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Living with Angels: Divine intervention at the intersection between life and death

Now more than ever, people seem open to sharing stories about near-death experiences, “divine intervention” and even visits from angels and deceased loved ones.

Perhaps that’s because so many of us have had these experiences and they bring us comfort, especially when many of us are feeling stressed and isolated.

Jewett City resident Paula Goldman shared her near-death experience. On May 12, 1965, 16-year-old Goldman became very ill and her mother brought her to the emergency room at Kent Hospital in Warwick, R.I. She was poked, prodded, X-rayed and sent home when no health problem was found.

“That night, the young surgeon who had examined me couldn’t sleep,” said Goldman, a retired registered nurse, minister and medium. “In the morning, he called my mom and asked if I was still exhibiting the same symptoms. She said I was actually worse than the day before. He convinced her to bring me back and I was admitted.”

Since a room wasn’t available, Goldman was placed in a corridor and watched over by Nurse Brown, who assured her she was not going to die.

“I was scared and in pain and alone. I had no one to talk to, so I cried a lot,” Goldman recalled.

After Nurse Brown gave her an injection to help her sleep, she said she floated down a tunnel filled with white light.

“At the end of this tunnel I glimpsed a beautiful field filled with every kind of flower. I felt at complete peace for the first time in my life,” she said. “Just as I was deciding that it would be nice to stay there, my great-grandmother appeared and said, ‘What are you doing here? You can’t stay. It’s not your time!’”

When Goldman told her she wanted to stay because it was “so beautiful and peaceful here” and that she hated her life and didn’t want to go back, her great-grandmother became very stern and said, “You have much work to do in your life. You must go back. We will be with you and help you with your work. It’s important. Now go back.”

“The last thing I remember was flying back down the tunnel,” Goldman said. “When I awoke it was the next day, Friday the 13th, and the surgery was done and I was in pain. Nurse Brown was again on duty and kept me comfortable so that I slept most of the night.”

As she healed from having a twisted gangrenous fallopian tube removed, Goldman said she “developed a serious crush on the young surgeon who had literally saved my life.”

Years later, on Friday the 13th while working as a young nurse on the geriatric floor of Kent Hospital — the same hospital where her surgery took place — she said everyone was talking about how the date was notoriously known as a “bad luck” day.

“I piped up and said that it was actually my lucky day,” she said. “The surgeon who had operated on me was there and said, ‘Really, why?’”

“Because 13 years ago today, you saved my life and I never got a chance to thank you,” Goldman said. “He smiled and said, ‘Most people never think of thanking us, because it’s our job.’”

Goldman reminded the doctor that if he hadn’t called her mother to bring her back to the hospital, she would have died.

“Then I told him my story,” she said. “‘That little teenager was you? Do you know you’re in a medical book somewhere?’ he said. ‘And I don’t know who or what kept me awake that night I first examined you but you were all I could think about and it was a good thing because, yes, you would have died.’”

Since it was Goldman’s weekend off, she didn’t learn until the following Monday that the same doctor who saved her life died hours later of a massive heart attack on his way to a football game with friends in Colorado.

“I was so grateful I had been given the chance to say ‘thank you,’” she said.

After Goldman’s mother died following a two-year illness, she said her mother came to her while she was asleep and told her she knew about a personal matter she was dealing with and knew that she had the strength to deal with it in the future. “I saw my mom bend over my bed and she kissed me on the cheek. She was young and beautiful.”

Saying “goodbye,” communicating telepathically

As a collection of angel statues looked on, Goldman said goodbye telepathically to her dear friend Delia in 2010.

She also contacted everyone she thought might want to visit her one last time. Even though Delia was in a coma by the time many of them arrived, Goldman encouraged them to talk to Delia, because she knew through her medical knowledge that hearing is the last sense to go when near death.

“As a medium, I could see the spirit of her husband hovering and waiting. I told her he was there and a slight smile appeared on her lips, as though she was telling me he could wait,” Goldman said.

Alone with Delia for a while, she asked her if she should “gather the family so you can leave us? I see you are fading rapidly.”

She “heard,” “Yes, it’s time.”

Delia’s son opened the window in her room so “her soul could leave” and they prayed for her safe “transition.”

“I saw the Angel of Death gently scoop her spirit in his arms and with a rush of wind, which was felt by all in the room, they flew out the window,” Goldman said. “The window then slammed shut, knocking her favorite angel statue to the floor and breaking it!”

Her son smiled and said, “I guess she wanted to take that with her.”

If you have near-death experiences or divine intervention/intuitive stories you would like to share, email


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