What is your opinion of accidents versus destiny?
Question : "Whether you have the time to reply to this I have no idea, but it's worth a go. I live in Dunedin, New Zealand. This year my daughter Krysha Helen Hansen was killed whilst water skiing on the Waikato River near Auckland. She hit a log and died within seconds. My daughter was a born again Christian; devout to an extreme in her religion. I am not of that faith, having been to India four times and am a disciple of a 'perfect living master.'
" I am concerned about my daughter's spiritual state - Krysha enjoyed an especially happy marriage, three children. There was absolutely nothing in her life that would make her want to leave it. A very happy person, vibrant and bubbly. I have no belief in Jesus but do understand, in a sense, that we go to where our mind is focused. She would be shocked at leaving her husband and young children, and I believe she would be in a confused, shocked, and surprised state; looking hopelessly for her family, not finding them, and wondering what on earth is going on.
" If you can find the time, Dr. Atwater, to send your opinion on such a meaningless death, would be more than appreciated. For myself, I blame the driver of the boat and see the whole event as an avoidable accident and not pre-destined in any way. What is your opinion of accidents versus destiny? I send you love." ....Isha
Dr. Atwater's reply : "Goodness, you ask a question that has been asked for thousands of years by millions of people, who receive just as many answers from just as many others. Since you narrowed the field to "my opinion," I'll respond.
" Near-death research is replete with stories and observations that address this head-on: Why would a nine-day baby have a hellish experience? Why would a female toddler suffer a terrible rape at the hands of her father, die, then revive, only to endure having to live with her murderer until she reached adulthood? Why would two brothers drown while swimming in a river - yet only one revive? Why would an accident wipe out an entire family, except for one small child?
" We all ask why. Life does not seem fair to us, or even rational. God seems not to hear our pleas yet another's prayers are answered and miracles occur. Why for them and not us? Does God even exist? Are our lives little more than happenstance - fated - or do we have a destiny, a purpose?
" I have said many times that with child experiencers of near-death states, reasons for the child's death and later revival may not always be what we might expect. A child's experience, although important for the child once mature, seems rather to happen, at least initially, more for benefit of the child's parents, caregivers, relatives, or friends than for the child. I have observed this with adult experiencers, as well. I saw the same thing during all those years I was researching fatal accidents - why some lived and others died. Let me share a few paragraphs from the book that will come out April 2004 entitled We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death about this very thing:
" During the days when my former husband John and I leased 160 acres near Filer, Idaho, there were many farm tragedies. We were privy to all of them. This situation intensified once he became a crop-duster pilot. He specialized in flying night jobs barely inches above the soil of tree-lined farm fields. A number of gruesome and horrible accidents snuffed out innocent lives. We both stared death in the face at moments of personal risk because of auto accidents and serious illness, so did our loved ones and each of our three children. This kind of thing happened so often that for a time I used to set a place for 'death' at the kitchen table, replete with dishes and chair, so our children wouldn't be frightened of our family's familiar consort.
" Among what caught my attention then was the incredible number of people who, far from having a brief hunch or scary feeling, actually exhibited pre-knowledge of their coming death. Conversations my husband and I had with survivors and next of kin revealed intriguing stories about how the deceased must have known what was coming because of the way he or she behaved before the tragedy occurred, shifting routines about three to six months before his or her death.
" After a while, I noticed that these changes centered around a need to wrap up business and personal affairs as if there existed some unspoken reason for expediency. Insurance policies took on importance, as did the need to visit loved ones and to be more intimate or philosophical than usual. One last 'fling' was often enjoyed before the individual relaxed and was at peace. Just before the death event, the victim seemed to 'glow' as if something important were about to happen; something the individual had prepared for."
" You can find an article that goes more in-depth about this and gives the full pattern of how people tend to behave before they die on my website.
" A mistake most people make in trying to make sense of life and death issues, is - we view the occurrence from the point of view of our personality, which is wrapped up in the here and now, things eternal to us. We miss the soul's point of view, which is internal to us, the larger picture.
" Here is another quote, from the chapter called "The Thought Which Stirred," in my book Future Memory . This particular quote comes from that section where I attempt to convey in words what was revealed to me during my third near-death experience:
" 'Fate' is a term used to describe those specific and planned events encountered during specific and planned cycles of the soul. These seem fixed in the cycles because of choices made previously by the soul, and they usually remain as planned until met (fulfilled) or completed to whatever extent. But that which seems fixed still carries within it an open range of responsive choices. Variations of response can alter events or change entire scenarios. This is because choice is inviolate. As the soul has free will, so, too, does any embodiment (personality). And with that freedom of choice, the embodiment can choose to cooperate with or deny its soul, oppose or deviate from any plan its soul has made. Life experiences tend to run smoother or at least be more effective and satisfying if the life-form cooperates with its soul and accepts the plan of the cycle. The choice factor, however, is layered with possibilities and is not restricted to any particular result or concept of sequential timing."
" Really, anyone who wishes to tackle the weightier issues of life should read Future Memory. Be advised, though, that it is a labyrinth, not a regular book, per se. You must read it as you would walk through a site labyrinth - follow the path, no skipping around (or the book will not make sense to you).
" You might examine your daughter's life for the six months before she died to see if she left any clues that imply she might have "known" what was about to happen to her. You may be surprised with what you find. Life has taught me that we all know when we are going to die; some know subconsciously, others with full awareness ... but somehow, someway, we know.
" Can there be real accidents? Can soul plans change suddenly? Can there be interference or intervention? Yes, I believe so. Yet even that tends to serve a purpose sooner or later.
" I cannot say that your daughter's untimely death was fated or destined. But I can say that there is more to life and death than what any religion or "perfect master" teaches us. Do not judge the impact of your daughter's death solely on the basis of how it appeared or what you or anyone else might think. Embrace possibility, and allow love to heal your grief and kiss your soul.
Blessings to all, P.M.H.Atwater, L.H.D., Ph.D. (Hon.)