In this compelling memoir, Hannah Robinson relates how she was injured in an accident while on holiday in Tenerife, sustaining life-threatening multiple injuries. While still "unconscious" she entered a "near-death experience", where she experienced true peace and love. She also received the information she needed to come to terms with the biggest, negative issue she would continue to face; the life-long rejection and enforced secrecy of her father, a Catholic priest.
While healing in hospital and at home, Hannah started to understand how her father's actions and her near-death experience were inextricably linked; that they'd both occurred at all was more than just coincidence.
Within these pages, Hannah shares many of the stages of her life-transforming journey, both wonderful and excruciating, that have brought her to a deeper understanding of how and why this all happened. Increasingly struck by the contrast between her own spiritual experience and her treatment by the Catholic Church, Hannah examines the relationship between organised religion and near-death experiences and makes a good argument for love being the most emotionally, spiritually and psychologically healing power there is; one that transcends human belief systems and ultimately unites us all as one.
Listen to Hannah talking to BBC's Jane Garvey on how she found out her father was a Catholic priest. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb/episodes/downloads
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
This unusual and moving memoir recounts the transformative journey of the author, whose father was a trainee Catholic priest at the time of her birth. He imposed secretive terms on her mother, which reflected the standard practice at the time and set up a huge tension in her life, especially during adolescence. This culminates in a serious accident leading to a near death experience and a different perspective on her life journey, as well as an experience of love transcending the rejection she felt. Even when they did meet, she felt no real connection with her father and experienced a sense of toxic shame. Her NDE gave her a deeper sense of identity and had a similar effect to the experience of Anita Moorjani (the title of this book is a variation on her title). Later, she has a vision warning her of the serious health condition of her mother. The message of her book, like so many in this field, is the existence and implications of an all-encompassing, accepting, unconditional love of which we are worthy. I learned of the existence of an organisation called Coping, which represents the interests of children of Catholic priests – it was an enormous relief for Hannah to find others in her situation. She concludes that the structure of the Catholic church needs to transform, because enforced secrecy is unhealthy for children of priests.
It is a poignant and thought-provoking account.
~ David Lorimer, Network Review
This is one book you won’t want to miss! Dying to Be Free is an exceptionally beautiful and well-written book. Hannah Robinson's near-death experience is dramatic. Her well-documented interactions with her father, a Catholic priest, have lessons of forgiveness for us all. The powerful insights and understandings in this highly recommended book could change your life. ~ JEFFREY LONG M.D., author of the New York Times bestselling Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences
Hannah Robinson paints a view of the near-death experience unlike the thousands of others currently on the market. She shows us what it is like to be the daughter of a Catholic Priest, her Mother continuously turned down by Cardinals and parish priests when she asked for advice in how best to handle “the situation.” Young Hannah’s longing to be loved by her Father pushed her into a hedonistic lifestyle that climaxed when she ran off - ignoring passing cars and road hazards. From the blackness of a terrible fall, she awoke in light. . . an unbelievable, incredible, awe-inspiring light. . .everywhere light. Yet her body far below was surrounded by medics, an ambulance, and a flurry of activity in a rush to get her to a hospital. She felt both exhilarated and joyfilled, without fear. Pain and surgeries came later. What remained was the otherworldliness of what had just happened to her.
One of the strengths of this book is the clarity she gained in coming to terms with the difference between the love she experienced “over there” and the despair she still had to deal with here. No matter how wondrous a near-death experience, it does not save you from having to face your problems. With a new consciousness, she discovered the power of forgiveness - a miracle unto itself. ~ P. M. H. ATWATER, L.H.D, one of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies. Author of The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences
Hannah Robinson's life journey – from her near-fatal accident, to her resulting near-death experience – took her on a spiritual quest to understand the deepest meaning of those events. Her book is a well-written, well-documented testimony to living a life where self-creation, through love, is the greatest power. I thank you, Hannah, for sharing your story. ~ DANNION BRINKLEY, NDE SURVIVOR, New York Times bestselling author of Saved by the Light and Secrets of the Light
Hannah Robinson, the author of this work, is the forbidden fruit of impossible love which unites a woman to a Catholic priest. Her narrative of NDE shows us to what extent this experience can determine to make us understand that the Love is over everything. Her story which is read as a novel is as moving as it is fascinating. ~ JEAN-JACQUES CHARBONIER, M.D., award-winning international speaker and author of “7 Reasons To Believe In The Afterlive” Inner Traditions Rochester Ve
Hannah Robinson has quite a story to tell, and a storyteller's gift. She speaks of a unique journey -- sired by a father who was a Father (a Catholic Priest), yet not quite her father -- and undergoing a grisly "death" that was not quite a death, but her birth into new light and life. For those interested in Near-Death Experiences -- and full-bodied experiences of struggle and healing -- you will find in Hannah Robinson a sympathetic soul. ~ DREW LEDER, M.D., Ph.D., Loyola University of Maryland
Hannah Robinson bares her mind and soul in this heartfelt book, Dying to Be Free. Hannah’s NDE signifies an amazing gift from God that led to personal change. Within the heart of this book beats a steady theme personal transformation based on divine connection. Not only did Hannah begin to view herself through the divine eyes of love, she began to see her relationships from a perspective of unconditional regard. This was especially true regarding her estranged father. Because of this life re-frame, Hannah mended her broken heart by discovering forgiveness and peace. Personally, I was moved by this personal account of deep change through divine spirit and I have no doubt that many readers will share this sentiment. ~ ROY L HILL, Psy.D, author of Psychology and the Near Death Experience: Searching for God
Dying to Be Free is an astutely written autobiographical novel which captivates the reader from the first pages...(Hannah Robinson's) vivid narration of NDE is perfectly coupled with a powerful journey towards spirituality...The book is a lighthouse in the dark clouded sea, reminding us that nothing is predefined for any of us. The book is an excellent paradigm of Joseph Campbell's words; none of us live the life that we intended. The author vividly reminds us that our life’s path is revealed to us through errors, challenges, pain and only if we allow ourselves to undertake and embrace such a quest will we be able to see and experience it. This is an inspirational book. ~ NIKOLAOS SOUVLAKIS, MBACP Accred. & Reg.,MBPsS, IAFP, Researcher of Spirituality and Psychotropic Disorders, Psychologist, Psychotherapist
A gripping account of the author's courageous struggles with her identity, the Catholic Church and a near-death experience. Hannah's story has a healing message of love, hope and peace regarding what lies ahead of us all ~ ANNA LUBELSKA, Director of Spiritual England and Coordinator of the Peaceful Schools Movement
Bravely challenging the accepted secrecy over children of priests, the author shares her personal struggle of identity and the Near-Death Experience that ultimately saves her life. ~ TRACY GOZA, Ph.D., author of I Heart Heaven: A Psychotherapist's Biblical Validation of Near-Death Experiences
Hannah Robinson has written a truly moving narrative which encompasses the arc of her life and her search for answers...Hannah guides us from her initial rejection of organized religion to her realization of a higher spiritual directive which, unbeknownst to many of us, intersects all of our lives. Hannah illustrates that by examining the trials we suffer through and researching the experiences of others we can come to a rational comprehension of a Divine Spirituality...Hannah’s experience is the epitome of the saying that truth can set you free. ~ BRIAN FOSTER, Spiritist blog at nwspiritism.com, author of What Really Happens During Near Death Experiences - According To Spiritism