I was working as a housekeeper for an agency and was heading out in the morning with a new trainee. We were taking a major highway to get to our location faster. It was a warm clear sunny day and traffic was moderate for 9:00 in the morning on a weekday.
I was driving in the far left lane (fast lane) when my trainee screamed 'Look out!' Upon a quick glance to my right, I saw a mini-van in the middle lane coming into our lane, parallel to my vehicle. If I did not move, our cars would collide. In an effort to avoid collision, I began to straddle the median strip and the road.
The median had very uneven ground due to large clumps of dried mud and crumpled pavement and it made my vehicle immediately hard to control. My steering wheel jerked out of my hands and the vehicle fishtailed across three lanes of traffic straight into a semi. My car hit just in front of the rear tire well and my small compact car was stuck under the frame of the trailer.
At the point of impact, it was like everything froze. Almost like someone hit a pause button. I remember looking at the cracked windshield and looking over to my passenger who had a look of horror on his face. I then looked out my side window and remember thinking, 'I'm going to die now,' right before hearing an awful screech. (The metal of the car dislodging before the semi's tires spit me out back across traffic end over end.)
At the time I had this thought, it felt like large hands were laid on both my shoulders from behind, almost in a comforting manner, and I felt the most amazing sense of peace come over me. I knew I was at the end and I was okay with it. I didn't have flashbacks or any time to think of what I was leaving behind. I let out the most relaxed sigh of my life and it was as if I slipped out of myself into a comforting darkness. I still tell people to this day that it was the most peaceful moment of my life.
When I awoke, I was in a hospital bed. Apparently, the car flipped multiple times and landed back in the median strip. The semi had caused the whole thing by not checking his blind spot before coming over into the minivan's lane. The end resulted in a gaping head wound in my left temple area where I had been scalped by glass when my head went through the window and hit pavement multiple times. It was a miracle I wasn't dead AND my passenger made it through with only a couple scratches.
When I think back on the experience I know I didn't just black out. I have a nagging memory of having a conversation with a spiritual being and it's almost as if I wasn't allowed to remember it. It frustrates me still to this day because inside of myself I know the simple memory of it would rock my world.
Date NDE Occurred: 'July 21, 2001'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
The front of my head smashed through the car window, virtually scalping me in my left temple area with multiple impacts in the same area as my car flipped on the highway.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal At the point of impact with the semi truck.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the point of impact with the semi truck.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I feel that I am not allowed to remember.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I know I met someone, but once again I feel like I am not allowed to remember.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain I feel like I am not allowed to remember what occurred when I left 'life' - or that's the best way to describe it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I feel I went somewhere and spoke with someone but its like I am not allowed to remember.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace. A sense of comfortable coziness that just makes you feel joy and knowledge that everything was going to be ok no matter what happens.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist I was raised catholic but at this time I had been away from the church for some time. I was at an age where religion/faith was not very important to me.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It made me realizes that there HAS to be more after death.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist I am now a practicing catholic again
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It made me realizes that there HAS to be more after death.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I know I was told something but am not allowed to remember.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feelings.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When I was sure my life was over and instead of pain or fear I felt a presence of protection and great peace - that stays with me. Especially since, I work in hospice care. I have great faith in what these patients of mine will experience. I no longer fear the journey that awaits us all.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about a year or so before I started to vaguely describe my experience. I was afraid they wouldn't believe me. I also was afraid to believe myself. I had head trauma - so for a while I wanted to heal or see if I had any lost details of the accident come back to me. I wanted to wait until I was completely well again before I spoke of what happened. I didn't want anyone to pass this experience off as brain swelling or some other excuse. This is the first time I have gone into full detail.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had always heard of NDE on talk shows, but they always involved out of body experiences and tunnels with a white light - I didn't experience any of that.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real I was afraid to view it as real. I had head trauma and I didn't want to find out that what I thought was real was only due to a chemical reaction in my brain or some other medical explanation.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Almost ten years have gone by and not one detail of the experience has diminished or changed.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No