Kimberly Clark Sharp, MSW, LICSW, is the Author of “After the Light: The Spiritual Path to Purpose.” Kimberly has been the founder of the Seattle International Association of Near-Death Studies, the world’s oldest support group for near-death experiencers, since 1982. Named one of the forty most influential people under the age of 40 in the Pacific Northwest in 1987.
“Death is nothing to fear-and life without fear can be lived to the fullest.”
This is Kimberly Clark Sharp’s message from her extraordinary experience during the time after her heart suddenly stopped beating and she lay on the sidewalk, not breathing and without a pulse. Swept into a peaceful, loving place of brilliant golden light and warm comfort, she saw the meaning of life and death for the first time.
After that, Kimberly, with hamster Toto at her side, left Kansas for Seattle-known as “the Emerald City”-to fulfill a destiny devoted to the service of others as foreseen at the end of her near-death experience. Guided by a new sensitivity to the presence of angels, demons, and other invisibilities, Kimberly attained a Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Washington. She began a career in medical social work that put her in direct contact with dying people-and people who almost died and came back.
The inspirational stories of these near-death experiences, as well as Kimberly’s own life challenges in love, family life, and the diagnosis of breast cancer, form the core of this surprisingly funny page-turner of a book.
Please enjoy my conversation with Kimberly Clark Sharp.
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 148
Kimberly Clark Sharp 0:00
But then I heard what I didn't want to hear, which was that I had to go back and I begged not to. I was with love. I mean, why not like I had a hard life but I didn't want to leave
Alex Ferrari 0:20
I've been able to partner with Mindvalley to present you guys FREE Masterclass is between 60 and 90 minutes, covering Mind Body Soul Relationships, and Conscious Entrepreneurship, taught by spiritual masters, yogi's spiritual thought leaders and best selling authors. Just head over to nextlevelsoul.com/free. I'd like to welcome to the show, Kimberly Clark Sharp how you doing Kimberly?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 0:59
Hi, Alex, how are you?
Alex Ferrari 1:00
I'm doing very good. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm excited to talk to you about your experiences, and talk about your book after the light. And you've lived a very boring life. Not much has happened and how much to share how much to share it all
Kimberly Clark Sharp 1:16
You you know my list of chores today what I'm washing in the laundry.
Alex Ferrari 1:22
So we're here to talk about your your very, very impactful spiritual experience, which is your near death experience. But the first question I always love asking is what was your life like prior to having this event? Were you you know, meditating in the Himalayas? What were you doing spiritually, if anything prior
Kimberly Clark Sharp 1:48
That would be a big nothing. Prior to that, I was a college student in Manhattan, Kansas at Kansas State University. And it was like living in an isolated part of the United States because it was, but even for the news. It was just a very conservative state to grow up in. And I was raised Lutheran but mainly by parents that drop my siblings and I off at the Sunday school door as they went out for coffee. You know, the Midwestern Lutheran and Triana. First there will be coffee.
Alex Ferrari 2:36
Obviously, Jesus had coffee. Jesus had coffee,
Kimberly Clark Sharp 2:39
Obviously. So, no, I had no exposure to anything like this. But also no one else did either. The time was 1970. And in Kansas, so news of a near death experience had not reached anyone's ears. It hadn't been coined, or documented, that I'm aware of.
Alex Ferrari 3:03
Yeah and I think Raymond Moody, I think it was a couple years later, kind of coined the term near death experience. And they started to slowly coming or whenever that book came out around that time, I think
Kimberly Clark Sharp 3:14
You're right. It was around 76 or
Alex Ferrari 3:18
Something like that. Yeah.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 3:21
Yeah, but it hadn't happened yet.
