Twenty-Seconds A True account of Survival & Hope

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I was diagnosed terminal and in and out of consciousness for several 

weeks. I had been told there was no help on too many planes to 

explain here. Regardless, I was 39 days into a 30 day life 

expectancy. I weighed not only the opportunity for assistance but the 

practicality of it as well.

I slept for hours during the days and nights. I was sicker than sick. 

My doctors later explained, “That I was the sickest any human being 

could ever be.” I was at the very doorway of death in both mind and 

body. Most of my memory of those days is limited to say the least as 

are any recollections of any dreams. Dreams were just seemingly 

non-existent for me and, honestly, are still rare today. But the one 

memory and the events surrounding it marked a definitive turning 

point for me and still remains as the most vivid experience of my 

life. It also marks the most defined crossroads of my life as well. I 

assumed at the time that it was a dream. Nothing in my frame of 

reference could explain the details to me or content. At the time 

this “dream” seemed real. It was realer than real — wetter than 

water. The realest thing to this date I have encountered in my life. 

It wouldn’t be until three years later that I was further enlightened 

to what the meaning of this “dream” actually was. It was no dream. 

It’s long and detailed so decide now if the 10 minutes is worth your time.

This is a deeply personal experience for me and there are lessons for 

everyone in it, especially for my family. But it is still long and I 

want you to earn the right to read my experience so to speak. THAT 

“EARNING” IS YOUR INVESTMENT OF TIME. It takes some open mindedness. 

Those who don’t continue reading from here are absolutely OK with me. 

It takes a commitment to read something that someone unveils through 

great humility and vulnerability. To bleed this information onto this 

page was not easy for me. I have to love myself to place myself in 

the range of skeptics and doubters. Hell, I was one of them. 

Therefore, you have to earn that. This takes a commitment of time 

that you may decide right here isn’t worth it. Whether you think you 

can learn something or not, you are right. But before you label me 

“weird”, which I am OK with by the way, perhaps you will want to do 

it with information to support your “judgments” and not a 

pre-determined opinion based on little or no information which I 

believe happens way too often in this world. Here is some information 

you will need to make an educated choice on what I am all about. Here 

is my near-death experience (NDE):

I found myself in an open expanse of darkness. Oddly, it surrounded 

me and, even odder, I could seemingly see 360 degrees without turning 

my head. I just knew it was endless.

There was a noise or maybe best stated a vibration or humming noise. 

The noise didn’t scare me; in fact, it seemingly calmed me. In the 

distance there was a soft and peaceful reddish glow. It grew larger 

and larger. It seemed red; but as I got closer, it appeared peach 

colored — pink and orange even. To this date describing the colors 

is still difficult for me because I just can’t say I have ever 

experienced colors so vivid and brilliant. Almost like the phases of 

a cloud cluttered sunset or sunrise. How the colors evolve with the 

slipping sun and reflected onto the clouds.

I didn’t move but could certainly feel the glow getting larger and 

larger as if I were rushing to it without effort. There was no tunnel 

as some report. The glow emanated from what appeared to be the lip of 

what I perceived as like the edge of a volcano for lack of better 

previous memory recall.  It is almost ineffable really to describe, 

so I tried to piece it together with the framework of my current 

memory data banks — a volcano. The edge curved but only slightly but 

definitely rounding in each direction to an expanse that seemed limitless.

Suddenly I was on the edge and then some. My feet dangled so far over 

the edge that it would seemingly be impossible to maintain balance 

but that wasn’t a problem. I felt weightless and at great peace. The 

glow of red now seemed pinkish and orange and was clearly not a 

volcano; but as I peered over my toes there was no end below. Nor was 

there an end to the lip or the darkness around me. It was a void. 

There was no heat or lava — just a harmonic hum and a specific odor 

that I didn’t recognize. I remember thinking, “I don’t ever recall 

smelling anything in a dream.” The smell, I could actually taste — 

like after a thunder storm — that crisp but refreshed smell. It was 

almost lightly like ammonia, but I later realized it was almost like 

the smell of an ozone machine but crisper.

