The History of SHIMMERstate

Where did it start? I often wonder where stories come from – especially this one, by far the most unusual of all. SHIMMERstate goes back a long time…

Many years ago, I attended a terminally sick gentleman. His body had given up the fight against cancer, leaving him frail and weak. This, quite naturally, was the reason why he became more and more depressed and short-tempered.

I came to know him quite well in those days. Twice a day I’d sit down next to his bed to try and convince him to see his family and friends; but he refused, saying he didn’t want them to see him like that.

“I used to be a big, strong man Doctor. In my youth I excelled in athletics and later I played wing for my club. Look at me now – I’m a pathetic bag of skin and bones. I don’t want hem to remember me like this. Anyway, mind your own business. The other patients are waiting for you.”

Despite his rebukes (and later, sullen silences) I’d spend time next to his bed every day, chatting about Life, Love, Faith and Hope…even the subject he detested and feared: Death. Whenever I sat down with him, I’d be met with a scowl and a tired sigh.

Then, one morning, he flashed me a brilliant smile as I walked into his room. He was – quite obviously – in a tremendously happy mood. I asked about it.

“Last night, two men visited me. They were dressed in white robes and stood at the foot of the bed while they spoke to me. They told me too say my goodbyes today, Doc, and that they’d be here at eleven tonight to escort me home. 

“I can’t explain it, but after they left, a feeling of excited anticipation settled inside me. I understand things so much better now. Please, Doc, tell my family I’d like to see them. Please?”

I asked the night staff: no, nobody visited him during the night. His room was right opposite the nursing station, they’d have noticed…

He spent the day with his family and friends, encouraging them, telling them not to worry. He knows where he’s going now, he told them; the fear of the unknown is gone.

That night, at exactly eleven, he smiled, closed his eyes – and was gone.


That incident planted a seed that would take more than two decades to germinate. During that time, other patients and other events added to my impression that we are so much more than a body. And finally, when I sat down to write SHIMMERstate, the story came to me as a complete unit – I only had to write it down. Even so, it took three years.

I’m not a theologian, and my talent is not to convey a message with a dry, unexciting thesis. I’m a story-teller: that’s what I do best. So, SHIMMERstate is the story of a simple man who experiences a near-death event. In his comatose state, he leaves his body and gets involved in the ultimate adventure of his life. 

My wish is that the book will help people to look at Life with new eyes; that we’ll start questioning the superficial values society accepts, and that we’ll appreciate each other with greater respect.

           Click to buy.

Click to buy.


7 thoughts on “The History of SHIMMERstate

  1. Rita van der Linde

    Wat ‘n ongelooflike buiteblad Amos. Nog ‘n jamerte van die elektroniese boeke, die pragtige
    buiteblad op mens se boekrak. Maak nie saak nie ek koop sommer die boek vir die mooi en
    lees dit weer as my skouers reggemaak is. In 1987 is my sussie se man dood. Die laaste aand
    was ek en sy by hom in The Little Company of Mary’s. Hy was baie siek maar het skielik sy
    trouring afgehaal en vir haar gegee met ‘n “Vat my ring, die manne kom netnou” Hy is ‘n paar
    uur later dood. My man het vir ons seuns gese “Die manne moet nou kom”. Nie een
    van hulle twee het ooit oor sulke dinge gepraat nie. Inteendeel. Wonder waarom die woorde.
    Hopelik sal ek nou in jou boek bietjie, of baie duidelikheid kry.

    1. Amos van der Merwe Post author

      Ja, daai buiteblad is Marinda Ehlers se kreatiwiteit – sy’s werklik ongelooflik met hierdie projekte. Daai manne wat kom haal…dit laat mens dink, nè! Ek hoop jy geniet die boek! (en dankie!)

  2. Dawn Neethling

    Beautiful-I am suddenly less worried about the fact that I sometimes seem to randomly tune into comments that seem to be part of conversations between other people. Not directed at me-just a loose but clear sentence obviously part of a conversation!Usually some ordinary comment without any deep meaning!Also unrelated to anything that I am busy with at the time.

    1. Amos van der Merwe Post author

      I believe nothing happens without a purpose..that chance overhearing has some meaning. Maybe the reason will only manifest itself some time in the future, but there you are: no coincidences at all…

  3. Pingback: Lig van die wêreld. | Slakkelak

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