Chandra was still not conscious when she began to speak to her parents in the ICU unit. She spoke as if in a dream, describing a big room with two doors where she sat waiting with several other people. She explained that she had to decide which door she wanted to walk through. A really nice man, dressed in white smiled at her and told her that she was completely free to walk through either door. One door would bring her back to her life on earth. If she liked, she could across the room, take the nice man’s hand and walk through the other door.
In the beginning, Chandra spoke weakly, in a disjointed manner insisting that the nice man loved her so much that she wanted to be with him. As the days passed, she spoke in a stronger voice and began asking her parents,
“Do you love me?” they assured Chandra that they loved her she answered,
“Wellll…I don’t know. I really want to be with him. Buttt…maybe I will come back”
The next couple of days were spent in an almost comical dialogue as Chandra asked if her siblings, grand parents and extended family all loved her. After each confirmation , she emerged slowly from her coma, answering in an ever more confidant voice,
“Maybe I will come back!”
Throughout the discussion, Chandra described the other people in the room, casually mentioning two people who stood up and walked across the waiting room, walking through the second door with the nice man.
One was a young guy, who looked just like her young uncle and another an old woman who was like her grandmother. Within minutes of Chandra’s announcements, an elderly woman and a day later a young man died in the ICU.
For her parents, the most startling fact of this entire experience was that the week before, tiny Chandra could perhaps choose between an apple or an orange for a snack. On earth, she would not make any major life decisions until she was 18 years old. Yet she was deciding whether to live or die.