Out of body: Rita Berman’s story of choosing life


If you left your body on the operating table and faced death without any ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or visits from the deceased, how would you feel?

Rita Berman is a freelance writer living in Chapel Hill. She is the author of The A-Z of Writing and Selling and she just published Still Hopping, Still Hoping, a biography of Carla Shuford, a long-time amputee who also lives in Chapel Hill. She had an out-of-body experience in August of 2008 when she had heart valve replacement surgery. For her, it was an encounter with death, an affirmation of life, and a spur to become a better person. Join as us as she reflects on her experience.

Download the podcast here.

  • Geoffrey Kuritzky

    I emailed Rita Berman in order to try to correct her misconception regarding Jewish beliefs (as well as to bemoan the poor exposure that she must have had to Judaism). I am commenting here in order to try to make sure that you are also not left with the wrong impression of Judaism. I emailed her the following:

    Mrs. Berman,

    This morning, I listened to the podcast from when you went on “PsychTalk Radio” a few months back. I felt that I needed to get in touch, since I consider it a tremendous shame that you are under the impression that Jews don’t have a life after death. Although admittedly, you did restrict that notion to the circles you were familiar with. But, still – whether one looks at parts of the Bible, the “written law”, where there are allusions, or one looks to the Talmud, the “oral law”, which is replete with references to a life after death, other books and commentaries, or the Maimonidean principles of faith. Inasmuch as people focus on this world and this life, it is because a person’s current life affects the rest of the person’s eternal life (let alone the fact that of course people may focus on this life because it is where they are currently located and the life with which they are familiar).


    Geoff Kuritzky