It was as if I was seeing through a kaleidoscope (again, not precisely what really happened, but as close as I can get with words). The things I was experiencing (and truth be told, using the word 'seeing' isn't really even accurate, but I'm limited with words) made no sense at all at first, but after a time, I seemed to be able to make a little bit of sense out of all the whirling images/impressions. After an even longer time, I slowly began to realize that some of the shapes and colors I was experiencing were a 'landscape' of sorts - but then I became startled when it dawned on me that some of the collage actually represented a sentient being.
Not long after realizing that there was someone there with me, I knew without a doubt that it was my grandfather on my mother's side. Now, my maternal grandfather died before I was three years old, and I have no conscious recollection of the man at all. In fact, at the time of this experience, I probably hadn't even had a conscious thought about the man in well over a decade. After more time had passed, I was able to determine that he was indicating to me that I couldn't come to him yet. I tell this narrative like there was actual verbal communication, but in reality, it was nothing like that at all. Everything was just a series of osmotic impressions. It's just so hard to describe. I do remember at one point believing that there was a sheet of some sort of glass-like substance between us - I was definitely on one side of this barrier while he was on the other.
Soon after this encounter, I felt the most unpleasant tugging sensation that you could possibly imagine. It happened two or three times (can't really remember), and that's when I woke up in an ambulance to find a group of paramedics looking very relieved that my eyes were open. I remember being very angry at first that they had brought me back. I really could not make a lot of sense out of the things that I experienced in the short time that I was 'gone.' I did know without a doubt that wherever it was that I had been had been a MUCH better place than the painful reality of having tubes in my lungs, needles in my arms, and air forced in and out of my chest due to the fact that my bronchial tubes were severely constricted.
Date NDE Occurred: 04/27/2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Respiratory Arrest (I have been a chronic asthmatic since the age of 3) Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) . My heart stopped for over two minutes, and by the physician's estimation, my brain went without oxygen for nearly twice that long.
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? Less consciousness and alertness than normal I'm not sure how to answer this question. I lost my cognitive ability long before I actually lost consciousness, and didn't regain any real cognitive ability until WELL after I'd been brought out of my medically induced coma two days after the incident.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I'm not sure how to answer this question. I lost my cognitive ability long before I actually lost consciousness.
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 The time I spent in that wash of colors and sensations seemed to take an eternity - in reality, I was only out of it for about five minutes.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I did not have hearing, vision, or tactile sensations as we would recognize them in this existence. This is the very limitation that makes it so hard to describe my experience in detail.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? See the explanation above.
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? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 It was my maternal grandfather. He communicated with me, but in a way that I can't really be clear about. He definitely let me know what I wouldn't be staying with him just yet, but he didn't use words or anything like that. It was almost as if I simply 'absorbed' his thoughts. I definitely knew it was him, however. Of that, there is no doubt.
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? No
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Mostly confusion - some sense of being startled when I realized that there was a sentient being standing near me - but other than that, just confusion, calm and wonder.
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I seemed to be separated from the being that I knew to be my grandfather by what I can only best describe as 'a sheet of glass or frozen water'. I did not cross it. I had no real cognitive sense of what would have happened had I crossed it. It didn't seem to be something that I was able to do.
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? Liberal None
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal None
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain There are times when I feel that almost anything I do in this life seems trivial since this corporeal existence is now clearly a temporary state of being. Other than these passing moments, however, I do not really feel much of an impact anymore from what happened.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was as if I was receiving information in some other fashion that through my five senses. I can give very vague explanations of what I experienced through words, but trying to describe my experience to people has been akin to what I would imagine it would be like trying to describe the color red to someone who's been completely blind since birth.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared my experience almost immediately on regaining consciousness in the hospital. When I told my mother, she burst into tears and told me that my grandfather's final request before he died was to be buried with a picture of me in his suit jacket. This was information previously unknown to me.
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 definitely real. There is no doubt to me that the experience was real. At first, the experience caused me to have changed views about the finality of my existence. After seven years, however, the emotions of the experience have faded to the point where I am left with little more than a sense that I know nothing about what is going to happen to me after I die other than the fact that SOMETHING will happen other than just winking out of 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? Yes I have used certain hallucinogenic drugs in an attempt to revisit this experience. I have achieved levels of consciousness through the use of these substances that were definitely outside the realm of what would be considered 'normal' perception - but nothing has ever gotten me close to what I experienced when I died.