Alex Ferrari 3:22
Right. Exactly. So it was Yeah, I mean, in the 70s, near death experience wasn't even in the zeitgeist by any stretch of the imagination. Many of the guests that I've had on before we've had near death experiences say that they just didn't even know what it was because no one was talking about anything like this. They went years decades sometimes, before they ran across the term near death experience. Oh, maybe that's what I had, and and found it and we'll talk about the work you're doing in Seattle, with your organization and helping others with near death experiences later in the conversation. But so you weren't meditating in the Himalayas? You were not? You were not following Buddhist steps. So what what what happened during your, your near death experience? Explain it to us.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 4:07
I need to preface it with my dad's account of what happened because I was busy being dead. So I have no memory of what happened that day. I had a vague actually, that's not true. I have a vague memory of my dad. Responding to my request for a chair of the Department of Motor Vehicles in Shawnee Mission Kansas, responding with there aren't any chairs or something like that. i That's a memory. I have nothing else. So I'll start with my dad. Because that's the fiscal end of it. I was walking out of the excuse me. I was walking out of the DMV. And as I stepped out, I collapsed. And my dad tried to catch me but deadweight is here. heavier than a lightweight. So he broke my fault but couldn't stop me from hitting the ground. There happened to be a uniformed nurse passing by, she ran over, determined that I didn't have a pulse I didn't seem to be breathing. Now 1970 This predates barely the whole 911 emergency response system. So at that time, two phone calls were made by somebody one to St. Luke's Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, which was actually the closest er to my body, big er, and, and then the Shawnee Mission department of volunteer firefighters, and they arrived first. Again, according to my dad, they didn't think I was breathing either they had new portable ventilator, my dad said they had to remove the packaging, they put it on my face, turned it on. And this particular portable ventilator had two features. One was to ventilate, which is what you want, but another to vacuum, because sometimes, people get objects caught in their throat and they can't breathe, which sets up the drama of almost dying. That's why we say to our kids, you know, don't run with candy in your mouth. Or, in fact, if this happens, while eating, it's actually called a cafe coronary. Well, anyway, I didn't have any objects in my throat know, when they turned on the machine. It was on vacuum mode. So whatever oxygen was left in my body was I had the life sucked out of me, Alex, literally, literally, yeah, it's a more than a metaphor for me. So they apparently immediately knew what was wrong flicked the switch air in or by body, but I guess my lungs had come in partial contact with themselves, or lungs or STI suckers. And they do suck to their own tissues. So the blast of air that came into my body could not be accommodated, apparently by my lungs. So the air found its way ultimately to my skin, which is called epidural emphysema, and really hard to recover. And I was inflated, like, a really bad bloom, a flush blow, I was just full of air. They turned to my dad and said, I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do. At that point, a man came out of what I guess now it's a crowd and move everyone out of the way plucked the firefighters off B and started what we now call citizens CPR. He did mouth to mouth and chest compressions. And I'm going to interrupt myself right now to say, one does not have to do mouth to mouth anymore. If you see someone collapse who was breathing, you just you know, put your hand a little below where a woman that the rest would be and press to the tune of staying alive. And that's all that's which is so ironic. Yet Okay, so and then he gave up but apparently he was a swearing man. So had some choice things to say. But then my dad's memory as picks up again when ambulance arrived. Chair in the audience, which I'm calling an audience because again, I have no memory of that, but it was a crowd. And I was breathing on my own but unconscious. My body was sewn into the neck, throat and it was placed carefully, I'm sure in the back of the ambulance. My dad jumped in up we went to the hospital. Something went haywire in the emergency room but I hate to give away the ending of a good book but she lived Okay, all that I still managed to live. By the way I pulled my medical records when I wrote after the light because I didn't want a journalist reading what I hadn't. It was pretty interesting. It can't chart like that anymore, but it was my meeting notes were cause of collapse. Question mark. Simple faint question mark cardiac question mark. The problem was the snafu with a ventilator and I read that and thought, I miss snafu. Enough my life was reduced to a snafu. So that's what killed me death by snafu.
Alex Ferrari 9:41
Kimberly Clark Sharp 9:43
About an hour and a half past from the time we stepped out of the DMV to the ER and I want to clarify that I had air during that time because that's not sustainable. I'm guessing that the air that was inflating He was just seeping back and keeping my brain going. Anyway, that's the physical side of things. Now what I remember, is a woman's voice to my left saying, I'm not getting a pulse, I'm not getting a pulse. And I turned to her and said, Not noting that I couldn't see her. But I said something to the effect of, of course, you're getting a pulse. Otherwise, I wouldn't be talking. I thought I was being patient. She was ignoring me. So did I get into what like a near death net or something. But at some point, I let go. And that's key in a way that I don't understand. But it was key. I found myself without traveling anywhere. I'm in an environment surrounded by warm fog, it was wonderful. I knew I wasn't alone, I just couldn't see through the fog to figure out who else was there. I also felt very comfortable, and very calm, and anticipatory again, in a calm way. Like, my metaphor, and everything's a metaphor, by the way, Alex, but my metaphor is, it's like out of the gate at the airport, boarding pass and hand just waiting for my role to be called it was that kind of a feeling. And then my role was called big time, because what I call God showed up. And when I say God, I don't mean that in any religious sense. at all, I It's just three little letters in a big word. But I say my Creator, I don't know. But we have a consensual agreement that God means the Supreme Being the Creator, whatever source. So I'm gonna say God, but without a gender or a face or anything, it was in the form of a light that well, I've never stared at a million suns. I've never stared at one sun. But it was