The first experience happened in 2005. I was in my Ford pickup just after leaving a job site. I was a salesman for a construction equipment company.
I was stopped at a corner in Georgia. I remember motioning for the car coming from the opposite direction to make their turn, as they were there first.
Then I remember hearing a quick skid and hearing what sounded like an enormous explosion - the crashing of metal and shattering of glass. After that, I remember a feeling of beautiful peace, contentment, happiness, calmness, comfort, warmth, and no pain. I felt as if someone were behind me, and, as I was still strapped in my seatbelt, I felt I was being held from behind and my head was resting on a woman's breast. It was, at that time, the most incredible, wonderful feeling I had ever had. I had never felt that way in my life. It was truly beautiful. I have no idea how long I remained in that state, but, from talking to witnesses, I was unconscious for several minutes. When I woke up, I remember feeling a little angry. I felt angry that I was awake and that the wonderful feeling was gone. Then the pain started and reality hit me in the face. After that, my memory is very foggy, almost nonexistent, other than that I was out of my truck walking around, and a woman told me my head was bleeding. I put my hand back there to see. It was covered in blood. The ambulance arrived and I was taken to the emergency room and then, after several hours, a friend brought me home.
Near Death Experience number two.
My second experience happened about three years ago. In between those years, I had cervical spine surgery where they used cadaver bone to replace vertebrate in my cervical spine. A plate with six screws was inserted to keep it all together.
Anyway, I was at the surgery center where I would go for injections in my back and cervical spine for pain. I had had several of each since my accident. This time my doctor decided to go in to my cervical spine through the right side of my neck. All the other neck injections that I'd had, had been done from the back of my neck. The procedure went on, and after about an hour or so, my doctor said he was done and asked how I felt. I told him I was a little short of breath and they turned me over on my back. It was then that I suddenly couldn't breathe. I remember fighting to get up and trying to say, ‘I can't breathe.’ The nurses, doctor and techs were trying to hold me down. My doctor started to use one of those blue breathing bags on me and I remember I was still fighting to get up. I have no idea how long that went on. It felt like a long time, though. Then I just seemed to lie back down, my doctor had the bag on me and was stroking my head. Then I relieved myself and thought, ‘Man, I just peed all over myself!’ but I felt no fear. I remember I was looking up at the drop ceiling and heard a nurse say, ‘My God, we're losing him, get the crash cart.’ Then I heard her say, ‘What do you mean, you can't find the crash cart!? Get it now, we're losing him!’ Then I heard wheels, like on a cart. By now, I remember, I had my eyes closed and was feeling the most incredible feelings. They were feelings of happiness, peace and calm like I've never felt. It was more intense than what I had felt in the accident. Then I remember seeing a beautiful unexplainable whiteness, like an explosion of beautiful bright white. The best way to describe it would be a bright white light, but it wasn't a light. It looked like many, many beams coming from a small center and just exploding into pure white. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I couldn't hear anything, but I felt warm, comfortable, happy, peaceful, and excited. It was like a kid just about to open his Christmas presents multiplied by millions. It's difficult for me to explain. There was absolutely no fear. I remember only beauty and beautiful feelings of, ‘Wow!’ I always get tongue-tied at this point, because I just can't think of words to explain it. I also remember seeing a very small silhouette way back in the center of this beautiful, bright, white light or whatever it was. I don't remember if it was moving or maybe motioning to me, but I think it was.
I have no idea how long this lasted but, as far as I was concerned, I didn't want it to stop. Then I remember this beautiful white light retracting back into its center. Like a funnel. My eyes opened and I remember my body making a huge gasp of inhaling oxygen. I remember that when my body gasped for that first breath, I sat up. A nurse looked to be crying. (I saw tears in her eyes and on her face.) I had no idea what had happened and I remember no feeling of relief or anything. I remember my doctor saying I had had a panic attack. Now, I had been having panic attacks for fifteen years and I never, ever, had this happen.
I remember asking a nurse what she thought and she said it wasn't a panic attack, and that was all she'd say.
