A Texas teen reveals his near-death experiences with a beneficent "big, bright light" in a crushingly poignant double video he made just days before his death on Christmas Day. Ben Breedlove, 18, recounts years of battling his progressively worsening hypertrophic cardiomyopathy heart illness and his three near-death experiences in a series of hand-written messages he shows on note cards to the haunting strains of "Mad World," appearing sad, then sublimely happy in the wordless films. He nearly died at the age of 4 and remembers seeing a "big, bright light" in the hospital that filled him with "peace." Just weeks ago he had a similar experience when his heart stopped beating for three minutes, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was dressed in a white suit, alongside his favorite rap star, Kid Cudi, he recalls.
When Breedlove looked in a mirror, "the first thing I thought was, 'Damn, we look good,'" his note card reads. "I then looked at myself in the mirror. I was proud of myself, of my entire life, everything I have done. It was the best feeling." He was revived, and noted: "I wish I never woke up." He died of a heart attack days later at home. His mother, Deanne Breedlove, told the Austin American-Statesman: "I can't tell you the kind of joy" it brought watching the posthumous message from her son. "It was a gift to us," she added. "For him to be so confident and unafraid of death, and to share it with other people, was so touching. Ben was full of joy. To be his parent was a huge blessing." Click here for Ben's videos. (Read more Texas stories.)