like a million suns. It was so indescribably bright. And it exploded underneath me what I perceived as me, I had an eyeball something I have not settled on yet. How could I see that eyeballs? I bet it happens. It blew away all the foggy material, and it was made of nothing but love. Just again, in in a measurable way, and, and in an ethical way. And that's one of the problems with the near death experience, the ineffability, which means there are no words, and there really aren't. But nonetheless, I'm going to use words. This light went out in all directions, I could turn and see and somehow understood that I was looking at linear time, and it was eternal. I was beholding eternity it figure that. And then at the same time, this light was doubling endlessly back on itself. And I somehow understood that to be dimensions. Now for a girl from Kansas. This is pretty highfalutin stuff. What was I thinking? But yeah, it all was. So like I said, anticipated, and calm. And I was so loved and it was personal. I got to ask questions. I didn't use words like I am now. But yeah, communication was perfect. And it was in the form of math and music. And when skeptics say, oh, near death, experiencers just get what they're expecting. It's like, Ah, I can't add, subtract, multiply or divide to this day. And I can't listen to my voice. I can't sing. I mean, in church, I was asked to lip sync made it's that that so here I am, yet communicating perfectly with God. I asked more than I can really remember. But I do remember asking you why are we born something to that effect? And the response was, you know, you wanted it. You wanted to be born. So you're born. Again, it sounds so simplistic, but I understood it at the time, as I recall, asked about pain and suffering. There's a good question. Again, where was I getting all these questions from it? It wouldn't be me normally to ask stuff like this. But it was you know, again, basically, it's our way back to God's you know, prayer or whatever. I don't know. But then I heard I didn't want to hear which was that I had to go back and I begged not to I was with love. I mean, why not? Like I had a hard life but I didn't want to leave but I was sent back and then Alex of all All things at the DMV, I had actually had to renew a driver's license and get an an automobile license because I wanted to buy a car. And I flunked, though, the parallel parking part of that I couldn't get closer to the curb than three feet, six feet, maybe a distance, some setback. And I miss my body by the same amount of space that I recalled. Missing the curb, just what I felt moments before. And after such a profound spiritual experience, all I could think of to say was, I can't even park myself. I mean, it was like, so self critical, right from the get go, Okay, I'm back. And I'm gonna criticize myself. I wasn't scared. But I can see through something, I'm guessing legs in man I didn't recognize bend over me. And the moment his lips touched mine, I went back through him and into my body. And as I was going through him, I knew everything about the guy, at least emotionally, that he was actually scared, feeling somewhat of an idiot, and loved me. And it was a form of love that we call compassion, which is a very strong form of love anyway. So I figured this guy was like a magnet, kind of like my Lighthouse of love, so to speak. If I just been with the greatest love of all, I would gravitate towards it anywhere and do to this day. So I was back and hating it. I was fully conscious, but in my body, again, I could see but it was dark and cold and damp and achy. My admitting body temperature in the ER was 86 degrees, which is wonderful for a summer day, or a swimming pool temperature, but not so great for bodies. It was cold. So I begged God to take me back. And I had said in the presence of this light from the get go, I said the words homey home, which I learned from my parents laters what I used to say when I was learning language, I don't remember saying that. But I did. Apparently go home home home home. And well that's what I said, in the presence of this love and light. So what I said when begging and whining to go back was I wanted to go back to home the home. That was that was where I really wanted to be. And again now it's I didn't have a hard life. I mean, I was loved I was well, you know getting an education. I felt safe and secure. But I can whine and I can even wear down God because I was that kind of a whiner. So please take me back. So then, and I'm going to paraphrase God right now. But it was basically a ride a ride, you insist. And there's a window open to my right, or portal or something. And there was my heaven. And again to skeptics. What I saw looked like a Kentucky calendar. Photo, and I've never been to Kentucky. But apparently Kentucky is my heaven, or at least at that time, because it was just endless, long waving grass and off in the distance a white sort of fence and small growing shrubs or trees, I don't know. But the grass wasn't green, it was green. And the sky was blue. It was blue. Everything was just electrifyingly alive, not only in hues and colors, but I could receive consciousness in that grass. And I loved it. And I wanted to go and I was told that if I went through that, that was my border. And I wouldn't be coming back. So I couldn't get out of there fast enough, like okay, but then off to my side, there was a flash of light which caught my attention. And I was told if I chose to live I would be living in this place and no map of course. But it was all I remembered was where mountains meltwater meant nothing to me. It wasn't Kansas. Then I ignored it. And then another flash of light is about to go through to my heaven. And it was like a gallery of people. And I was told that if I chose to live, they would be significant in my life.
But they were strangers wouldn't I care. So off I go to Kentucky, and then there was another light and I saw myself being of service. And I said, Cool. Well, who knew God was a hippie. When I said cool, I meant it as an adjective. God took it as a verb And as an affirmative, an agreement that I would go back, and I was back, I had to recover, because my body took a hit. But again, I lived. And I went off to pursue that, where mountains meant water. And after many wonderful adventures in The Ultimate Guide, road trip, I swear, I wound up in Seattle, Washington, where indeed mountains meltwater everything fit. And by the way, since landing here, all those many years ago was 1970. Still, I've never apply for a job, I've been asked to apply for everything I've ever done in this life to earn money. And it's not that there isn't work within those doors. But when I was sent back to serve, which is what I call it, I wasn't sent without any tools, I have had guidance, often visible to me, especially in the past, all kinds of visibility's life changed completely. But I stepped into trust. And I've never looked back. I've had a wonderful life.