My wife brought me home after a couple of hours in recovery, where I told her what happened. That evening I was talking with a doctor that does these procedures and he told me that on very rare occasions, these injections, when given through the side of the neck, can sometimes seep into the central nervous system, and, as in my case, deaden the nerves that control the diaphragm, and therefore, breathing stops.
I also have to say that after the first time, in the accident, I have felt the need to do something nice for at least one person every day. Be it just opening a door for someone with their hands full or making someone smile. It's all so hard to explain for me, but I do this every day, and will continue to do so until, when this happens again, I don't come back.
After the second time, I have felt no fear of death. Understand that I'm in no hurry, I want to be with my wife and see my children and grandchildren grow up and get old, but I just know that when it is my time, I will welcome it.
I also look at death differently. It is just another step we take to something so beautiful that no one should be afraid. When I say this to people they nod, but I know they think I'm crazy. I know I'm not.
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'I had two experiences.
First in my auto after the accident and in a surgery center after receiving steroid injections for pain in my neck to my cervical spine.'
In my first experience, I was sitting in my pickup waiting to turn left when a loaded tractor trailer rear-ended me while it was traveling at approximately sixty-five miles per hour.
My second experience happened right after I received several injections of steroids to my cervical spine through the right side of my neck to control pain from injuries I received in the truck accident I had been in.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes In the surgery center I heard the nurse say, ‘We're losing him! Get the crash cart! What do you mean you can't find the crash cart? We're losing him!’ There may have been something else but I don't remember, or I'm not sure.
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 what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The first time, I have to say, it was when I was being held. I was unconscious, but that's how I felt.
The second time, I have to say, it was when I first saw the beautiful bright white.
Again, unconscious but feeling very aware.
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
It all seemed to slow down in the accident. It was as if it was slow motion.
In the surgery center, it was the same, yet at times it felt as if time was speeding up and stopping at the same time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. In the accident, I don't remember seeing anything, just feeling.
In the surgery center, my vision was clear. Very, very clear.
My actual vision isn't great. I wear bifocals and have below-average vision.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. In the accident I don't remember hearing anything.
In the surgery center, my hearing was amazingly sensitive.
I have ridden motorcycles for forty years. I shoot guns and have played in bands, so my hearing is ok, but not great.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes The light was opening like a tunnel or funnel, and closed the same way.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I can't remember.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 It's hard to find words. Just a beautiful bright white. I mean, I can say ‘bright light,’ but I can't really say it was a bright light. Usually, bright light is blinding. This light was not blinding. I looked right at it with no feeling of having to squint my eyes.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm In the accident, the darkness was complete. Yet the feelings of happiness, peace, comfort were absolute.
In the surgery center, I know I wasn't ‘here’ anymore. I was somewhere beautiful and peaceful. It was nowhere I had ever seen or been before. In both experiences, I really didn't want them to end.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? There was no fear in either experience. Only peace, happiness, calm, warmth, and even excitement. No fear at all.
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe This is so hard to explain, but I feel that I'm back for a reason, yet I'm not sure exactly what it is. To watch over my family and my aging parents. To be here to help people or make them feel good and maybe forget their troubles, even if just for a few seconds. To give people back their faith in people or humanity, and to let those that are interested know that this life is not ‘it’ for us.
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? No I'm not sure. I don't remember.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
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 I can't say it was a barrier. It was more a feeling that it's not time yet. There's more to do, and I still am not sure what that is. I have feelings about what it is, but it's nothing I can definitely say, ‘This is why I am still here.’
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic I do not go to church regularly.
I do go when I have a feeling that I need to be in a church to talk to God.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I thank God for my life every day, and I pray several times a day. I ask for forgiveness and the ability to be stronger. I ask God's forgiveness for others, as well, each day. I still don't believe that I have to go to church once a week to worship or give thanks to God. I do it every day, regardless.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I always wanted to believe that there is more and know I know that there is, and it is wonderful and beautiful.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I changed my life around one hundred eighty degrees. I hate to see people hurting. I now know that there is God and I know that what we do in this life will definitely be reflected in our next journey. I believe in the Ten Commandments as my rules for living in this world, many of which I had broken until my experiences. I am grateful for each day and treasure my time here, yet I look forward to going back to where I was in the surgery center, when my time comes.
