How Dying Saved My Life with David Bennett


Sometimes hearing the episode and aftereffects surrounding a person’s near-death experience, are the gripping part of the presentation. For David Bennett, putting his 2 NDEs in context with the rest of his life builds a narrative that stands out even beyond the exceptional nature of the NDEs. Dave’s life story is unforgettable, and his experiences are like trying to describe the ineffable.


How Dying Saved My Life with David Bennett

David grew up in the late 50’s and 60’s, the child of a single mother. He “bounced from family to family”, facing tough environments where he was expected to adhere to radical religious beliefs, sexual molestation, and beatings by other schoolboys. While staying with a family in Syracuse, NY, his foster father taught him how to fight. As he grew up he had fewer personal issues thanks to this knowledge.

At the age of 7 he was informally adopted by a substitute teacher and her husband.  But at this new school he was still annoyed by bullies that were older than him. But it was different: he developed the ability to spontaneously leave his body and see everything from a perspective of above the rooftops and avoid the bullies, enabling him to take a different path to school. At that age, he figured everyone had this ability, but he kept it all inside, because no one else ever spoke about it.  He felt utter isolation, unable to have normal relationships.

He began to be independent and self-sufficient. He worked for everything he needed at small jobs, the kind a kid would be offered. When it became obvious that his foster parents were planning on adopting him, his mother felt threatened, so she picked him up and skipped town, putting an end to the stabilizing influence imparted to him by his foster parents.

The foster parents chose to uproot with David and to try living in Arizona. On their way there their Suburban lost a tire as they were moving down an unmaintained dirt road. It rolled away alongside the truck and trailer. The Suburban hit an embankment and they had a major crash, putting his foster parents in a hospital. Having not been injured at all, David was given some of his foster dad’s money (via a nurse) and he was on his own with their 2 dogs. The nurse called a taxi driver who knew where some cheap rooms were, semi-close to the hospital so he could at least take a long trek to visit his foster folks daily. He lived close to a bar & restaurant, where concerned people who had heard about David helped him out with food (the Blue Plate  Special). They also made sure his dogs didn’t go hungry. He washed his one set of clothes in the sink in his room every other day.

His foster dad got out of the hospital after 3 weeks but not his foster mom. She stayed another 6 months with a broken back. They lived in Arizona for the next 2 years, where David’s life would be a combination of friends, mischief, and taking risks occasionally bringing him close to death. His foster parents once again, like the gypsies they resembled, moved back to Syracuse where David took a scuba class. His passion for this sport helped to shape the rest of his life, which turned out to be even more  experiential. Having had many close brushes with death as a child and an adolescent, the pattern continued.

The rest of the story is a powerful one of David “cutting his way through life”. It’s a story of dying in a storm while manning a research vessel in Southern California. It’s a story of suffering stage IV bone and lung cancer. It’s a story of survival and the 2nd NDE that transformed him.

His book, Voyage of Purpose, is a well-respected autobiography. You can order one today at Amazon.