Alex Ferrari 21:11
That's amazing, amazing story. When you say that, you see, you're seeing beings you're seeing what do you see?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 21:21
Here goes an hour of this interview.
Alex Ferrari 21:24
Keep it down to, you know, 15 minutes if you can,
Kimberly Clark Sharp 21:27
Okay! I call them in visibility's. Because I don't want to have any invisibility in but I think most people would say, deceased loved ones or deceased people in general, what we call angels, what we call demons, but I call that negative energy. Because it's beyond the d m, O N word. I mean, again, these are little words with big meanings, guides, or orbs. Oh my gosh, I've got this org collection you wouldn't believe so, but those are all distractions. I am still a cancerous person at heart. And I believe firmly in knowing one zip code you know, eating healthily paying taxes. I married a great guy, Seattle, firefighter, paramedic, you know, have family have neighbors on the block watch captain. So I've I've managed, for the most part, to balance an electrifying spiritual life where I see things and just being a good neighbor and a good social worker. I'm a social worker by trade still have a license in the state of Washington to practice social work and got my MSW at the University of Washington stuck in clinical academics became a clinical associate professor, you have to be grounded to do that, because that means you know, you have to write for grant money, you got to do research, all that stuff that academia presents itself and I I couldn't have done that. If I were unbalanced in this spiritual realm, it just wouldn't happen. So
Alex Ferrari 23:18
So in I've heard so many near death experiences on the show you didn't have any life review you didn't have any council of elders you didn't have any spirit guides nothing like that other than the light
Kimberly Clark Sharp 23:33
I went right to I skipped over everything went right to the source of everything was this light and there's nothing in my life including you know, a good marriage being a mom that's come close though to the outright ecstasy. I guess I felt in that light. So no, I didn't have a life review. And I'm wondering about that I you know, in the interim, I become an expert myself and kids don't seem to have live reviews. I've talked to one adult who has a seven year old almost drowned who had a life review that mainly involve gum and grandma and grandpa. But for the most part we have to have a life of you've got to put some
Alex Ferrari 24:18
Miles and got some mighty got put some miles in.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 24:20
Yeah, exactly. So
Alex Ferrari 24:24
How old were you when this happened again?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 24:26
I was I was 22 and three days. Sorry, I wanted to manage racially knock off a decade I swear I again, I was in a bubble.
Alex Ferrari 24:37
Right Of course. Yeah. You weren't a worldly soul at that point. I no, nope. Just answers straight answer. No,
Kimberly Clark Sharp 24:46
Absolutely say no.
Alex Ferrari 24:48
So after the experience when you come back, obviously you've changed there isn't one near death experience. I've heard of that the person doesn't come back. You Well complete changed. They are a completely different human being when they come back. And that's sometimes very difficult for the people around them. Family, friends, colleagues, how did the people around you and deal with it? And how did you deal with it? Psychologically, especially at such a young age to you weren't battle hardened by any stretch? Like you said, you were in a bubble. So you were kind of thrown into the deep end of the pool here.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 25:27
I was. And I, in terms of how I'd like to say something about changing in general, before I talk about myself, because I've learned over the decades that people, yes, everyone changes, but it's like a continuum. So back in the days, the early days of research into what we call near death experiences, it was thought that everyone became saints. So went from center to St. Big Quantum Leap, and this, these are the people that are going to save the world, because now they're all saints. Hallelujah. What we do just move on a little bit, we're a little bit better. So drama can happen. For the most part. It's just continuing to live one's life, and adapt. But that adaption is nuts. Oh my gosh. So my metaphor for that was that it was like my life had been a completed jigsaw puzzle. Everything looked great. There was my future in Kansas. I hate to change so much. I knew a little boy from the seventh grade, Bob Clark, I was gonna marry Bob Clark. And that way, I wouldn't even have to change the monograms on the dowels, I'd still be Kim Clark. So for me change was the big measurement that I got the heck out of dodge almost literally. And it was dramatic. It was I'm going to call it one of those dramatic changes rather than the inching along because I did buy a car. And how my family reacted was with tears, a lot of crying, because I was going to leave and the idea of leaving home. I mean, I swear my mother lay down on the drive when she was a speed bump I rolled over to get out.
