Her first near-death experience (NDE) occurred at age seven while spending
the summer with her grandparents on their estate in central France.
“I was running outside in the field but stopped abruptly. I realized that I had disturbed a red asp, a deadly snake. It stayed perfectly still for a long
moment, curled on its tail in a perfect circle, the upper body straight up and two eyes apparently piercing into my soul. I was petrified. I wanted to scream.
I could not move. A terrible pain suddenly flooded my senses—the snake moved away very quickly with undulating movements as two tiny spots of blood
appeared on my left ankle.
Only then did I start screaming.
Somehow I was no longer afraid; yet I knew with certainty that death was near.”Her grandmother heard her screams and came running down the hill.
Realizing what had happened, she picked Nadia up and quickly carried her inside. The snake that bit Nadia typically can kill adults, and her onset of
sickness was immediate.
She soon lost consciousness, lapsing into a coma that would last ten days. During this time she recalls floating above her body and watching events below.
These included seeing her heavily swollen leg and hearing the doctors talk about possible amputation. She recalls viewing all this with a sense of
detachment and even repulsion: “Slipping out of my gray skin, the site of this puffy form was unbearable to behold. I could not comprehend that this was,
in fact, me.
My leg was three times its normal size and this frightened me because it was the same mottled color as the snake.
”Floating above her body, Nadia suddenly became aware of a feminine presence—a being of light who introduced herself to Nadia as:
‘Je suis ta petite Maman du ciel’ (I am your little mother of the sky).
Nadia recalls: “She was so beautiful. She was everything…you just can’t really...describe the peace, the love, the well being.... She opened her arms...and
I just wanted to curl up...and touch her. She made me understand that I couldn't do that, I couldn't come any closer, that she had things to communicate
to me, so I stopped. I stayed there floating in mid-air.”
Nadia was told that she was going to be all right, and would recover.
She was told she had work to do in the world and, although its nature would unfold only over time, she would eventually come to represent hope for
Presented with no choice in the matter, Nadia returned to her body. Although her NDE produced some positive aftereffects, such as increased confidence
and heightened intuitive abilities, Nadia did not want to be back in this world. Having experienced such beauty and perfect love on the other side, she
simply wanted to go back. “I had no choice.
My body claimed me and I was overwhelmed by pain and sadness,unable to completely understand what had happened to me.
I refused to talk to anyone. I hated being back in this dimension and I was filled with resentment.
I longed to slip out of my painful and disfigured body. I was not able to share my experience with anyone and ended up hurting people as I rejected their
offers of friendship.
Both doctors and others said it was a miracle that I had survived.
I finally learned how to walk with a cane. My body took months to recover, but my spirit didn’t heal so quickly!” The next ten years were tumultuous and
With the desire to go back becoming even stronger over time, at age seventeen Nadia tried to commit suicide. Her first attempt, overdosing on medicinal
pills, failed because a friend found her and rushed her to a hospital. Months later, after release from close psychological surveillance, she tried again—and
succeeded to the extent of having
a second near-death experience: “I left my body and I saw people running around, pumping, working on me...people crying...I just left…I was in the
corner, I remember that very clearly. I saw the whole thing, but I just turned away. I wanted to go to the light.
So I did. I saw something that looked like a tunnel, but it was not exactly like you would imagine a tunnel.... It was sort of a dark hole. And I...knew that
the light was beyond, so I kind of floated there...I was kind of sucked [in] by it.... The speed was incredible. I just went there, and finally that thing [the
tunnel] sort of threw me out and here I was...in the light, the love, the peace so profound... I was part of the Light again.”
When I asked Nadia how it felt to be there, her response was unexpected: “That was what I wanted, exactly what I [had] wanted all these years.
And…nobody [was] there [i.e., no “little mother of the sky” as in her first NDE]. Just me in this bright light.
VITAL SIGNS Nadia McCaffrey
Continued on next page 4
And I heard this huge voice, a man’s voice this time, saying ‘You can’t stay, you have to go back, you have a lot of work to do. You haven’t even begun
yet.’” Although accustomed to arguing her way through most situations, Nadia states unequivocally, “You don’t argue with that voice.”
Despondent and depressed, Nadia would turn for the worse before getting better. Soon after this NDE her life bottomed out. She
married impulsively and divorced six months later. A few years later she remarried and moved to the US. Then in 1980 Nadia moved to French Polynesia,
and it was here that she began to discover she was able to help people. Her service was to begin shortly. She began to notice the effect she had on others—
people seemed to be drawn toward her. She felt a kind of fearless compassion, and her intuitive abilities increased to the point that she could often read
people’s thoughts. She began to help others in various ways, through social activism and acts of kindness.
