The Fragrance of Angels: An Accident, a Taste of Eternity, and a New Life

Martha Brookhart Halda

It happened in an instant: a car crash, thrown from the vehicle, pronounced clinically dead while lying on the road, rotors turned off the Life Flight helicopter—and then swept into eternity . . . only to return, after being pronounced dead three times, to a far different life.

Welcome to The Fragrance of Angels, Martha Brookhart Halda’s memoir about time on the other side—and how and why she reshaped and developed a new purpose in life after it became more fraught with challenge after visiting heaven.

The Fragrance of Angels distinguishes itself as a mother’s empowerment story, taking us from a parent’s greatest horror—dying while the kids are young—to a profound change in her approach to parenting and life. The former collegiate track, volleyball, and basketball player and mother discusses how she dealt with extensive rehabilitation, a difficult marriage, re-learning to walk and talk, returning to full-time motherhood, running the Dublin Marathon three years after her accident, striking out on her own, meeting new love, and finding new meaning in a world that never looked or felt the same to her again. Within her story is that of so many other women in the middle of their lives, yet infused with a sense of purpose and discovery borne by her time on the other side.

The Fragrance of Angels is filled with a deep sense of love and challenge, physical beauty and emotional upheaval, frustration and triumph. Ultimately, it contains quite a surprise—the one Martha realized when she was in eternity.

About the Author

Martha Brookhart Halda, author


My life can be summed up in four words: faith, family, adventure, and perseverance. My life was built around family, until life crashed to a halt on October 8, 1999. I suffered the car crash that provides the basis for The Fragrance of Angels. A taste of eternity is the story of my near death experience during this near-fatal car accident, and my quest to regain a normal life. Being a former college track and volleyball athlete provided me the drive and skills to regain my strength and survive. Writing this book provides me the outlet to fulfill a promise; to my late father, Ray F. Brookhart, and more importantly to God that I would tell my story and of His love.

Today, I live Oceanside Ca. and work in the Vacation Ownership Industry in Oceanside, California. I encourage people to enjoy the marvels of this world, and to create precious memories with the people that mean the most in their life, because I know all we get to take with us is our integrity and our memories.