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 No voice. Only a silhouette in the distant center of the light.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? Uncertain
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No Not that I can remember.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes It was an awareness of heading into another dimension, universe. Something to that order. I was also aware that it was a beautiful place.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes There was an awareness of being welcomed or called in.
As stated before there was a silhouette in the back in the center of the light.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I had, have, the sense that I am supposed to do something nice, or make someone feel good or smile every day. Give someone a feeling that there are still people that will do nice things for someone they don't even know. Give them a sense that the world is not all bad. That there are still good people in this world that will go beyond the norm to help someone.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes I am here for a purpose, yet I still am not quite sure what that is.
I came away from both experiences with the very, very strong feelings that I need to do something nice, make someone smile or feel each day for someone. Mainly someone I never met or k
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Oh, there is life after death. I am absolutely positive of that.
It is more of an awareness, nothing I remember being spoken to me.
I sometimes see things, and feel things. Like an awareness of others with me, and my wife. Shadows and sometimes lights
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Uncertain I think so, but I can't remember or pinpoint it.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No Not that I remember.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Not compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Yes, I was filled with feelings of peace and love, comfort, happiness, excitement.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Well, I hate to admit it, but I wasn't a very nice person. I mean, I wasn't very empathetic to others' problems, issues, heartbreak, etc. I mean, I was aware, but I really didn't concern myself with it. I wasn't very understanding of many issues with my family, wife, children, people close to me. I was aggressive, and could be pretty mean and cold. I was told I was an ass. I have done things in my life that weren't very nice. I took advantage.
If I saw an accident I would stop to help, but I expected some sort of thank you, or accolades. Now I will help without an expectations or need for accolades. I used to do it for attention. I do it now because I want to. Or maybe need to?
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes My wife and children see a difference. I truly believe they now see me as the man I am, not the man I was.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words to explain it. ‘Happiness, beautiful, and peaceful’ don't even come close.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience To be honest, I am on a lot of medication for pain, and have been since my accident. Two of the meds are morphine and methadone twice a day each. These meds have realy affected my memory yet I can remember most, nit all, of what happened in both experiences
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I do see things sometimes. At times it may be a shadow, or a figure, or a glow.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Oh, my, yes! Both experiences had a tremendous impact on my life. They turned my life around for the better. I feel happy and content. I look at each day as a gift from God, and I try to be a better person than I was the day before.
For example, my appreciation for our Earth and all of its creatures has grown one thousand-fold. I try not to take anything for granted and I appreciate the natural beauty of our world like I never did before. Our lives are a miracle.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared both experiences with my wife the same day they happened, and later with others. But I have not shared with a lot of people overall. At times when I have shared, I sometimes get a look like they think I'm nuts and the meds are catching up with me. There are also those that are understanding and, it seems, enlightened, or maybe surprised. I have told maybe fifteen to twenty people.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had some knowledge. I imagine just about what the average person has heard or seen on television.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Well, I knew they happened, but I was confused and sometimes I still am. Why was I sent back? I wonder what haven't I finished, or why am I not done, or what is my purpose? When I start to feel this way, I just get a feeling that it's okay to feel that way and I will know what to do each day. I will know when I have completed my mission as a human being on this earth, in this time, and at that time, I will welcome my new existence.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No I’m not sure I understand this question. It has never been reproduced, but I know what happened, and I believe what happened has changed me. I truly believe it has changed me for the better.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was so beautiful that when I do explain, or try to explain it, it is still very hard to find the words. I mean, how do you explain the most amazing thing that has happened in your life. How do I communicate the feelings and the beauty?
I don't know, but I will never stop trying.
There were a couple of times when my wife and I met people who were facing their mortality. Each time I had the strongest urge to tell them what happened to me, and that I could help take away their fear. Both times that has happened, my wife and I were on a cruise and they were people we had not known before. Yes, I do love to travel on the ocean and just admire the beauty of God's work. Out at sea is my favorite place. At night I like to go out on deck and look up and thank God for what he has given us.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think this is very well done and I hope to hear back.