I vividly recall my mouth, eye sockets and every part of me compressed on every side with tons of snow on top of me. I was breathing hot air that quickly disappeared turning to carbon dioxide which gave me the sensation of drowning.
People often ask did I "create a pocket of air with my hands?" And I think this may be possible if you are near the surface of the snow. But what happens deep down is the weight of the snow forces out any remaining air you have in your lungs.
Before quietly passing away, it was clear it was futile to fight this awesome force. I began to reflect on my life and I started to say thank you to everyone I had known, everyone in my life who'd made a difference.
I said goodbye and thank you to Gail, my mum, dad, sister, my friends above ground. I literally said thank you to a huge list of people, and the list now seems so long that I imagine I was awake some time before closing my eyes and thanking God himself for the wonderful life I had lived.
It is a sad situation knowing you can never truly say goodbye to your loved ones and friends. I seemed to have an eternity struggling for air remembering everyone, yet I was told afterwards it couldn't have been much more than a minute. It was the longest minute of my life and I could feel myself getting tired. I don't remember whether I thought I'd be rescued. I just remember getting tired and I went to sleep.
I often think about the moment I died. It is an emotional wall of thoughts that all arrive at the same time. It is completely overwhelming and can appear out of nowhere, leaving tears in my eyes in their wake. I am slowing learning to control them, but they come when they come and I am learning to live with it.
Was I given a second chance because I was grateful for all the experiences life had bestowed on me?
I was always convinced that I was destined to do something great and that I would give something back to society. Sadly I'd failed, and failed dismally. Yet I was grateful for the time that I had had. I think this emotion stopped me getting stressed.
Since then, on my never-ending quest to understand what happened that day, I learned that you can only feel one emotion. When you are incredibly stressed, frightened or sad, you can replace this emotion with gratefulness.
I believe keeping calm must have played a part in my rescue.Read on...