To Heaven and Back – Mary C. Neal, MD

To Heaven and Back book cover

Mary C. Neal, a highly skilled Orthopedic surgeon, drowned in a kayak accident. A trip down a waterfall found her pinned underwater, unable to be rescued by her companions before she drowned. This trip led to another profound trip that would change her life forever.

Mary wasn’t raised in what some may consider an overly-religious environment. She knew who God and Jesus were, but her family’s religious activities did not move beyond attending church on Sunday. The divorce of her parents at a time when divorce was still uncommon, 1971, filled Mary with embarrassment and an overpowering desire to drive away any man who was interested in her mother.

Allowing her life to spin out of control, drugs and alcohol became a part of her teenage life until an automobile accident would change her life. A missionary trip to Mexico would put her on the path to her future medical career.

As an adult, Mary had the ideal family life; the white picket fence with all the extras. After the kayaking accident, her brief trip to heaven had her feeling joy and love that she still finds difficult to describe. She was saddened when she was told it was not her time, and she had to return to Earth, and her body.

This was the beginning of a very difficult, very intense healing process for Mary, both physically and emotionally. Like others who have had this experience, Mary did not want to be on Earth, she wanted to be in her heavenly home. It was not that she did not love her family, it was due to the profound feelings she experienced while in heaven.

A premonition from her son that he would not reach his 18th birthday indeed came true, and brings another aspect to this story of how her experience helped her accept and handle such a devastating situation.

This book is one of several detailing life-after-death experiences. It does have a fairly strong religious overtone to it, but it is certainly not bashing you over the head telling you to “repent and be saved!” I do have a strong faith, but have also had others who are not religious read this book and tell me they thoroughly enjoyed it.

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