Joanna’s NDE – Living with Constant Pain


death-risingJoanna has lived with chronic pain for many years, since her daughter was small. Disabilities so great, that constant agony precluded her ever holding a job. Only the need of raising her only child kept her alive. She planned to end her torturous existence as soon as her daughter was grown and out in the world on her own two feet … until at the age of thirty-seven she had a heart attack.

Her vision was posted on the (Near Death Experiences Research Foundation) website, which contains many accounts of NDEs experienced by people of every country, language and culture.

Joanna’s Story

Joanna didn’t just have a period of ill-health; she had a lifetime of it. Her daily life is a burden that few, if any, could survive on a daily basis. Joanna explains the start and history of her illness:

“I started being ill in the early 1980s. Physically, it started about 1983 with my insides. Around 1985 I was hospitalized after I became unable to stand or walk due to a back injury I received playing softball in 1981. I was told I might never walk again. I was divorced at the time and trying to raise my daughter. So I ended up never being able to hold on to a job, due to one illness or another. I found myself on welfare, unable to work at all. As the years passed, my illnesses got worse. In 1987, I lost forty-five pounds in about a three-month period. No doctor could find out what was wrong with me. I was finally diagnosed in the early 1990s and was told there was no cure or surgery that could help me. Not much is known about what I have, so I must live life as best as I can. Medication has not helped. I tell you that so that when I talk about being depressed, you will understand how and why I reached the depths of wanting to take my own life. I came to know a lot of humiliation due to my illness. Being as young as I was and not being able to live a normal life made me feel like I would never have love in my life; so once my daughter moved out on her own, I would be alone. There is nobody that is going to want someone with even ONE of the problems I have, never mind all of them.”[1]

When one hears about pain and suffering that is imposed on a seemingly innocent person, the topic of the unfairness of God is never far behind. Spiritism supplies the answer: Reincarnation.

While other religions espouse the need for multiple lives and the effect of karma on each life, Spiritism fills in the unexplored areas and supplies us with actual accounts of souls who have had to pay for previous transgressions.

Payment Required

In the book, Spiritual Wisdom – Missives of Hope, we are told of a woman who was a queen more than four hundred years ago. She was:

“Highly educated, she did not spread the benefits of intelligence: she was an unconditional friend of her friends, and an implacable fiend to her adversaries; generous to the wealthy aristocrats,Elisabeth_de_France_Spain7 and indifferent to the victims of penury.

Although she emphasized the advantages of peace, she encouraged the wars of conquest and ambition as much as she could. She was grateful to the obedient vassals, and persecuted to the death those who did not observe her directives. She reached the hereafter loved and hated, and before the truth she became concerned with her own redemption.”[2]

We are told she came back to earth many times to learn humility and fraternity. Finally, she requested one last trial to erase her past wrongs. She incarnated, “in an infirm and disfigured body through accentuated penury for her imminent ascension to the greater spirituality.”[3]

A woman, who through great desire to ascend and pay her debts she incurred in a past life, requested, what many would consider a hellish life, of poverty and disability. She determined, before she entered such a hard life, that the short time of suffering was worth the lesson gained. This is what we should keep in mind when, we too are visited by misfortune. Our lives on this planet are nothing compared to the eternity we shall spend in the spirit world.

Also, this woman, this paean to humility, teaches us to be careful for what we wish for. What person hasn’t dreamed of being a queen or a king? How many of us would do better than the woman suffering through multiple lives of misery to pay for her innermost desire to rule.

Karma does indeed play a part of our life, but what is the true revelation is that we, as spirits, actively take part in planning our redemptive effort in our next life.

Planning Your Body

The queen, mentioned above, was an active participant in laying out her future body and her disabilities. In the book Memoirs of a Suicide, psychographed by Yvonne Pereira, a group of spirits are told about the planning of a reincarnation, by a veteran of reincarnation preparation:

“The planning of the events relating to a reincarnation will be rigorously studied, firmed up, and revised, always in accordance with utmost justice … in fulfillment of the highest expression of the immortal decree sanction by the Divine Master – which explains all the problems that afflict and bound Humanity:

To each according to his deeds.”[4]

Hence, our plans begin with what we must pay for in our previous life and what we wish to learn in our next life. It is as if we are in high school, looking through all of the college catalogs that have finally arrived, attempting to ascertain what our future will be. The basic conditions of planning is explained:

