Book review: Anita Moorjani tells her near-death experience with cancer in 'Dying to be Me'

It was a positive sensation filled with much openness and love.

Moorjani fell into a coma in 2006 after fighting cancer for four years (All photo: Anita Moorjani)

Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me, is a story about her near-death experience (NDE). After a long battle fighting end-stage lymphoma, her exhausted body finally succumbed to the disease — her organs began to shut down and she felt herself leaving the world. Moorjani entered a new realm as her mind slipped into a state of unconsciousness.

Surreal and dreamlike, she relates her extraordinary experience in this unknown domain through metaphors, analogies and the thoughts that she had while crossing this realm. For Moorjani, it was a positive sensation filled with much openness and love — one where she could reconnect with her deceased father and close friend. She saw every part of her life flash before her eyes — family, friends and events. The experience allowed Moorjani to disconnect her mind from her sick body.


Moorjani relates her experience through metaphors, analogies and thoughts

Here, in this domain, she learnt what she needed to do to heal herself. Despite having a difficult childhood where she never truly understood her strict father, she discovered how much he loved her. He told her that it was not her time to die. She was to return to the realm of the living and live her life fearlessly. And it is here, “on the other side” that she discovered that in order to heal she needed to love herself unconditionally.

In this miraculous story, whether you believe it or not, we also learn about her childhood, living within a Hindu family setting in modern Hong Kong. The pressures of being different from her school peers in terms of religion and culture, the restrictions imposed by her old-fashioned parents and her lack of self-confidence might have caused emotional strain and triggered her illness.

As she lay in a coma on the hospital bed, lingering between two worlds, she heard her loving husband’s pleas and felt her mother’s anguish. It was up to her to decide where she wanted to be and she chose to be with her husband, Daniel. When she finally regained consciousness, the cancer in her body had begun to clear up much to the amazement of the medical fraternity.

Here's another photo from our visit with one of my doctors from the time I was going through the illness back in...

Posted by Anita Moorjani on Friday, May 10, 2019

A few weeks later, Moorjani left the hospital without symptoms of the illness. This NDE was the catalyst to her healing. It gave her the clarity to heal herself internally through positive awareness and self-love. Today, Moorjani lives free of the disease. She speaks and writes about her phenomenal experience with a desire to empower others to live their best lives and understand the other aspects of healing not covered by conventional medicine. Her story is not about death but the importance of realising your inherent worth.

Dying to be Me tells us how important the pursuit of happiness is to our health. This book could have been better if it was more concise and supported with medical opinions from Moorjani’s doctors. However, the overall effect is uplifting.


This article first appeared on June 17, 2019 in The Edge Malaysia. ​


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