Round Trip Ticket to Heaven: A Transforming Near Death Experience

By Julianne Statnick

On July 4th, 2006, I was working as a flight attendant on a plane to Denver. I was feeling absolutely fabulous that day! I met so many great people on the trip, and I was enjoying the company of the other crew members. After serving the passengers, I sat down with another flight attendant and had a nice conversation about life, spirituality, angels, and love. I told him some of my stories, and he was fascinated; what a great conversation. By the end of the flight, I was feeling happy and connected, as I call it. I guess you could say it was pure nirvana, a place of complete bliss, delight, and peace. Little did I know that in the next few hours my life would transform completely through a near death experience (NDE).

After arriving in Denver, we taxied to the gate and began deplaning. As I looked into the eyes of my passengers, I felt incredible joy and wished them all well. Then I walked out of the airport to catch our van to the hotel. We arrived just as the sun was beginning to set behind the mountains. I got to my room and went to look out the window. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. Breathtaking. As I stared into the distance, the joy in my heart overflowed. I felt so very grateful at that moment. I was overwhelmed and started to cry; they were tears of joy. I literally got on my hands and knees sobbing—it had been such a magnificent day.

With a smile on my face, I finally wiped away my tears while thinking,

“How can life get any better?”

I took one more look out the window at the glowing, now-orange sky. The day was done. I proceeded to the shower and got into bed. I was just lying there with a smile on my face.

As I was staring up to the darkness of the room, I felt a tightening in my chest. It was really strange. I had never felt this before. I figured it was nothing; it would go away. It got worse. I held my chest and began to get short of breath. The only thing I could think at that moment was that I was having a heart attack. In the darkness, I knew the whereabouts of the phone. I needed help—FAST! I tried to get up, but couldn’t because the pain was debilitating. I was in total panic wondering what was going on. How could I go from feeling total nirvana to lying in bed believing I was about to die?

Suddenly, I was distracted. I looked up to the ceiling and there was a small and bright light above my head. It was about the size of a baseball. It was very bright, but it didn’t hurt to look at it. It began to come closer and closer, and it got brighter and larger, eventually enveloping my entire body. In a blink of an eye, I was looking down on myself peacefully in that bed. I felt the most beautiful love, an intense peace that I had never felt on earth. I knew that I had died, and I was going home. I was so excited and there was no fear at all. I could hear beautiful music and then beings of light surrounded me. There were many; they had the shape of humans, but they were all white, solid light. Beams of light came outward from their heart area, and I felt completely connected to them. We were all one, reunited and sharing love. It was so peaceful, and I was basking in the beauty of it all.

All of a sudden, I looked down and saw myself as an infant. It was like a movie. There I was, going through my life. It was as if I was watching a movie fast forward. It covered every moment and every feeling that I ever experienced. I felt the pain. I felt the joy. I felt the love. I felt the sadness. I felt the envy. I felt the jealousy. I felt everything that a human being could feel. It was a quick review of everything. It was so magical, and I was not afraid because I knew I was home and I knew that my Grandma was there, along with everyone else close to me who had passed on.

As I kept watching this movie, I saw the sweet little faces of my two children. Isabella and Stephen were ages 7 and 4 at the time. In that moment I hesitated. I asked, “What about my children? They need me, don’t they?” I wanted to be with them. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It’s hard to explain the communication. I guess you could say it was telepathic. It was the way I had always communicated with sprit growing up. The voice I heard was gentle and kind, and filled with love. It told me that it was not my time and assured me that I would return. The voice told me that I had to go back to instill in my children all that I had learned on my spiritual path. I was told that I have stories to share, and I must return. It was so quick—like a flash of light—and I was back in my body, lying on my bed in the hotel room.

Having this NDE transformed my life, heightened my senses, and gave me full trust in all the information that now comes to me. It has taken me years to finally own up to my abilities. I never asked for the gifts that I have, but they were always within me. The NDE put all the pieces of my puzzle together, and it took away all my fears.

Now I truly believe that we all have a purpose.

That purpose is inside us all, but we must become still and listen to find it. I share this story to inspire you on your own journey of self-discovery. Remembering that day releases a warm feeling in my heart, which glows constantly with love for everyone. May you find trust in your own spiritual path.

Julianne Statnick is the mother of two children, Isabella and Stephen. She has been a flight attendant for over 25 years, traveling internationally for the past 8 years. She has a passion for people and knew at a very young age that she had a special gift of communicating with those who have passed on. When she is not flying, she enjoys making jewelry, painting, giving reiki, working with crystals and giving angel readings. In July of 2006, she experienced a NDE (near death experience) which guided her to continue to work on her spiritual path of inspiring others and sharing her stories. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA and you can reach her at

This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at,, and all ebook formats.


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