Mari is a very dear friend. I have known her for 20 years. Mari is remarkably optimistic and brave in the face of adversity. She is one the kindest people I know. She is an amazing woman, mother and grandmother. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 on August 2, 2021. She was in the hospital for nine weeks for COVID-19, fighting hard for her life. Mari’s story is powerful in her finding courage, meaning and purpose as she discusses her near death experiences, while fighting COVID-19. She discusses the powerful role that her faith in God played in her healing journey. I love her quote, “If you have life and you are breathing, you have a purpose in this life”. She is a huge source of inspiration for me and a reminder about the fragility and preciousness of life. She also demonstrates some of the principles of Post Trauma Growth (PTG)
This post includes my interview with Mari today (July 31, 2022), almost one year after her experiences with COVID-19. I hope that readers find her story of fighting COVID-19, near death experiences and her new life inspiring, given our difficult and challenging times. Please see link below for my interview with Mari.
Interview with Mari
After the interview, Maria talked about good people who passed away and her “survival guilt” about why she made it and others did not. She talked about her fears that she could have also passed. I also had the opportunity to talk to Mari’s daughter, Brenda. Brenda stated that she and her siblings were shocked and very worried when the doctors said Mari was “giving up” in the hospital as Mari had always been very upbeat and optimistic. Brenda stated that she and her family started sending her more love and get well wishes on the phone, which they felt was critical. Brenda talked about sending her love, which was critical for Mari’s recovery. Brenda discussed her joy when Mari’s condition improved. Brenda said that Mari became more hopeful and started fighting to improve and get out of the hospital. Despite Mari’s greater depth of appreciation of life, Brenda talked about Mari’s suffering after her release from the hospital as she struggled breathing with an attached oxygen machine from October 2021 to January 2022. Brenda delineated her fears about Maria’s fluctuations of oxygen levels, extreme fatigue and immobility. Brenda talked about Mari losing a lot of weight and appearing very fragile after her release from the hospital. Brenda was her caregiver until Mari recovered and Mari was able to breathe on her own in January 2022. Brenda talked about Mari’s appreciation of life, but, also her fear of going back into the hospital.
Mari reports symptoms of long COVID or post COVID conditions. She did not ask for any donations. However, I am including her email below for people who wish to contact her or donate to help her with her outstanding medical bills from a nine week stay in the hospital. A Big Thank You to Mari and Brenda, her wonderful daughter.
Mari is an incredible woman with a powerful message for a world, facing turmoil and suffering. Her Contact Email: Marisitalacabrona@gmail.com.
Contact email for Brenda, Mari’s daughter,: Byarella@uci.edu
There has been an extensive body of research on Near Death Experiences (NDE). Dr. Raymond Moody is a key figure in North America, who conducted research on NDEs and later established the International Association for Near-death Studies (IANDS) and the Journal of Near Death Studies. There are academic institutions which are also currently studying NDES. At the University of Virginia, School of Medicine, Dr. Bruce Greyson and his colleagues have been studying NDES , brain states and levels of consciousness. A recent article, on NDE in Psychology Today, discussed some of the issues concerning NDEs. Regardless of people’s particular beliefs about afterlife, Mari’s story is powerful in reminding us to seek our purpose in leading meaningful lives in the human condition, especially, in such challenging times.
Please note that this is not a therapy site. Please seek professional medical services and mental health services, as needed.