Embraced by the Light

Embraced by the Light


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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The groundbreaking account of life after death that has become a source of comfort, inspiration, and solace to millions

“I felt a surge of energy, and my spirit was suddenly drawn through my chest and pulled upward. My first impression is that I was free. . . .”

On the night of November 19, 1973, following surgery, thirty-one-year-old wife and mother Betty J. Eadie died.

This is her extraordinary story of the events that followed, her astonishing proof of life after physical death. She saw more, perhaps than any other person has seen before and shares her almost photographic recollections of the remarkable details.

Compelling, inspiring, and infinitely reassuring, her vivid account gives us a glimpse of the peace and unconditional love that awaits us all. More important, Betty's journey offers a simple message that can transform our lives today, showing us our purpose and guiding us to live the way we were meant to—joyously, abundantly, and with love.

Praise for Embraced by the Light

“The most detailed and spellbinding near-death experience I have ever heard.”—Kimberly Clark-Sharp, president, Seattle International Association of Near-Death Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553382150
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 8,308
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Betty J. Eadie is the mother of eight children and celebrated forty-eight years of marriage to her husband, Joe, before his passing in 2011. The seventh of ten children, she was born in Valentine, Nebraska, and was raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and in Rapid City, South Dakota. Her mother was Lakota Sioux and her father Scots-Irish. Embraced by the Light was her first book. She is also the author of The Awakening Heart, The Ripple Effect, and Embraced by the Light: Prayers and Devotions.

Read an Excerpt

The First Night

Something was wrong. My husband, Joe, had left my hospital room only a few minutes before, but already a foreboding feeling was enveloping me. I would be alone through the night, alone on the eve of one of my most frightening challenges. Thoughts of death began creeping into my mind. Thoughts like these had not come to me in years. Why were they so pervasive now?

It was the evening of November 18, 1973. I had entered the hospital to undergo a partial hysterectomy. As a thirty-one-year-old mother of seven who was in otherwise excellent health, I had chosen to follow my doctor's advice to have the operation. Both my husband, Joe, and I felt comfortable with the decision. I still felt comfortable with the decision, but something else was bothering me now—something unidentifiable.

In our years of marriage we had rarely spent nights apart, and I tried to reflect on our family and the special closeness we enjoyed. Although we had six children at home (one had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when she was an infant), we were sometimes reluctant to leave them. Even on our "date nights" we would stay home and let the children plan our dates for us. Sometimes they catered a dinner for us, providing candlelight in the living room with a fire crackling in the fireplace. We usually had just the right music too—maybe not the music we would have chosen but perfect nonetheless. I recalled the evening they served us Chinese food on a decorated coffee table and provided large pillows for us to sit on. They turned the lights down low, kissed us good night, and giggled as they hurried up the stairs. Joe and I seemed to have found a little bit of heaven on earth.

I reflected on how lucky I was to have a companion as loving and considerate as Joe. He had taken vacation from work to be with me before I went into the hospital, and he planned to spend another week at home while I recuperated. He and our two oldest daughters, who were fifteen and fourteen, were already making plans for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

The feelings of foreboding settled more heavily upon me. Perhaps it was the darkness of the room, the terrible darkness I had learned to dread as a girl. Or maybe these ominous feelings came from another experience, an experience in a hospital years ago that still filled me with questions—and wonder.

* * *

When I was four years old, my parents had just separated. My father used to say that "marrying an Indian woman back in those days was probably the worse thing a white man could do." He was a fair-haired Scotch-Irishman, and she was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. As the seventh of ten children, I hardly had a chance to know either parent before they separated. My mother went back to live on the reservation, and my father went to live with his parents in town. At that time, six of us children were placed in a Catholic boarding school.

It was while at the boarding school that first winter that I developed a terrible cough and began shivering constantly. Forty girls shared one large room, and I remember leaving my bed one night and getting into my sister Joyce's bed. We lay together and cried—I in my fever and she in fear for me. When one of the Sisters came by on her nightly rounds, she discovered me and took me back to my bed, which was damp and cold with perspiration. Joyce tried to convince the Sister of my illness but was unsuccessful. Finally on the third night I was taken to a hospital.