The edge of the glow expanse curved out of view endlessly making me 

realize or “know” there was no end to it. It wasn’t the mouth of a 

volcano, it was obviously too expansive, but it did bend.  I wasn’t 

frightened. I wasn’t confused either. In fact, I was at the greatest 

peace of my life as I’ve known it to this day. My feet were 

three-fourth of the way over the edge.

Without any hesitation, a bright light shaped ball or mass appeared 

before me. It seemed just out of reach although I didn’t try to reach 

it. It was like a giant ball of light swirling into itself and 

rotating in nearly every direction. It was highlighted by blue 

streaks as it seemingly swirled in what seemed to be every direction. 

It wasn’t perfectly round. It appeared almost jagged and occasionally 

squeezed occasionally into almost a thick doughnut shape structure of 

pure energy. When this happened, I could see what appeared to be the 

center of a whirlpool for lack of better terms where it all seemed to 

merge. In the center it was a darker blue/black center. Everything 

seemed to go there and disappear with streaks of light blue 

indicating direction. As I focused on this center, it began to 

distort and glow brighter with streaks of blue that began to outline 

the shape of a face emerging. The “mass” of light increased in 

brightness continually but it didn’t make me squint or shield my 

eyes. It made me feel better and more peaceful as it grew in intensity.

As the light intensified, so did the harmony of it and vibration. 

Suddenly there was a face that was definitive and energized — the 

face of a man — older and weathered in appearance. The face ONLY 

appeared and consumed the mass of light. The high point and low 

points of detail were expressed in tones of light. The high points 

were more bluish. His hair was longer and had gentle waves, not 

tight, but rolling down past what I assumed were shoulders but 

unseen. He looked somewhat familiar or felt familiar I should say. 

There was a burst or vibration from him that I could feel down to the 

very core of my body. It was like the most comfort I have ever felt. 

It was like a summer breeze in your face without a care in the world. 

I no longer felt pain as in my awakened state which had been intense. 

It was only peace to the extent of nothing I had ever experienced. He 

had no facial hair to speak of, but the weathered look of his face 

was clearly defined in tone.

THEN THERE WERE WORDS! There was no speaking as the figures lips 

never moved nor did mine. But there were words. It was a question, 

“Are you ready?” Vague but decisive and I felt no ambiguity in its meaning.

I replied but my lips didn’t move and I have no memory of actually 

speaking. But this was my reply. I simply said, “No, I’m not ready 

yet.” This in and of itself was odd because I had already given up 

and was ready to die in my awakened state and body. But evidently, I was not.

Then more words, “There is something important you still need to do” 

and at the same time I “felt” these words came with a smile beginning 

to form on the man’s face as more rays of light began to shoot out of 

nearly every part of his face.

I reached for his face, unafraid but exploring. Just without thought, 

I reached for his face and placed my hands on his cheek. I had 

originally thought he would have been well out of my reach suspended 

over the expanse but he wasn’t. I realized the red, pink, orange, 

peach colored glow was gone and all that remained was the white 

radiant light from the orb continually increasing in brightness and 

hum. I reached out slowly and deliberately and touched his cheek. My 

body vibrated and the light grew again in intensity and brightness as 

his smile expanded. He was brighter than the sun but not yellow. He 

was pure white. This touch lasted for what seemed like forever but 

yet quick. It’s hard to find words to describe the sense of time I experienced.

As the light became brighter, so did the hum and the vibration and 

his smile widened until it distorted the image of his face.  I felt 

as if I was falling but hadn’t moved.

Suddenly, there were valleys and mountains and streams and small 

specks of numerous people and animals in the expanse below me. It was 

a brief but it was a complete vision of a peaceful place void of 

definable color. But it was the greatest source of peace I had ever 

felt even to this day.

The entire field of view became this white light and I felt 

weightless as it engulfed me. There was a sense of speed somehow as I 

felt what seemed like my body travelling at speeds blurring my view.

Within seconds I awoke at my hospital bed. I was scared but yet 

peaceful. I remember thinking “volcano” if that makes any sense. I 

immediately assumed my encounter was a dream; but yet somehow I knew 

it wasn’t deep inside me. Within minutes of this experience, I 

purposely and incessantly asked to see all of my doctors. At the same 

time and without effort, it happened. There were exactly twelve of 

them. I asked each to speak their mind and explain “my options” and 

“chances”. Each doctor did with fluent quick responses and I looked 

in the eyes of each of them as they spoke. I was focused and 

attentive. I felt things coming from each of them it seemed; but I 

could not understand it all. They all looked at me oddly as if 

wondering where all my control had suddenly come from considering my 

nearly comatose state since my arrival.

