“The main character in Andrew Clover’s latest novel has an accident, her consciousness splitting to revisit significant scenes in her past and to review her life. And this, he claims, happened also to him.”
In the latest podcast from The Eternities, the author discusses a near death experience during which he seemed to leave his body.
Clover tells how he tripped and knocked himself out “while running to collect his young daughter from a local bus stop. But instead of finding himself unconscious, he claims to have remained aware.”
“I could actually see my body in this puddle, and then I was just thinking, ‘The girls!’, and I was remembering my eldest daughter.” Suddenly, he found himself viewing her safely making her way home.
“And the next thing, I was back in my house and I could see my eldest daughter … she was fine. And I was in the living room and I could see my youngest daughter, lying on the sofa. And I just suddenly thought ‘ Oh my god, what have I done!’ Just terrible guilt. What I saw really quickly were sort of scenes in my life with her.
“It seemed to expose the core thought in my being, which was, ‘have I failed my children? Have I done enough?’”
Clover also described the sense of being “watched by a kinder force” and how, after being given an experience of profound peace, he was told he must return to his body.
The experience inspired his most recent novel, The Things I’d Miss, about a woman who has a near death experience and awakes in her past, eighteen years old, lying beside the man she had always loved yet never kissed. It has been described by the UK press as “Heart stopping, and genuinely instructive about love” and “A modern fable about working out what is really important”.
Clover also describes in the podcast how his experience conditioned a more flowing and less intellectual approach to the novel’s writing. “The experience I’ve had has made me much more aware of the phenomenon of the higher self … I think I’d half believed that [before]. It doesn’t seem like a step to think that that wiser self is somehow connected to everyone else and somehow outside of time.”