She explains: “Once I understood that I couldn't go back, I stopped fighting the world and began trying to pass on the love that I received to
those around me.”
Having lost all fear of death—or life—Nadia began to work with the dying, the homeless and the disadvantaged. Nevertheless, though her work was
bringing a greater sense of satisfaction, Nadia still didn’t feel she had a choice in being here.
On December 22, 1999, more than thirty years after her second NDE, Nadia had a third NDE—this time of the “empathic”variety. An empathic
NDE is said to occur when the experiencer “feels” another person’s death experience as if it were one’s own experience.
This experience was to truly change her life. Nadia had by now been working with the dying for many years, and felt so attuned to clients and loved ones
that she often knew—even from miles distant—when they were about to depart this life.
She had shared the visions of many clients on their death beds, a time when departed loved ones may appear and communicate with the dying person in
preparation for transition to the other side.
This third experience began with sudden intense pain in her solar plexus as she sat by the bed of a dying person in a nursing home (although she feels it
was not necessarily directly connected with this particular dying person).
Aware that something was wrong, Nadia quickly phoned home and left a message that she was still working but feeling odd, and if anything should happen
she would call again. As she put down the phone, in her words:
“I was sitting in a green chair when I realized...my hair was glowing. But not the chair. I was in a golden light. Then I found myself in another dimension.
As I opened my eyes in this other place, I was shown pictures...flashing pictures of the past, the present, and two different futures—one of destruction
and fear, the other bright and peaceful. And this enormously powerful voice said: ‘Do you want to come Home?’ “At the same time the pictures [were]
showing my involvement
with the center [a healing center described below]. [I saw] endless lines of people waiting to be helped. The sky was grey and reddish in color. There was
a very tall and wide dome [on the healing center]. Everyone was waiting to be admitted inside. The voice asked again, louder: ‘Do you want to come
Home?’ I never thought that I would say this, but I said: ‘No I can‘t, I must help these people and fulfill my mission.’
Nadia was shown that, if she chose, she would build a self-sustainable center. It would be built according to very specific plans involving sacred geometry
and natural resources.
The center would serve as a haven providing home-like palliative care, assistance for the dying, healing, and education to show people how to reconnect
with the earth and thereby regain lost values. The center would be run by volunteers, and services would
be free to all who came there. Nadia was shown that the center would be a model for many more to come, and would benefit thousands in many ways.
She has no doubt of the support being provided to get the center up and running. At the time of interview she had land set aside and had begun recruiting
volunteers, including an architect specializing in sacred geometry.
The flashing pictures also showed Nadia that the future of our planet depends on our own actions, individually and collectively.
She feels the future scenarios were a warning that there is not much time left in which to choose our future. She now feels called
to speak about the message she was given, especially the image of the center.
I asked Nadia how she now feels about being on the earth, in light of her previous strong resistance.
She replied, “I am totallyat peace. In fact it’s like being there [with the Light], except that you’re here. It’s not nearly as powerful, but the feeling is the
She said that when she connects with this feeling she has a sense of knowing she is doing what she is meant to be doing. Having
had the choice of whether to come back or not has also made a significant difference in her outlook on her life, which she no
longer views as a burden. She expresses her understanding of the meaning and purpose of life thus: “We are here to love one another and to serve
MESSENGER OF HOPE
Continued from page 3
I realize that love can never fail and, with this certainty born of my near-death experiences, I am like a mountain.
No doubts can shake my faith in what I know to be true.
It is certainty that I can pass along to people who are dying and to those who are troubled and in turmoil, living in a world that erodes their
faith in goodness and often fails to make a lot of sense.”
Nadia McCaffrey is the founder of Angelstaff, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation providing all-volunteer services for people at the end of life, as
well as workshops and coaching for end-of-life caregivers.
Considerable information is available on the website, from which the following are
Our angels are a group of beautiful and peaceful human beings who are dedicated to bringing their light into the darkness that we are experiencing today.
Our Angelstaff of volunteers are always ready to provide bereavement support and resources to those who ask for assistance.
an NGO working to bring help and assistance to women and children who have survived the trauma of war. We are a non-religious non-denominational
(interfaith) service organization. We respect each and everyone’s beliefs regardless of religion, culture, race, age or gender.
Nadia McCaffrey’s war began in June 2004, the day her only son Patrick died in northern Iraq. At a time when the Pentagon was trying to keep
photographs of returning coffins out of the media, Nadia invited the press to the Sacramento airport when her son’s flag-draped coffin was flown home.