Alex Ferrari 27:18
But you told her the reason why you were leaving, is because I have no words. Now, nobody knew they just knew you were different.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 27:25
Yeah, very. But I was given. Still some words eventually. So my grandfather, my maternal grandfather, when I was out of the hospital, pulled me on his wonderful lab and comforted me. And all I could do was cry. But I was trying to get out the words and you knew something had happened. So it began with crying, which in my experience is similar to other people I've interviewed right after an ND e as we call it. And and then I had an aunt Sophia, on my way to Seattle who announced that Oh, honey, you've had yourself a spiritual experience. And then I remember crossing a bridge one day, it just occurred to me. Oh, wait, a bridge. And all the metaphors that are bridge comes and I had been, I had a metaphysical experience. So as I as I got older and got more exposed to things, I did find words, but for my family, it was never a topic that was comfortable for me to bring up. For my dad, it was emotional trauma. I was his oldest by my number of years. And if I asked him questions, I learned to not do that while driving on a highway. Because he just began to cry so hard. It was unrecoverable, but he went through to see me in that state. In time, my family became born again Christians, which meant that I was in trouble spiritually. So they pray for me because they love me. And I pray for them, because I love them. But we're on different pages about what's going to happen when we die. So that reaction is something we just sort of step around. And in terms of colleagues and friends, I've got the biggest mouth in town, I just tell everybody, so But what changed me actually was a shoe want allege I found at work one day, and that's when that shoe was observed by someone who was being resuscitated in a different part of the hospital. And finding that shoe changed. I just changed everything. From one I knew that that jigsaw puzzle where everything was in place. When I had a near death experience. All the pieces went up into the air and kind of stayed there until I found the shoe. So remote to where that woman's body was. And I realized there were two of us, I suddenly those puzzle pieces fell into place. enough that I could work the pieces and get on with my true life's work, which is supporting and validating people who've had a near death experience began without one patient.
Alex Ferrari 30:33
So okay, so can you talk to me a little bit about the work you're doing at the Seattle International associations of near death studies? You were one of the first organizations to be studying your death, right?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 30:45
Well, the International Association for near death studies, acronym, ions, ia nbs.org, is for me, the center of the universe on the subject. And yes, that's where the research is. I came along, oh, a year, year and a half after the organization was founded by five researchers, for them, physicians, now three of them physicians. But no one was dealing with the near death experiencers themselves. I mean, these were people who were in great need, and by the way, were abused sometimes, psychiatrically for religiously. Back in those days, there's a lot of trauma. Again, I'm a social worker. So social workers love social work, you see a need, and you fill it. And there's the needs everywhere. So social worker, no one's gonna get rich, but you're never gonna not have a job. So it became my job to, like I said, to validate how Seattle ions got started was just four people on a couch. We were all near death experiences. And we shared and decided we call ourselves Seattle ions. And that was 40 years ago, June 2022. So for 40 years, I've been in clinical support of people who've had a near death experience. And now, people who've had similar experiences, but not close to death. And of course, that also involves grief. So that's the population of the people that come to a Seattleites meeting. And it's what I call linchpin and leap out. It's, it's all there.
Alex Ferrari 32:37
All the help, it's there. It's really interesting, because, you know, people hear about these near death experiences, but a lot of people don't talk about the psychological. The psychological part of it, of just dealing with this event in their lives, some comeback completely cool. They know where they're going. It all makes sense to them. But a lot of people don't. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I haven't I haven't heard too many of those stories, but generally some, some handle it better than others that we could say. But there is a psychological issue. And then also like the question I asked you before about people around you, how do you deal with loss of your family, loss of good friends, loss of spouse or, you know, brothers, sister, siblings, all that kind of stuff. It's a pretty deep well, of stuff that comes up that comes up after one of these. Not to mention he had died. A pretty traumatic that's, that's things to be dramatic up there. It's public speaking. And then death.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 33:45
Yeah, and then yes, exactly. Exactly. And I was gonna say, Here I am live broadcast. I was gonna say, tell me, Alex. Oh, I was thinking about changes. Yeah. Not to pick on lawyers. And my dad was a lawyer, I love lawyers. But two of my cases in Seattle. This is again was at Harborview Medical Center where I cut my teeth. Two of my patients who had a near death experience were lawyers. They didn't know each other was different, many different years apart, but I remember them because they changed each did change to the point where they wanted to still be a lawyer, but do pro bono, one fellow from his bed, he was still on the coronary care unit and talking to me about how he's gonna sell his house and his practice and he was gonna move to you know, the roughest part of downtown Seattle and serve the poor and the bombs and all that and his family had a different opinion. You know, his wife If was used to the country club life, kids were used to private schools, he was going to like, dump all that without thinking about the effect on them, so that he could go serve the poor. So I did talk him into waiting a year. And that's what I tell everyone, after any trauma don't make any changes for one year, because things have to settle down emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, financially, everything elite. So the end of his story is that he managed to do it both he kept the house and the private school and the country club existence for his wife and did tons of pro bono work for others, and is still in practice. He's way past retirement age. So he doesn't have to support his family, financially, kids are all grown, and he's committed to serving the poor. And then the other lawyer, very similar