“Normally, candidates for reincarnation choose their own trials, the acres of thorns that will dilacerate the days of their earthly lives, and where they will get the chance to amend the consequences of their guilty past. They themselves will beseech the Guiding Powers for new opportunities that will enable them to demonstrate their repentance and their desire to enter a redemptive path that will offer them the chance to correct the inferior impulses that drove them to their wrongful conduct … These trials can be experienced in a relatively sound body if the mental suffering is extreme, or in a deformed body, or in one stricken by an incurable disease. It all depends on the extent of the offense and the demerits involved.”[5]

The lecture above was given to suicides, which is why the choice of a sound body, with moreBookCover-Reincarnation experiences for learning than trials for payment was not covered. However, the concept remains, we ourselves will direct the trials and in what type of physical covering we shall inhabit for our next life, the one you live in now, while you are reading this article, with the exact eyes you chose.

To learn more about predestination and how we are part of the planning for our next life, read my book The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.

Joanna’s Lesson in Life

Joanna’s life of agony and abandonment wasn’t the result of mere bad genetic luck or an unknown virus gone wild in her body – it was the result of a planned life, a destiny … all thought out in advance by Joanna and her group of spirit advisors. Joanna’s thoughts of ending her trial prematurely reached her spirit mentors. Therefore, they sent her an event whereupon she would learn to reconsider her plan to escape her problems:

“In 1992, I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I was informed in the emergency room that I was having a heart attack. The doctor and nurses were a little surprised at that, because I was only thirty-seven, I was white, and I was female without high blood pressure or high cholesterol. All of a sudden, I started crying because I did not want to die – death was starting to scare me. In the intensive care unit, relatives came and went. I had not realize what bad shape I was in. My ex-husband showed up in the room with my daughter. He told me not to worry about my daughter, because he and his wife would take good care of her because they did love her. That is all I remember of the visit. As my ex-husband was telling me that, I was watching what looked like a white coating starting to cover the door I was facing. It was moving from the bottom upward. It slowly covered the whole area so that everything I could see was of the cleanest, purest white I had ever seen in my entire life. My daughter has told me that at the time when she was there with her father, she had thought I had fallen asleep; but all of a sudden she heard the heart machine beep a long sound, and the line was flat across. They stepped back, as a team of about five people gathered around me, telling each other things to do and to get. They closed the curtain, and then she saw someone go in to me with the machine to paddle my chest. They were asked to wait in the waiting area. So they were escorted out of my room and were told that someone would be out to the waiting area to tell them what was going on as soon as they could.”[6]

As Joanna’s sight started to dissolve the physical world into a white haze, her spirit was leaving her body. But, there was still a connection between her body and her spirit. That connection is called the perispirit.

In some accounts of near death experiences people will speak about detecting a silvery cord that is attached to them. That cord, is the link from a physical body to a spirit. Only when the connection is severed will the spirit be free to roam and the physical body allowed to die. The cord can stretch to an unknown distance.

Into the Spirit Realm

out-of-bodyAs Joanna’s spirit rose from her body, her spirit’s superior senses replaced her physical ones. She had gained the capability to peer into another dimension. She tells us what she saw and felt:

“Meanwhile, I was engulfed by the best feeling I had ever had in my life. I was continuing further and further, deeper and deeper, into that feeling of where I was. Never had I seen or even imagined a place of such purity and peace. Serenity, tranquility, and a calm I had never known before were present there. I could tell there was no illness, no pain or suffering of any kind there. Nothing at all negative was anywhere in the area. Nothing bad or evil. The more I looked, around the better things seemed to become. I do remember feeling, and of saying aloud, “Awe!” because I was awestruck. As I looked ahead, I saw the softest whiteness I had ever seen. It was spread out as far as my eyes could see. It seemed to go on for miles in length and width. I was amazed and kept looking ahead, and I started to see a light bluish-gray color in the bottom of the soft whiteness. As I drifted on, I started to make out that the color I could see was really the silhouettes of many people together. Big, small, young, old; no one was of any race, because they were all silhouettes. There were many of them there. So many that I was not able to count them. There was a sense of unconditional love all around.”[7]

The overwhelming atmosphere of love in which Joanna’s spirit ascended has been documented by countless other NDEs. In addition, the brightness and inability to distinguish forms and shapes in the all-encompassing white light has also been reported. There is a reason for this.

The amount of light in any one level of heaven, or even lower spheres where there is less light angel1depends on the spiritual advancement of the souls residing in each sphere. For example, a spirit who had left his or her body, who for reasons of their attachment to earth still resides in the Lower Zones, or the Umbral, as it is called in Portuguese, is not able to wander into higher spheres, for the light is too bright.