The scene attracted international attention.
Nadia was outspoken about her opposition to the Iraq war, as well as her son’s growing reservations at the time he was killed. Dedicating herself to the
anti-war movement, she has appeared at dozens of vigils, peace rallies. She give aid to families of other soldiers killed in action or wounded, as well as war
veterans suffering from PTSD or TBI.
In December 2004 she traveled to Jordan with a humanitarian aid delegation and met with Iraqi mothers who had lost children in the fighting. “My
dream,” she said, “was to be able to find at least one Iraqi mother who, like me, suffered a loss, and be able to have an exchange without hatred about the
way we feel.
Talk about what to do to start working for peace. And do it mother to mother, without governments.”
“The basic meaning of the mission is peace,” she stated. “It’s a first step, and I hope that other people will follow.” Asked about her safety abroad, Nadia
replied in a strong, clear voice: “I am not afraid. I am not afraid of dying.”
Nadia said she asked herself why she was still alive while her son was dead.
“When I think of Patrick's death, I would have taken his place with joy, but that’s not the way the plan was.
I think there are no coincidences, no accidents. Things happen because we are meant to do certain things.
It’s totally up to us to fulfill what we have been left to do. “Both Patrick’s death and the war itself led me to action.
I don't like any war. I believe that the road to end war goes from people to people, and from mother to mother, not through governments. To me, people's
rights are the highest priority.”
As with many NDErs, Nadia’s message is about the importance of love and the hope that exists for a world abundant with compassion. She views her life
as a testimony to the joy that can be experienced by connecting with one’s life purpose. For example, after her son was killed in the Iraq conflict, Nadia
pursued the purpose of starting a “Bridge of Peace” traveled to the Middle East to meet Iraqi mothers who also have suffered losses in the war.
Nadia McCaffrey was born in Paris, France and grew-up in the province of Auvergne, (Lafayette country.), she studied the Arts, and nursing.
She married an American, Robert McCaffrey; she immigrated to California, United States in the 60‘s.
She is the founder of Angelstaff, a group of trained volunteers who bring a caring presence to terminally ill and their families. Her son, Patrick
R. McCaffrey Sr., was born at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto CA, May 26 1970. Patrick was killed by Iraqi soldiers in an ambush near Balad,
Iraq on June 22, 2004; Nadia was the first Gold Star Mother to allow the media to welcome Patrick at Sacramento International Airport.
Since, Nadia has travel internationally including the Middle East, speaking of her son’s life and death, his legacy, his children, she gives a face
to the war by telling people Patrick’s story.
She speak about his patriotism (Patrick enlisted after 9/11), his compassion that he had for everyone to his last breathe. Patrick was an
advocate & helped protect his fellow soldiers to the end as well as the Iraqi
children. Nadia McCaffrey has become an international voice for peace, Justice and responsibility in government. She has been featured world
wide in over 30 documentaries, she has appeared in Paula Zhan show, Aaron Brown, Good MORNING AMERICA with Charles Gibson,
TODAY SHOW with Meredith Viera, MORNING ON CNN, LARRY KING LIVE, DAN RATHER REPORTS, The CHRIS WALLACE
SUNDAY SHOW on FOX National, Japanese National Public TV, LE POINT TV(Radio-Canada), FRANCE3, RTL TV and Radio, ARTE
TV EU, etc, many radio shows (BBC, NPR) magazines (including Vanity Fair & NEWSWEEK, Stern (Germany),
many newspapers, books (in 12 languages), etc…
In memory of Patrick, she now has dedicated the rest of her life to helping the war veterans coming home; she wants to give them a second
home where they can unwind and reclaim their lives, giving them the opportunity to be able to create a better future for themselves and their
families with proper training and care. The Center will allow them to face tomorrow with PTSD and other unseen scares and keep it under
|THE STORY OF NADIA MCCAFFREY
A THREE-TIME NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCER
Interviewed by Loraine Magda MA
(Loraine is now a IANDS group leader in South Africa)
From Vital Signs Magazine
|‘You can’t stay, you have to go back, you have a lot of work to do. You haven’t even begun yet.’
The life story of Nadia McCaffrey, a
three-time near-death experiencer,
is a message of hope and inspiration.
She views her life as a journey that, after
many turns, has led to the joy of
connecting with her true purpose.
But it began very differently.
This rendition of her story was compiled
from an interview and
subsequent conversations over two years.
Nadia was sent to a full time boarding
school at only four years of age, and was
raised primarily in a strict Catholic
She recalls early childhood as a time of
nagging sadness, of feeling different and
out of place in a seemingly harsh world.