The doctor diagnosed me with whooping cough and double pneumonia, and he told a nurse to contact my parents. I remember his telling her that he didn't expect me to live through the night. As I lay on the bed, burning with fever, I seemed to slip in and out of sleep. Once, I felt hands on my head and, looking up, I saw a nurse leaning over me. She ran her hands through my hair and said, "She's just a baby." I'll never forget the kindness I felt in those words. I snuggled farther down into the covers and felt warm and content. Her words gave me peace, and I closed my eyes to sleep again.

I awoke to the doctor's words: "It's too late. We've lost her," and I felt the covers pulled up over my head. I was confused. Why was it too late? I turned my head and looked around the room, which didn't seem to be an odd thing, even though the covers were pulled over my face. I saw the doctor and nurse standing by the bed. I looked around the room and noticed that it was filled with brighter light than before. The bed seemed huge to me, and I remember thinking, "I'm like a little brown bug in this big white bed." Then the doctor walked away and I became aware of another presence nearby. Suddenly I wasn't lying on the bed but found myself in someone's arms. I looked up and saw a man with a beautiful white beard looking at me. His beard fascinated me. It seemed to sparkle with a bright light, a light that came from within the beard. I giggled and ran my hands through the beard and twirled it on my fingers. I felt perfectly calm and happy with him. He gently rocked me, cradling me in his arms, and although I didn't know who he was, I never wanted to leave him.

"She's breathing again!" the nurse called out, and the doctor came running back into the room. But it was a different room. I had been moved into a smaller one that was very dark. The man with the white beard was gone. My body was wet with fever, and I was scared. The doctor turned the light on, and they took me back into the first room.

When my parents arrived, they were told that they had almost lost me. I heard the words but still didn't understand them. How could I have been lost if I was there the whole time? But it was good to be with my parents again, with people who really knew me and loved me—like the man with the white beard. I asked them who that man was and where he had gone, but they didn't understand what I was talking about. I told them about the doctor saying that it was too late and how the man with the white light in his beard had come and held me, but they had no answers. They never did. This experience would be mine to cherish as an oasis of love throughout my young life. The memory has never changed, and each time I remember it I get a sense of the calmness and happiness I had in his arms.

* * *

I tried to recall these memories now as darkness seeped into my room. Since those early days away from my parents, darkness had terrified me. Now, alone in the darkness again, a strange feeling was in the room. Death seemed to swirl everywhere around me. My thoughts became filled with it, caught up in it. Death. Death and God. These two seemed eternally linked. What awaited me on the other side? If I were to die tomorrow, what would I find? Eternal death? Eternity with a vengeful God? I wasn't sure. And what was God like? I only hoped that he was not what I had learned as a child in boarding school.

* * *

I can still remember details of that first school building with its gigantic brick walls and dark, cold rooms. A chain-link fence separated the boys' dormitory from the girls', and another fence ran along the perimeter of the school. We were locked in from the world, and away from each other. I still remember that first morning when my brothers were ushered to one building while my sisters and I were led to another. I'll never forget the fear in their eyes as they looked back at us one last time. I thought my heart would break.

My two sisters and I were taken to a small room where the nuns deloused us in chemicals and cut our hair. Then they gave us two dresses each, one color for one week, the other for the following week. These uniforms would help identify runaways. Our oldest sister, Thelma, whom we called Sis, was separated from us and sent to another room for older girls. That first night Joyce and I lined up with the other girls and marched into the room where we stood by our beds until the Sister blew a whistle. Then we got promptly into bed, the light was clicked off, and the door was locked from the outside. Being locked inside this big darkened room horrified me. In the dark I waited in terror until sleep finally, gratefully, overcame me.

On Sunday all of the children attended church, which offered my sisters and me the possibility of seeing our brothers on the other side of the chapel. As I fought through the crush of girls to get a glimpse of my brothers that first Sunday, I felt a knock on my head. I turned around and saw a long pole with a rubber ball on the end. The Sisters used this instrument to correct our behavior in church, and this would be only the first of many times I felt it. Because I found it difficult to understand what the bells meant and when I should kneel, I was tapped by the pole often. Still, though, I was able to see my brothers, and this was worth any punishment from the ball.