Zabdiel, a spirit who lives on the tenth level of heaven, reveals how souls are assisted to slowly rise out of the depths of purgatory (called the abyss in Spiritist literature) in Book Two of the book The Life Beyond the Veil called The Highlands of Heaven. He tells us that a soul must spiritually advance to be able to discern the environments in which light is dominate:

“Light and darkness are states of the spirit, as you know. When those dwelling in the darkness cry for light, that means that they are become out of touch with their environment. So we send them what help is needed; and that is usually direction by which they find their way – not into regions of light, where they would be in torture, and utterly blinded, but – into a region less dark, and tinctured by just so much of light as they may bear until they outgrow that state and cry in their longing for more.”[8]

Zabdiel told the Rev. G. Vale Owen how spirits rise toward the light. Which means spirits who desire to advance must internalize love, charity, fraternity, and honesty amongst their fellow travelers. Only those who have love in their heart are able to withstand regions where light and love engulfs all.

This is where Joanna travelled. She was taken to a higher region where she was unable to see because of the brightness of the atmosphere. A glow which was unfamiliar to her in her present state,City-heaven but where her spirit friends and mentor reside.

All of us has gone through this process. At one time or another we have walked in the lower regions after death; after living a life with many regrets. Slowly, our spiritual guides assisted us out of lower regions. According to Spiritism, we all started out as immature and ignorant souls, who are required to climb up the ladder of knowledge and love.

Hence, when physical death occurs, a soul travels to the region where there are others similar to him or her. When a mean-spirited person lives amongst like-minded caustic people, the experience gets old fast. It is the Spirituality’s method to let us know if we really enjoy living with people just the same as us. All, at one time or another, discover there is a better way. They begin to understand the need to allow love to enter, and as they change their attitude they also transform their composition.

As spirits rise from the lower levels to each successive stage in heaven, they become lighter, less dense, and brighter. A spirit glows from the reflected love they have absorbed. Zabdiel explains the process of moving from a lower region to a higher sphere:

“When a spirit leaves a dark region for one less dark he experiences an immediate sense of relief and comfort by comparison with his former state. For now his environment is on harmony with umbra-scenehis own inner state of development. But as he continues to develop in aspiration after good, he gradually becomes out of harmony with his surroundings, and then, in ratio to his progress, so his discomfort increases until it becomes not less than agony. Then in his helplessness, and approaching near to despair, have come to that pass when his own endeavors can go no further, he cries for help to those who are able to give it in God’s Name, and they enable him one stage onward nearer to the region where dimness, rather than darkness, reigns. And so he at last comes to the place where light is seen to be light; and his onward way is henceforth not through pain and anguish, but from joy to greater joy, and hence to glory and glory greater still.”[9]

Zabdiel explained the process, but he also desires for us to understand that life with others who are also dark and cruel is not meant as a punishment, but as an object lesson.

Joanna, through her near death experience, was taken from the earthly plane to a level in heaven. A sphere where love reigns and light reflects from the heart of those living with harmony with each other. Therefore, Joanna could detect only a fraction of what the environment actually looked like. She could felt the love and saw shapes, but in her present state, that was all she was capable of.

Next, a woman approached Joanna:

“I wanted to continue. I wanted to know what this place was. I wanted to belong to it. As I got close to them, it seemed like a white fog was being lifted in order for me to see better and more clearly. At about that time, I was being approached by what appeared to be a woman. She came close enough to me to take my hand. I do know I felt love for her as soon as I set eyes on her. I got a feeling that she was loving and accepting me, too. All the other people stayed where they were. They looked as if they were talking with one another. I do know that the woman and I talked for a while, but I do not remember what we said.”[10]

Joanna’s spirit guide, or guardian angel, most probably spoke at length with her, but Joanna wasn’t allow to recall the exact conversation, only the memory of the feeling of the encounter. But this was enough, for after their exchange, Joanna was back in her body:

“Then I was opening my eyes, and my head was tipped towards the floor. I was trying to raise my head to see where I was, but my head was too much at an angle for me to lift it up. So I looked to my right and there stood a stranger I had never seen before. He said, “Hi! You must not be comfortable like that. I will put your head up for you.” Then he said, “You gave us quite a scare, young lady.” The man was the doctor that had gotten my heart started again. I remember not wanting to talk. I felt very sad and empty. I was confused. I closed my eyes because I wanted to go back to the feeling I had just been having. I wanted the whiteness and everything else that was there. But when I closed my eyes, it did not work.”[11]

