I was rushed to the hospital. Approximately one hour later, I whispered to my husband to take care of our children. Almost immediately, I found myself floating on the ceiling of the room and looking down at my body on the bed. I remember watching my husband run out of the room yelling for help. Then I was floating in what seemed like a tunnel. I could see white light in the distance. As I got closer to the light, I experienced a tremendous sense of peace. I don't know whether or not I actually saw friends or family but there was a vague sense that they surrounded me. It was a wonderful feeling and I remember thinking that it would be nice to stay there forever. A voice came to me then, and said it wasn't time for me to stay, and that I needed to 'go back'. The next thing I remember was lying back in bed surrounded by medical staff. They gave me oxygen and were pounding on my chest. Once I was fully conscious, they gave me several pints of blood. My doctor told me that he thought they had lost me.
Date NDE Occurred: 1971
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Childbirth Life threatening event, but not clinical death . I hemorrhaged one week after delivery. The hospital staff were not aware at the time how close to death I was because of high hemoglobin.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 I remember worrying about my children. That really was the focus of my experience until I got to the bright light - then it was thinking how peaceful it was and that I would like to stay there.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Moving toward the light.
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 I felt as if I was in the field with the bright light both for a long time and yet only briefly.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? It has been so many years that don't remember.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Too many years have gone by to remember.
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? Yes A dark tunnel with light in the distance. The closer I got to the light, the larger and brighter it became.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I think I had the sensation of being surrounded by family - kind of like vague figures but I remember hearing voices clearly.
The experience included: Light
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? Yes A pin point at first. But as I got closer to it - larger and brighter.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt as if I were in a field of beautiful wild flowers. Since then, I always think of heaven as being a field of flowers.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First sadness; then peacefulness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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 I don't remember learning anything new, just a sense that my past surrounded me.
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? Moderate Episcopalian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I believe there is definitely some kind of afterlife. That God is forgiving, kind and merciful. And, if there isn't an afterlife, it doesn't really matter because the experience of dying was very pleasant.
What is your religion now? Liberal Looking for new church
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe there is definitely some kind of afterlife. That God is forgiving, kind and merciful. And, if there isn't an afterlife, it doesn't really matter because the experience of dying was very pleasant.
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 felt that my knowledge of an afterlife and God were a certainty after this experience.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes My mother died four years later. I lived in Connecticut. She lived in Florida. At 1:10 am, I sat up in bed and said, 'Mom's dead.' I didn't call my father for fear of alarming him unnecessarily. At 9:00 am, he called me, and before he could tell me, I said, 'Yes, I know, mom died at about 1:00 this morning'. He was dumbfounded. I still believe that she was thinking about me at the time she died.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? My life was in turmoil at the time, and it made it very clear that I had three children to take care of - especially my newborn. It also made me realize that death is nothing to fear, and that God or some great spiritual being is at the end of the tunnel. I do not hesitate to tell my patients that now.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I didn't tell anyone about my out of body experience until 1975 when a friend of mine told me about an amazing book she had just read called, Life After Life. When I read it, I knew that I had experienced that, and felt somewhat freer to share it with others. My father died in 1980. Several months prior to his death, I went to visit him in Florida. The day I left to go home to my family I sat on his bed and as we said goodbye, both knowing it would be the last time we would see each other, I told him of my experience in order to ease his transition. He thanked me profusely and said that it helped take away the fear.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definately not real I remembered it vividly, but was quite sure that no one would believe me. So I didn't mention it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. After reading Life After Life, and then more recent versions of NDEs I am certain it was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It is very important for me to remember the pleasantness of the event as I grow older and closer to the end of my life. My own religious beliefs have changed somewhat over the years but I still believe that the light was God or some spiritual being.