We were taught about God there, and I learned many things I had never considered. We were told that we—the Indians—were heathens and sinners, and, of course, I believed this. The nuns were supposed to be special in God's eyes, and we learned that they were there to help us. My sister Thelma was often beaten by them with a little hose and was then forced to thank the Sister who had done it or be beaten again. These were God's chosen servants, as I believed, and I began to fear God immensely because of them. Everything I learned about him intensified this fear. He seemed angry and impatient and very powerful, which meant that he would probably destroy me or send me straight to hell on Judgment Day—or before then if I crossed him. This boarding-school god was a being I hoped never to meet.

* * *

I looked at the large clock on the wall. Only minutes had gone by since Joe had left. Only minutes. The tiny light above the sink in my room produced only enough light to create dark shadows—shadows that hung in my imagination like nightmares from my past. My mind must be racing, I thought. Propelled by my isolation, my mind was racing through the dark corridors of my memories. I had to control it in order to find peace, or the night would be endless. I settled myself and tried to find happier thoughts from my past.

A ray of light began to shine.

* * *

Brainard Indian Training School was run by Wesleyan Methodists. I'll never forget reading on my first day there the large sign that stood in front of the school: "Where there is no vision, the people perish." I thought, of course, that the sign referred to the Indians and that since this was a training school, we were there to be trained to have more vision. This idea was probably reinforced by other signs I saw in town, such as: "No Indians or Dogs Allowed."

Brainard Indian Training School proved to be a more positive experience than my earlier ones had been. We enjoyed a cozy, less formal atmosphere, and the teachers seemed to appreciate being around the students. I learned that God meant different things to different people. Instead of the angry, vengeful God whom I had come to know before, these people taught of a happier God who was pleased when we were happy. In our devotionals people often shouted Amen and hallelujah, and it took a while to get used to their sudden outbursts. Although I recognized that there were different ways to view God and to worship him, I think I remained convinced that he was still the God who would punish me if I ever died and appeared before him.

During summers I attended both Lutheran and Baptist churches and occasionally the Salvation Army. Where I attended church then did not seem as important as the fact that I went. My curiosity about God grew as I matured because I recognized that he was playing a major role in my life. I just wasn't sure what that role was or how it would affect me as I grew older. I approached him in prayer to get answers, but I didn't feel that he heard me. My words just seemed to dissipate in the air. When I was eleven I summoned my courage and asked our school matron if she really believed that there was a God. I felt that if anybody really knew, she did. But instead of answering my question, she slapped me and asked how dare I question his existence. She told me to get to my knees and pray for forgiveness, which I did. But now I knew that I was doomed to hell because of my lack of faith—because I had questioned the existence of God. I was sure now that I could never be forgiven.

Later that summer I moved back in with my father and had an experience that paralyzed me with fear. One night after getting in bed I opened the curtains to the window next to me and lay there gazing at the stars and passing clouds, something I had enjoyed doing since very young. Suddenly my eye caught a ray of white light coming down from a cloud, and I was frozen with fear. It moved from side to side as if it were searching for us, for anybody. I knew that this was Jesus coming in his Second Coming, and I screamed at the top of my lungs. I had been taught that he would come as a thief in the night and would take the righteous with him and burn the wicked. It was hours before my father could calm me, finally convincing me that I had only seen a search light advertising the arrival of a carnival in town. It was the first search light I had ever seen. I closed the curtain and didn't stargaze for some time.