Joanna couldn’t will herself back into the land of love and light, but she brought back something extremely valuable; the knowledge, the certainty that love awaits those who desire and work for it. Joanna tells us, “Since that day, I do know I have changed my thoughts and feelings about many things.”[12]

She understood she must complete her trials on earth, she acknowledges that she came here for a purpose, to repair past wrongs and to gain valuable experiences which will assist her in her spiritual quest for perfection. She notified the world in her NDE account:

“My daughter is the reason I have not fallen apart. She is my walking piece of heaven. I do think of dying some days. In fact, I do wish I would. But I no longer am able to even think of suicide. I cannot even kill a fly or an ant if they come into my house. I put things that fly into my house, out. The other bugs, I have not had a problem with yet, so they get put out, too. I’m concerned that suicide might not bring me back to where I went in 1992, and I want to do everything in my power to go back there when the time comes. So, no matter how hard or tough life gets here, I will sit here and wait. Because death is not the end of life. Death is an existence that is different from this one, and a whole world better, too. So, I will wait until my time comes to go. I thank all the people of this website for giving me a feeling of belonging and a feeling of connection to people again.”[13]

Joanna’s life changed. Her NDE caused her to alter her attitude and outlook on life. She now cherishes life and all living creatures.

Joanna also is cognizant that suicide is not a way out of her problems. I believe during her conversation with her spirit guide she relearned the pitfalls of leaving her body before her trial was destined to close.

We are told about the calamitous effects of suicide in a book inspired by the spirit Camilo. He communicated from the spirit world to the medium Yvonne A. Pereira. From many conversations she wrote his life after physical death biography. In the book, Memoirs of a Suicide, we are taken from the moment Camilo kills himself to years later to when he is preparing to re-enter our physical world to subject himself to the required trials to pay for his wrongs and to learn the lessons so he may improve his immortal spirit.

The first paragraph of the book takes you to the place reserved for suicides;

“It was the month of January, 1891, when I found myself being held in an area of the Invisible World. Its desolate landscape was comprised of deep valleys that were continuously enveloped in shadowy darkness. Within its winding gorges and sinister caves, spirits that used to be men and women on the earth howled like hordes of infuriated demons, demented by the absolutely unconceivable intensity and strangeness of the sufferings that tormented them.”[14]

From that horrid landscape, Camilo is taken, only when his natural years of living would have ended, up to the “Mary of Nazareth” Hospital. A spirit colony reserved for suicides, men and women, to VirginMary-Jesusrecuperate after their ordeal and to learn about their sacred mission to fully live out the life they had chosen beforehand. Camilo found out that running in cowardice from your assigned tribulations in your physical life, results in severe penalties.

Joanna was spared the horrible experience of Camilo, she was given the gift of counseling during a pivotal period in her life. Her friends in the spirit world wished her to bravely complete her trial on earth, so she may emerge from her physical body and rise to heaven to relive her short memory of living in a background of love.

The spirit world doesn’t only help those who have near death experiences, they help all of us. Our7Tenets-Front-small guardian angels are constantly at our side. We need only to learn how to read the Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00061]signs and to follow our conscience to fully utilize the help being offered. I write about my experiences and how the spirit world has guided my life in my book 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How They Impact Your Daily Life.

Learn about the spirit world via more near death and other experiences in my book The Spirit World Talks to Us. Discover what only a few have seen and understand about the spirit world and your own exploration in life after life.


Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at

Works Cited

Near Death Experiences Research Foundation. (2016, April 28). Joanna’s NDE. Retrieved from’s%20NDE.htm

Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.

Pereira, Y. A. (2012). Memoirs of a Suicide. Brasilia (DF), Brasil: International Spiritist Council (EDICEI).

Xavier, F. C., & Pires, J. H. (2015). Spiritual Wisdom: Missives of Hope. New York: Spiritist Alliance for Books (SAB).


[1], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[2] Xavier, Francisco C., Pires, J. Herculano, Spiritual Wisdom: Missives of Hope, SAB, p. 156

[3] Xavier, Francisco C., Pires, J. Herculano, Spiritual Wisdom: Missives of Hope, SAB, p. 156

[4] Pereira, Y. A., Memoirs of a Suicide, EDICEI, p. 289

[5] Pereira, Y. A., Memoirs of a Suicide, EDICEI, pp. 289-290

[6], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[7], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[8] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, p. 189

[9] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, pp. 189-190

[10], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[11], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[12], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[13], “Joanna’s NDE”, n.d.,’s%20NDE.htm, (accessed April 28, 2016)

[14] Pereira, Y. A., Memoirs of a Suicide, Brasilia (DF), Brazil, International Spiritist Council, p. 19

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