I spoke to them as a group and told them I had to live. I told them 

specifically that there “was something important I was supposed to 

do” and this day marked the beginning of life saving treatment that 

would take nearly three years and lead me to this moment today. There 

were several hurdles in that three years including a two month stint 

in hospice that I miraculously got better in and exited accordingly. 

All still unexplained by my doctors.

What I had recognized in my daily struggles was that there were 

distinct differences in my character and habits and viewpoints along 

the way. I just assumed I was grateful to be alive; but I documented 

the strange changes in personality as I recognized them. In 

retrospect the list grew to nearly 15 pages of changes I had 

realized. Some of you have seen a few. The list still grows to this day.

Around Christmas of 2013, nearly three years later, as I neared what 

appeared to be the end of my battle, I received a calendar as usual 

at Christmas from my mother with several pictures on it she had made. 

It was a ritual in my family to get this calendar every Christmas 

from Mom. We all look forward to it and it is a staple of each of our 

homes all year without fail. We all fought for “the cover” photo as 

we call it; and it’s been a tradition and passion for my Mom for some 

time now. By the way, we still jokingly jockey for the cover photo 

each and every year. LOL.

As I scanned the calendar, I came across a picture of a man. 

Instantly, I was weakened and literally fell back in my seat. I was 

stunned. My breath was stolen from me instantly. The man on that 

calendar had the same face in the giant mass of light I had 

experienced at deaths door in my “dream”. It was the same face but I 

still didn’t know who it was. The man I was told — once I could 

muster the question — was my Grandfather Trombley. He had died in 

1956 well before my birth and as a result had never been a part of my 

life. In detail or in pictures, there was no possible way I could 

recognize this man as I had never seen even a picture of him. Nor had 

I had any direct knowledge of his life or character previously. This 

was the day I realized that my “dream” was directly influenced by 

someone already departed.

In the next few months I discovered the near-death experience (NDE) 

and its history in our society. I was never a believer in these 

events as perceptual prejudice dictated otherwise — a mass delusion 

I would often say. Although it was clear to me at this point that my 

“dream” was a near-death experience.

But I hadn’t actually died — or had I? Well, this is where the world 

changed once again for me. Things started “happening”. I couldn’t get 

enough information and I still have an insatiable desire for 

information. Theories of things pop into my mind on topics I 

previously never cared about. Oddly, I couldn’t and still can’t read 

others NDE. I just couldn’t seem to do it and still can’t. But, what 

I was insatiable about was the recorded and well documented and 

researched “aftereffects”. I compared my recorded aftereffects to 

several lists developed by researchers and scientists. As you can 

imagine, the changes I documented were almost exactly the same as 

millions of near-death experiencers around the world. This 

realization happened almost three years from the actual event — 

exactly the time frame recorded in research as the time frame the 

majority of near-death experiencers go through until their 

“awakening” or realization of the event and acceptance of the same.

Without trying I had evolved to a higher consciousness. I had 

changed. Just like the others had at exactly the same time frame as 

the others. I had assumed you had to die to have these experiences 

prior and had heard, like you, about these experiences. Come to find 

out you don’t have to actually die to have a NDE. It’s a “near” death 

experience. I previously wrote them off to some metabolic brain 

malfunction at the time of death I guess — deaths illusion. I was 

not a believer. I am now obviously.

The NDE is different for each of us. They are not all typical. But 

the aftereffects, brain shift and timing are identical. You can’t 

ignore each experience or rationalize it in any way you want. You 

can’t ignore millions of people who changed all at once in mass 

numbers after an experience like this. It’s hard for people to change 

anything about themselves let alone major shifts in personality. 

That’s just unexplained for most. But not so for us.

Since my awakening, I research. I read and learn, and learn and read. 

