3 min read

Hi, I am Marie Antoinette Kelley, the author and artist of Danny’s Day in Heaven. I hope you’ve already had a chance to read my book. But if you haven’t, let me tell you a bit about it…

The title gives away that Danny visits heaven in this story. And yes, that does mean his body dies for a bit (but he gets resuscitated at the end.) This type of experience is actually more common than you’d think. It’s called a Near-Death Experience, or NDE. At this point, there are thousands of people around the world who have had such an experience and lived to talk about it. While each person has a unique story, there’s now a growing body of evidence that shows overlapping elements in their experiences, independent of culture or religious background. In other words, there are steps in the death experience that happen to every person who goes through it. This gives us a good indication of what we can expect to happen when we die. To me, personally, that insight was a godsend.

When I was a kid, I was very worried about death. I had a strong connection with Spirit but didn’t know how to match my personal experience of the other side with my understanding. I had so many unanswered questions, I started to equate death with a black hole. And this black hole could gobble up my loved ones at any time. That feeling left me very worried for most of my childhood. As an adult, I was still seeking answers when I discovered books about NDEs. That was groundbreaking information for me—finding out that those who had died and returned were able to prove empirically that life does not end, and that the realm of Spirit (with which I had so much contact as a kid) was in fact a real realm. But those books were only for adults.

I was fortunate enough to make friends with Dannion Brinkley around that time. He’s had one of the most complete NDEs on record. He tells that story in the book Saved by the Light, which immediately became a runaway bestseller. As soon as I read it, I wanted to adapt his story for children, so I could reassure all the kids who, like me, are afraid of death. I want to present them with the invaluable understanding of what death is really like—highlighting the common elements between his and other NDEs, like the tunnel of light, the life review, meeting your loved ones, and most of all, the reality that death is a doorway into a realm of unconditional love and light that underpins our very existence. Dannion not only said yes, but he wrote the afterword for my book.

As an artist and mom, I did my best to capture the truth about death in my radiant, colorful illustrations to take away any fear of the subject. It’s quite natural for any curious child to wonder what happens at death. Now, for the first time ever, we have an illustrated story to open up the discussion they’re asking for, and we can give them some answers and insights, backed by research and experience from people of many cultures and faiths.

Overall, the message and intuitive feel of this story is safe and child friendly. I sincerely hope all of you enjoy the read. 


 


 

Marie Antoinette Kelley is an award-winning artist who has done hundreds of commissioned portraits, as well as the art for the Angel Quest Oracle. She has appeared on dozens of TV, radio, and podcast shows, and has been published in such magazines as Edge and Authority. In 2019, her bison portrait in the form of woven blankets began selling throughout Yellowstone National Park’s general stores. To find out more about Marie Antoinette Kelley and her artwork, visit her website at makfineart.com


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