experience, he was going to dump it all and so but then, at the other end of the spectrum, I could sit and fill your head with all the people I have talked to you. It's amazing. But anyway, for a while, I had my boys at a penitentiary outside of Seattle, where I used to go once a month and meet with felons so dangerous, they were never going to get out of prison ever. They were lifers. And to be with me, required lots of hurdles, including No touching within three feet. But these were guys who and they were all men in this particular penitentiary, who had had a spiritual experience. But the guy named John that I met, I'll never forget, because John came into the room. And again, that three foot distance, and there's two armed guards in the room at all times with me anyway. And he but he reached out as his arm and hand like pantomime, and says, glad to meet you. My name is John bank robber, in general was born 150 years too late, he really wasn't he should have been robbing stagecoaches. And he was that kind of a vibe. But he had a near death experience in the course of robbing a bank at gunpoint, and he shot and killed somebody. And even though he didn't really need to, he had the gun and he was robbing the bank and he got caught. And then he got shot in the process. He had a near death experience. And in his near death experience, his mother came to him and held him like he was a little boy, this had been a guy who had lost his mom never knew his dad lost his mom at an early age and and grown up in the system. And really was a hardened criminal. Because of that. The love that he cherished was from his mom, who indeed loved him, and to be held by her changed him completely. He'll never get out of prison. I've goosebumps talking about him. He'll never get out of prison. But he is an utterly changed. He's one of those dramatically changed people where he he's studies the Bible, he studies spiritual writings, he's just not the same guy that decided one morning to get a gun and go rob a bank and shoot somebody.
Alex Ferrari 38:22
Wow. Now, after your near death experience, did you were you intrigued to start to study more spirituality more going down different philosophies or, you know, not religions, but just more spiritual concepts, ideas, to try to make sense of all of this, because again, you didn't have any real reference point other than the dropping you off on Sunday, while someone like your parents had coffee kind of scenario. So you were you didn't have you weren't armed to you weren't prepared for this kind of stuff. So did you do any more of that after?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 39:00
I really? I just accepted the fact that oh, there's some dead people. You know, good on. Yeah. Oh, there's a ghost. Go to the light. There's something very scary. Get out. I was making it up as I went along. But I did have a tool and that was called my license to practice social work. Because of that. I self diagnosed myself as schizophrenic. I don't share this that often. But I did. I thought I was a highly functioning schizophrenic, because I had no other way really to explain the visions I was having. And there were some doozies and then once I had to go up to the second floor, why practice medical social work on coronary care and intensive care? I went to the emergency room every day, every morning. So I'm walking in and there was someone who looked a lot like me looking miserable on a gurney and two point restraints, which are risks. And I just said something to the resident about them. What's her deal? And he just as casually said, Oh, she feels like she's been going in and out of her body. So we're setting her up to five. Well, the fifth floor was psychiatric lockup. I had been going in and out of my body. I wasn't going to tell anybody that sealed my lips. I thought forever. Okay, Kim, you aren't crazy. But you're not going to tell anyone just mind your own business. Put one foot in front of the other. Ignore all of the things you're seeing. But Alex, I couldn't ignore them. Can I tell you a story, please? Now they're really popping in.
Alex Ferrari 40:49
Are they there? Now? Are you? Are they in the room with you now? Always, always. Oh, they're always wait, gotcha, gotcha. So go ahead.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 40:57
Crowd. And I gotta be honest, I get stage fright. So you know, I prayed before we met that I say what? You know, God wants me to say and, and that I, I, you're doing great. I mean, you know, I am not polished. I'm too much in the trenches still, to rise above it. i So i,
Alex Ferrari 41:20
You're not media, you're not media trained, as they say,
Kimberly Clark Sharp 41:24
I don't, I'm not. That's not my, my goal. My goal, though, is to help people. And this is a great way to help people. So I love it. My story. So there was on the intensive care unit, which didn't have separate rooms, curtains went around the bed, as opposed to coronary care, big rooms. A woman died. She was a single parent and her 16 year old son was in the waiting room. And I had to go out with a doctor to tell a kid that the only person in his life, dad, and nobody wanted to go it was like, I was there because the doctor did not want to deliver that news without the social worker. And I was there because I didn't want the doctor to deliver the news without the social worker. So then, so we told him the sad news. And he wanted to say goodbye to his mom, but he didn't want to see her body. And I said, I can take care of that. So when and and just in case, he changed his mind, the nurses cleaned her up. But we pulled the curtain around her bed. And then I brought him in and said Your mom's head is right here on the other side of this fabric curtain. Anything you want to tell her tell her now, this is your chance she can hear you. Because and to this day, to the best of our knowledge hearing is the last sentence to go. I'm not aware of any study that has said otherwise. So I told him that I said she can hear you, I promise and I walked away. But Alex, the reason I could really promise is that I could see her. And as I walked away, it turned around. And he was had his head against the the fabric of the curtain. But she was standing. I can see through her but she was standing next to him with her arm around him comforting him. And I knew he was going to be okay. I have not seen that so vividly. Before or sense that a mother's love can break down a lot of areas. And she was this side of physical. She was so fully present for him. And I'd like to believe he knew what
Alex Ferrari 43:48
You could feel it. Whether you know it or not. You can feel it. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's it's remarkable. I mean, what you've been doing over these years. I mean, you did come back on a mission to help as many people as humanly possible.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 44:02
Again, I was sent back to serve.