It’s not all NDE stuff — very little in fact. It’s things like 

quantum physics and science. I have theories, which I don’t ask for 

on topics I should care nothing about, pop into my head a hundred 

times a day. It is a sixth sense that took me some time in seclusion 

to control and understand. Epiphanies of life’s greatest questions 

and some questions I never even considered. Sometimes they flow with 

such ease that I often just burst into laughter. Most importantly, I 

have a love for others I simply can’t ignore.

Then there’s the “calling”. We all experience the same calling to 

better mankind in some way. In fact, it seems the only question I 

can’t answer in life is the one thing said in my NDE. I am “supposed 

to do something important.” This remains the carrot I will forever 

chase; and I am perfectly OK with it. I have found that the path of 

life is easy when you understand that everyone and everything along 

the path is not for a reason, but for a purpose. EVERYTHING! It’s 

free will that allows me to choose what I pay attention to. There is 

a “oneness” to the universe — a single common component to 

everything and every person right down to each atom. It’s energy.

The foundations of the universe and the epiphanies I see every day 

are too numerous and mind numbing to go into. I’ll spare you the 

details. I just “know” things now that I don’t ask or seek. I just 

“know”. It just comes to me. I am not alone with this. It happens to 

most all of us who go through an NDE. But the question still remains, 

“What do I do with it?”

I have a pretty good idea. I will write and share and find peace in 

the fact that change is up to the individual. It’s free will and it’s 

yours to choose. But I will share it. What you do with it is up to 

you. But I do realize the fact that my guide in my NDE was a family 

member with a message — a message for many in my family. The fact it 

was someone I had never known due to death is not the message. The 

fact that I didn’t know that branch of my family well IS the message. 

The division in some of the limbs of my family tree has withered and 

I know why. I also know someone wants it changed. I do not take this 

responsibility on myself. They will take it from here. And yes there 

are others. But one of my callings was to share it with my family and 

others and I consider that now complete.

I have learned that love can do many things. The love and commitment 

from my living family got me here today. I learned that the love from 

my family’s past showed me the light of that love beyond from beyond.

The experience changed me greatly and I researched my theories on 

change. One thing was clear: change doesn’t happen yesterday. It’s 

about forgiveness. They showed me that as well. I will share them as 

I go. There are too many things to talk about regarding lessons from 

beyond. I will share them at my family reunion on July 6th and from 

there I will depart for Arizona. If you attach a new idea to a great 

emotion, just maybe it impacts people and causes similar brain 

shifts. At a minimum, it provokes thought in others.

Nearly a year after the experience, I found myself in hospice once 

again terminal. I found a way; but I suspect finding a way was 

actually giving in. I was releasing the stress and worry and just 

accepting it. I never felt more at peace than when I was in hospice. 

Two months into my hospice journey, I gained sixty pounds and felt great.

It was back to the doctors to find out why. There it was again. All 

traces of the disease killing me were gone — without drugs and 

without medical treatment of any kind. Poof! It was gone. There is no 

medical explanation for it to this day. Nurses at the hospital said I 

was a gift from God. I think we all are obviously.

Surviving the impossible yet again, I wanted to know why. I 

researched and explored the great epiphanies I had several times a 

day. It was a knowing of things I shouldn’t have known. Here are some 

things I found that supported my thoughts:

This blog with be a small sample of things I was shown in the light 

such as how my vibration changed. I will post the research material 

next. Then I will discuss the “aftereffects”.

I hope you enjoyed one of the most humbling experiences of my life. 

It takes a lot to bleed all over these pages in the manner I just 

did. I pray perceptional prejudice doesn’t interfere with the quality 

of what you learn here. I pray you apply it to your own families. 

It’s never too late to make a change in family. One clear thing about 

family you can take from me is this: in the “end” it’s all about family.

Today I am cancer free with the rest of my life ahead of me. I 

understand the flow of life and the universe and think it’s funny 

actually how easy it really is.

I have no fear of death in the same way that all near-death 

experiencers have no fear of death. We know death is the prize actually.

I have also realized irrefutable things to be true: there is always 

life — even after death. The energy goes somewhere. It goes 

everywhere. But the very energy that powered the person in life is 

the same energy that seeps into our very mind daily. We miss them; 

but they are right there all the time. There is always life. Don’t 

waste a minute … NOT ONE SINGLE MINUTE OF LIFE … Reap it …

Robert Tremblay


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