day. I began to read about other people’s near-death experiences, and many were exactly like mine. Not all of them, but most of them. This is how you can rule out the fakers. When someone tells me they died and woke up, I ask them if they woke up wet. If they say no or “What do you mean?” I know they didn’t die; they were hallucinating or making it up. You can’t hold in urine when you are dead. I was never lucky enough to find another person who really was there at the light that I could compare notes with. Only others’ written accounts. That was very disappointing.

This is where my analytical brain takes over and puts me in my place. “Now let’s think about this, Ray.” That’s how I talk to myself. “You fell in front of a window on what was likely a sunny day. Hence, the white, warm light. And you felt euphoric because you were so frigging high from inhaling gas fumes all night, which also caused hallucinations. See, simple explanation.” I accepted this as my truth and told no one what I’d seen for many years. Fear of being ridiculed, fueled by my own lack of belief in an afterlife.

Today is very different, however. Today, I can tell you that death is truly a life-changing experience.

Thank you for visiting and reading.

I am ...

Forever Grateful,


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