Before Enlightenment, Chop Wood, Carry Water…

Slowly but surely, the story of my “temporary death experience” is making its way into the world. Through miscellaneous venues, the story of my visit to heaven has now been heard by more than three million people.

My book (“Remembering the Light: How Dying Saved My Life”) is moving forward, and has been professionally edited. The cover art is done, and the ISBNs have been secured. I’m doing one last (and very meticulous) read-through to make sure its message is concise, inspired, on-point and uplifting.

In September 2018, upon my return from heaven, I assumed that my spiritual clarity was at a pinnacle. To say that visiting heaven was a “spiritual high” is an understatement. It transformed me in every way imaginable, but as the months roll by, the lessons learned from this experience continue to lift me to new heights.

Even now, 28 months later, I am still striving to more fully understand the details of this phenomenal experience, and apparently, I will continue to do so for the rest of my days on this earth.

Within this evolution and unfoldment, I have finally come to understand that the story of my husband’s messy death is only a small part of my story. For too long, the agonal pain and excruciating guilt occasioned by his suicide took up way too much space on my emotional hard drive. It’s time to expunge those  vexations to my soul, spirit, mind, and body, and reclaim that real estate as my own. It’s past time to evict the dark stuff, and make room for something lovelier, holier, lighter, and more uplifting.

And those “vexations” surely don’t need to be recorded in a book for perpetuity. In this final read-through, my goal has been to affirm that the message of hope and healing transcends the historical accounting of the darkness.

Throughout the laborious work of writing this book, I had assumed that the words would flow with ease, and yet, they did not. Some days, the writing was easier than others, but the entire process proved extremely challenging. One day, I asked the angels, “Why is this so hard? I’ve been to heaven. Shouldn’t this be the easiest writing I’ve ever done?”

The answer came from a surprising source: Zen Buddhism. The message was, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

In other words, being enlightened doesn’t obviate the need for human effort and hard work and tall challenges, but – hopefully – it enables us to change the way we think about the human effort, and hard work and tall challenges.

“Remembering the Light” might be published in two months or it might be two years or two decades. I am uncertain, as I am still striving to learn how follow those gentle nudges of the Divine, but this I know: The very process of putting pen to paper did so much to help  heal my soul, and perhaps, that was the real blessing of this work.

To listen to Rose’s most recent podcast, click here (about 80 minutes). 

The short version of Rose’s story is here (17 minutes).

To contact Rose, you can email her at

Publication date – unknown – but hopefully, it will happen in due time.