Alex Ferrari 44:04
And you have been doing that. I mean, social work,
Kimberly Clark Sharp 44:06
I haven't stopped. I haven't let up. i But you know what, though? I've also had a lot of life challenges. I mean, I have survived breast cancer. I have survived. Team points of danger. It's ridiculous. The original title of the book I wrote was the woman who would not die. But William and Mauro and company in New York City bought the bought the rights to the book and change the title because the sales department and it's the sales department that determines titles by the way in a publishing house world. They thought it sounded too much like you know, Susan Hayward in the 1950s. The woman who would that die or some kind of really movie Halloween type of thing. But I I really I have been in a lot of danger. I've had a lot of suffering a lot of loss. But and a lot of physical pain due to just bone problems. I've just the last two years have been really laid back. But it's okay. Because I know at my age that whatever I'm going through can be repurposed to help other people. And that doesn't change anything. It just so it's like, people, if I can go through this and come out on the other side, you can, because I'm like, kind of a wimp. Need stuff hasn't changed.
Alex Ferrari 45:39
I mean, I disagree with you. You're definitely not a wimp with what you've gone through in life and afterlife and back into life. I think you've you're, you're stronger than you give yourself credit for. I always love asking this question. I think I know the answer. But I'm gonna ask it anyway. Are you afraid of dying anymore? No. No, no, a little bit?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 45:59
No. But to be honest, and I'm usually not this honest. So lucky you, Alex,
Alex Ferrari 46:06
I appreciate that.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 46:08
I don't want to die. I don't want to die. I'm not afraid of it. But I do not want to die. I begged for a long and healthy life. Because I love life so much. I can't stand it. I want to squeeze every little ounce out of this glory that we call breathing that we call walking that we call hugging that we call eating, that we call vacations. Life itself is such a precious miracle. And it really is short. And the closer we get to the end, it seems like those revolutions on the record are faster and faster and faster. But I want to see and do everything before I check out. So I had a lot of hugging to do. But at the end of it, am I afraid? No. And I also know what's waiting for me. I mean, that helps.
Alex Ferrari 47:03
Yeah, you know, the ending of the story.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 47:05
I mean, I've been to Paris. And if I go back to Paris, I'll know how to get around Paris because I know it really exists. And that it's beautiful. And I'll know how to do it. So my afterlife would be like Paris. I know how to do that. It's Kentucky. Remember? It's Kentucky, Kentucky. Yeah. There will be some questions about that.
Alex Ferrari 47:31
Can we make it Paris? Can we can I kind of switch it out? Please? I'd like the parish forever. Say please, with the croissants. I appreciate that. Because as we established at the beginning, Jesus loves coffee. Now, um, what is the what is the biggest lesson that you you took away from your near death experience?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 48:01
The biggest you think I've been asked enough. But you framed it in a different way than I'm used to. Okay, this is a tough one for me right now. But it probably is pulling on that unconditional love that I was given. It's tough right now because there's things on that to date this interview. But there's things going on in the world that are happening because of bad guys, what I call bad guys, and I don't want to love them. I want to hate them. But I can't. I know that God loves everybody. level playing field. God loves everybody. So my biggest lesson is still ongoing. And that is to really and truly love everybody unconditionally. But at the same time, there's a lesson in there as well for me anyway, and that is to set boundaries. Because I lead with my heart. And there are people that have needs that might interrupt my piece. So I've got to also set those boundaries. You know, I was on Netflix last year. Yeah. Surviving death. Yeah, episode one. Good show. Anyway, I am still hearing from people in piles because of that show. Because I was the one shown helping people. I'd had a near death experience and I wrote a book that's out there. None of that was mentioned. It was me helping people. And there are a lot of people that need help. So I still hear from them. And it's frustrating because I can't be everywhere at once. And I also have to back to that balance, you know, pay my bills and all that stuff. So the lessons for me continue with like love and boundaries, love and boundaries. The loving part is probably though the biggest takeaway. The other thing, that still a lesson that I'm learning is to not be nervous about sharing some things. And there are times when the voice side of me it's not even in my head goes, do it. I'm going No. Yes, no, yes, no. And those are times when I'm going to really look goofy. And my ego gets involved and says, you're going to look goofy. Don't do it. One of those times, by the way, it was three years ago in Chicago. And there was a fellow sent a church service and there was a fellow that, to me, was the only person in the congregation. I just went so laser beam on this guy, and knew that he was in grief. And for some reason, knew it was his cat was ridiculous. So that was one of those times when the voice said go, and I went, No, it's a total stranger was the end, man. I didn't want to but it's like, you're going. And so when I'm sitting, this is gonna sound really dumb, but I feel like you're really sad. Did you have a cat, and he pulled out this laminated photo of his kitty, at age 22, who had died. He also was 22 this cat. And he had gone through life together until two weeks earlier. And I was stunned because there was the cat. And then those invisibility as I mentioned, pat me on the head and go Good girl. Right.
