An interview with The Peever on his brush with death.

Reporter: Peever, what can you tell us about your near-death experience?

Peever: Jake, I hope you're ready for this? I know how skeptical you can be. This is a wild one.

Reporter: Go ahead. I promise I won't laugh. Anyway, I know you're still crazy after all these years.

Peever: Ain't that the truth. I must be crazy telling you a story like this. As you are aware, I had a mild heart attack on June 25th. It was determined that I needed open-heart surgery, which occurred on June 28th. Everything was going fine. I was in my tenth week of recovery when I fainted one morning on the parking lot at Swedoughs.

Reporter: All that bull you spread down there finally caught up to you?

Peever: No. I'm afraid it was a brewing staph infection that finally caught up with me. Reporter: So what happened?

Peever:I was back in the hospital. My chest was reopened and the staph cleaned out. They kept my chest open for eight days. I ran a temperature of 104.9°. It was a difficult time. They say I'm lucky to be alive.

Reporter: Were you awake during those 8 days?

Peever: No, they kept me out. It was much more difficult for my family than it was for me. This is many times the case. The patient is often too sick, too drugged, and/or unconscious. You have no idea what is going on.

Reporter: Do you remember anything during those eight days?

Peever: I remember one thing, be it a dream or hallucination, or whatever. I was in a place like an arcade. I was being inserted into a machine, much like you would insert a video into a VCR. Once inserted, I was asked to make a choice as to what type of experience I was to have. There were nine choices. I picked one, although I don't remember which number. The experience was like traveling down a tunnel, maybe a race track or something like a bobsled run. It was high speed. I remember seeing lights, shapes, and colors. I have never dreamed in color. Finally, I arrived back at the machine. I was ejected and asked by the carney operating the machine whether or not I had made a decision. While never directly saying so, I understood him to mean, have I decided to stay on earth or move on? Did I want to live or die?

Reporter: You obviously decided to live?

Peever: Sort of. About this time I heard my wife yelling to me. She was pleading with me to stay. I never looked directly at her because of my position in the machine, but she was standing over my left shoulder. I must have listened to her. The only other thing I remember is leaving. There were others leaving, giving their answers as they departed. Some said yes, some no.

Reporter: Have you talked to your wife about this experience?

Peever: Yes. Immediately when I woke up. It was about the first thing I said. She said she came into the room one day and was immediately afraid I was slipping away. She was standing over my left shoulder and yelled at me not to leave. We will never know about the exact timing, but I am certain that I owe my life to her. She helped call me back. It is testimony to the bond between husband and wife, a bond that sometimes defies logic or scientific explanation.

Reported: This incident deeply affected you?

Peever: Of course. I was at a point of deciding whether to live or die. I came face to face with that decision. It scares the ever-living hell out of you. It demonstrates the deep emotional connections we have with others, the struggle of the body and mind to survive, and the potential transferring of the life force from one place to another. It helped me to understand that there is something that happens at the time of death that is not found in textbooks.

Reporter: Anything else?

Peever: You're left with a bag of mixed emotions. You heeded the call. The question becomes, now what?

And one day the wind called, and I answered.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online January 9, 2001

Back to The Zephyr