It was January 2006, and the year was only a few hours old when gypsy-rock singer Hazen Sage experienced death first-hand.
“It was probably the greatest thing I ever got to experience,” Sage said.
Moments earlier, Sage had been trying to break up a violent alcohol-fueled fight at a New Years party in Coombs, B.C. That’s when one of the members involved in the fight got in a car and ran Sage over three times.
“The next thing you know, with the driver’s door open, he put it [the car] in reverse and the door knocked me to the ground and I went under the wheels,” Sage recalled. “He drove right over me.”
After running over Sage one more time, the driver ended up crashing into a tree and pinning the Cowichan Valley resident under the car. Soon after, in an attempt to get away from a mob of people, the driver tried to reverse the vehicle, but struck and killed Sage.
“He backed up and I got spit up into the transfer case and that’s where I died,” Sage said.
For 13-minutes Sage, whose partner was a registered nurse and on scene of the event, was officially dead.
“I cried for [what felt like] eternity and when I was done crying I was ready to succumb and that was it,” Sage said about the moments after death. “I was on to heaven or whatever the deal is and that’s when they [some unexplained voice] said ‘you gotta go back and test your faith’ … and all this big list of things that I needed to achieve.”
Sage was eventually revived and sent to Nanaimo General Hospital, where he spent five days in intensive care. “All the sudden everything just stopped and I just floated like a feather back down to my body,” Sage explained about the moments leading up to his revival. Eight years later, Sage is completely healthy and will take the stage at the Dinghy Dock Pub tonight (May 13) alongside singer Tora Leigh. “I am going to bust out three or four new tunes at Dinghy Dock,” Sage said about the upcoming show. Sage, who has been a member of various bands, has been involved in music since he was a little kid. In 2012, he released his first full-length album called ‘Within the Moment’, to Raw Live Records. The album touched on his brush with death. The Vancouver Island Music Award nominee has previously shared the stage with John Fogerty of CCR, Tom Wilson of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Clayton Bellamy Band, Shred Kelly, Wax Mannequin, Miss Quincy & the Showdown, Picture the Ocean and Emily Spiller “That was just awesome,” Sage said about sharing the stage with Fogerty. During the 13 minutes that Sage was deceased, he found himself in a state beyond anything that he had ever experienced as a living organism. “I try to reference to the experience as 3D. You’re just a ball of energy at that point. When I got there it was in a blink of an eye and it was cold and dark and basically a little ball of light made its way to me. It wasn’t fire or anything, it was more cosmic if you know what I mean?” Sage explained about his experience after death. “It was this little orange orb that basically grabbed me and all the sudden that’s all there was.”
Sage added that as he returned to his body, everything that he could see was originally 2-dimensional and then became 3-dimensional. He explained that the entire experience made him question everything about life.
“That was when I realized that none of this was real,” Sage said. “That this is just a 3D reality. It is not what we think it is. So it kind of shifted my whole thoughts and belief systems.”
The events of that night would ultimately see Sage lose more than just his life. He said he lost friends soon after he began sharing his experiences about life after death.
“Everybody that I had as friends didn’t understand me anymore,” Sage said. “Pals started going in different directions … it’s been a hell of a ride.”
Hazen Sage performs at the Dinghy Dock Pub on Tuesday (May 13) at 8:00 p.m. For more information visit www.hazensage.com