Alex Ferrari 52:05
Now I'm going to ask you a few questions. Ask all my guests. What is your definition of a good life?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 52:11
Love the ability to love others. I'm so glad I've been given that not everybody has that gift for reasons to do with trauma, or chemical makeup, biochemical makeup. So I'm very grateful that I get to know what love feels like to give, but also to receive. And that feels good. So that's like the most but I also like pizza. And I like traveling. My husband and kids in there. I like them. Or house. I just,
Alex Ferrari 52:54
you're, you're enjoying yourself. And that's okay. Yeah. You can see it
Kimberly Clark Sharp 52:58
At a party that you know, people go, Oh, let's go with her. Because I can find something funny in most situations. Because life's a hoot.
Alex Ferrari 53:09
It can be a hoot. There's no question about it. Next question is how do you define God?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 53:18
And that's it. Those five words. Love back to love. I mean, God presented God's self. Again, no religious intention whatsoever. But I was presented with love. And I did say homey home. And so I would have to go with that love and light. Why? A bright light? I don't know. Didn't ask that question. But yeah, it gets back to love again. Okay. Ultimately, I'm going to add, it's a hippie dippie kind of answer, but I thought about that hippie word. I became a hippie. Before I got to Seattle. Every step on my way, I was changing rapidly. So by the time I got to San Francisco, I was a hippie, and the hippie community got me this again, this girl from Kansas. I loved it. I love the drugs. I love the music. I love the free form of physical expression, shall we say? I loved it all. But ironically, I lived on a street named hate. Because I was in Haight Ashbury actually had a place on Haight Street itself. And I thought how odd I'm so filled with love and I live in a street called hate. Yeah. Which is those kinds of observations that were like, Oh, isn't this interesting? So it's back to me finding a way to laugh.
Alex Ferrari 54:51
And your last question, what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 54:56
I call it breathing. You know, people have asked me a lot, you know, so how do I find my purpose, and it's just draw breath and breathe it out. Everything else falls into place. But once first purpose should be breathing, followed by being nice to everybody, we haven't spent a lot of time on the life review. But that's really good advice I just gave your listeners because life reviews happen eventually. And I want a good one. So I want to be nice to everybody again with those boundaries. And I want everyone to be nice because there is a payoff, but the payoff should happen before death. The payoff should be the, the reward of Ignite should be unto itself. Just be nice.
Alex Ferrari 55:53
And where can people find out more about you the work that you're doing and where can they get your book after the light?
Kimberly Clark Sharp 55:59
Oh, well after the light, you know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Kindle. I've been approached just within the last few days about doing an audible the book was on tape with another book house but it's out of print I on the rights now so maybe that but I'm also add my direct email address. Oh, bite me because somebody might contact me. You're welcome to
Alex Ferrari 56:29
It's up to you. It's up to you.
Kimberly Clark Sharp 56:30
Okay, well, here I am. So it's kim, my name Kim. NDE for near death [email protected] Don't judge me. I'm the last person in America to have America Online. I am the dinosaur.
Alex Ferrari 56:48
I mean, listen, I still have a CompuServe one if that makes any happier. helps you feel any better. Better. I'm joking. I don't. I'm just trying to make you feel I'm old enough to remember my copy, sir. And my mind was a mind spring or mind something or other? Yeah, you remember the other one? Right. The other thing is my. Oh, yeah. 2600 baud
Kimberly Clark Sharp 57:13
I'm of that era, and I never left. [email protected] Also, Seattleions iands.org is our website. And the mother lode for me is iands.org.
Alex Ferrari 57:32
Kim, it has been a hoot. Talking to you. It's been so pleasurable. And thank you so, so much for being so raw and honest with your experience. And thank you so much for all the amazing work you're doing for the world and for the people that you help. So thank you again, my dear.
Links and Resources
- Seattle IANDS
- After the Light: What I Discovered on the Other Side of Life That Can Change Your World
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