Before watching the below video, allow me to set the scene a bit. It’s 2008 in a run-of-the-mill 1980s decor hotel conference room in Durham, North Carolina. Attached to the cream cloth wall is a light hovering like an angel at Kimberly Clark Sharp’s shoulder. Before her is a microphone. To her left, a faux crystal glass for water is turned upside down.
Kimberly Clark Sharp looks to be in her late 50s, so she must have been in her teens or early twenties when she had her near death experience (NDE). It’s curious that people tend to come back from NDEs with some insight about the importance of love, but I’m curious about memory here, and how she recalls a vivid experience from her past.
Now for a bit of skepticism. Over the past four decades, how many times, do you suppose, has she told this story? Might it have picked up some narrative smoothing out and apocryphal elements in the retelling?
And how important is this story to her in terms of attention-getting and self-identity? Would she exaggerate for effect and audience pleasing?
As compared to her 2008 recounting of her experience, do you think she might have told a different story in, say, 1971?
Below is an interesting 60 Minutes episode on memory (or, rather, on its questionable reliability):