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Embraced by the Light 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I give it to others as a gift when they've lost someone and/or are going thru hard times. After reading the author's experienced, I've felt more connected with God and my guides/guardian angels. I realize I'm here one earth for a purpose and learning. I have slowly developed a stronger faith on God, my guides and myself. This is a good book for beginners as it is an easy read and very informative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is AMAZING!! I read this book in the late 90's when I was in H.S. It had such an impact on my life that I passed it onto my grandma when her brother had passed away. A couple of weeks ago my grandmother unexpectedly passed away...I will now pass it on to my mom to help her through the grieving process!! It is a book that all can relate to and will remain a sanctuary of peace for generations to come! It truly changed my life and I can not thank Betty Eadie enough. I HIGHLY recommend this to everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. Whether you believe Betty Jean or not, and I tend to believe her, her book will make your spirit soar! Everyone who I have recommended this book to, loved it. I fell in love with this book. It will give you hope, renew your faith and make your love for God stronger than ever! DON'T MISS THIS BOOK!!!!
CathyG12 More than 1 year ago
I read this book twice and recommend it highly. I brought me great inner peace and comforted me when I really needed it. Breathe a sigh of relief.
KatrinaO More than 1 year ago
An enlightening description of what heaven looks like, what we were before we came into this world, what lies ahead for us in the afterlife and a beautiful explanation of other things unnatural and inexplainable in our human lives today. This is still by far, one of my most favorite books of all time. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read the biographies and writings of several mediums and found Troy Parkinson's story immensely interesting. His story sheds new light on the work of mediums and illustrates the diversity among them. They do not all come by their ability in the same manner and according to Parkinson, we all have the ability if we learn how to cultivate and use it. This is new information that I find to be very encouraging.
ib4starchef More than 1 year ago
i first picked up this book 2 weeks ago at the Borders going out of business sale. i read it in 3 hours. couldnt put it down, and many times i had to set it down to weep cause i know based upon my own religous upbringing (mormon/lds) that many of the things she reported in her book rang true. that we are to Love one another, that the teachings of Christ are about compassion, devotion, charity, and love for your fellow man, not just the people in your family. we are ALL gods children and each of us has a beautiful soul and deserving of being treated with dignity and compassion. it changed me and my attitudes and brought me back to what i already knew, love one another.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Someone gave me this book after my daughters fiance committed suicide in 2005, after reading this I truly believe he has found his place, he was a lost soul here on our earth, but I now know he is happy and free of any pain he had here. A good friend of mine just lost her son in the same manner and I will be sending it to her to read. I think she will find some small measure of peace in this terrible time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lost my fiancee in October, 05. Since that time, even though my faith teaches me is a Heaven, I still wondered, is there really? Embraced by the Light answered all of my questions, and made me no longer fear the death of my beloved, because I know he is in a wonderful place where love surrounds him. I, myself, no longer fear death as I now know that when my journey and purpose are finished here on earth, many rewards will await me as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so powerful. It makes me feel so much peace about death and life. A truely uplifting book. Anyone that has a fear of death or has lost someone should read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book truly lifts your soul, broadens your mind to love life as well as the after life.
katfusion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was alright I suppose, but I wouldn't call it life changing or phenomenal. I read it because I've always been interested in life after death theories and out of body experiences. Sadly, this book wasn't that well written, but it was still interesting. I'd probably recommend a different author for people looking for information on these subjects but if you're looking for something quick, than this is the book for you because it's a very thin novel.
NemesisClaws on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I got several of my questions answered, and I'm just so inspired by her near death experience! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent book.
BOSbookworm1949 More than 1 year ago
Reading this book has given me complete peace of mind. I look at death now as my next adventure after death. I could not put the book down till I finished reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A neighbor recommended this book to me. My husband just passed away about 3 months ago of pancreatic cancer and I had a moment of panic thinking that if there was not a heaven I would never see him again. After reading this book, I feel a true peace that we will be reunited again. The section on prayer was a great learning experience, too. Wow! I bought a copy for my aunt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Instead of flowers, I give the grieving families this book when their loved one dies. It is an easy read and a comfort to them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Riveting! Its a reread! Encouraging! Its a spiritual staple along with my Bible! It is inspiring! A comfort! Assurance! Gives me hope for a better future beyond this ardous existence here on earth.
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this book gave me sooo much insight on how i look at death and im looking forward too it and not running
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Janessa More than 1 year ago
In Go to Hell (I DID) interview with Eustice Seeney by DD Cross there is a very good look at afterlife experiences and they are not as cutesy. Seeney died on the operating table and the doctors monitoring him confirmed that he had experienced something!!!! I read this book over and over and cannot speak more highly of an experience other than a roller coaster ride than Go to Hell (I DID). Just listening to Eustice speak at the gotohellidid channel on youtube Makes you really wonder if everyone sees that light!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago