The Inside Scoop

Katy Koontz

Anita Moorjani lay in a coma in 2006 with end-stage lymphoma as her doctors announced she had only 36 hours to live. Yet she was having a near-death experience (NDE)—interacting with deceased loved ones in another realm as well as watching her brother fly to her bedside (aware of all his thoughts) and hearing a conversation between doctors and her husband in a hallway 40 feet away.

Throughout all this, Moorjani (the subject of this issue’s “Listening in With ...”) felt overwhelmed with unconditional love and understood with astonishing clarity why the events of her life had unfolded as they had—including getting cancer. She realized we are each loved deeply by the Universe, without having to earn that love, and that by letting go of her feelings of unworthiness and learning to truly love herself, she could tap into heaven on earth and teach others to do the same.

When Moorjani awoke, her lemon-size tumors had vanished. The disbelieving radiologist gave her two full-body scans that both came back normal. But Moorjani wasn’t surprised. She knew that fully embracing unconditional love had healed her.

When she hired me as her freelance editor for her second book, What If This Is Heaven? (out this month), my father had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I hadn’t read Dying to Be Me, the story of her NDE, but I listened to the recording on the 12-hour drive to see my dad. You could say I wished her account of the other side was true—but her words resonated so deeply that I knew it was true.

As we worked together, one story in particular touched me. In a conversation with a widower, Moorjani assured the grieving man that he could talk to his wife and she could indeed hear him. Seven months after my father’s transition, I visited a favorite place of his. Once in my hotel room, I unpacked, checked my phone, and then started talking to my dad out loud. I told him I loved him, missed him, and was grateful he wasn’t in pain anymore. However, I hated that while I knew he could hear me, I couldn’t hear him—let alone see or hug him.

“I know the physical isn’t the only reality,” I admitted through tears, “but it’s the only way I’ve ever known you, and I miss that!”

Exhausted, I fell back on the bed, still holding my phone, and briefly fell asleep. When I woke, I checked the phone for the time and gasped. To get to the screen greeting me, I would have had to tap on my music app, scroll down, tap on a Belinda Carlisle album, and then tap on the particular song my phone now displayed: “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” Coincidence? I can hear Moorjani laughing.  

Katy Koontz, Editor