I promised to write about Eliana's ‘talks’ about Heaven. It is hard to do this objectively, so I will try to literally write down the words she said together with a little context. I have been keeping a diary, so it will be easy to quote her verbatim. Keep in mind that Eliana hardly has been to church the first years of her life. She had to be isolated in order to prevent getting sick. Here is my first diary entry when Eliana is 2.5 years old. She just started talking. Being bilingual she has a slight speech delay, amazingly because she is bilingual NOT because of her ‘catastrophic’ stroke. Since I quote her literally, her sentences are 75% in English and about 25% in Dutch. August 10 2012.
A few months ago, while taking a shower together Eliana blurts out. ‘The doctor didn't take my ‘ouwie’ away, but God did! I was really, really dood (dead) and sick. The ghost brought me naar jou (to you). I was in de hemel (in heaven) toen (when) ik (I) was ziekie (sick). I had ‘ouwie’ on my arm. She is a nice one, too, and a bad one. I ate a blauw (blue) cookie in de hemel (in heaven). You and me and daddy always go in heaven.’ She kept talking about the ‘bad’ ghost bringing her back, the bad ghost who was nice, too. I kept asking why she called the ghost bad if she was nice. Suddenly it dawned upon me. I said ‘you wanted to stay, didn't you?’ Then the weirdest solemn look appeared on her face. It seemed she didn't want to admit it. Slowly she nodded her head in a ‘yes’. ‘Yes, I wanted to stay, but now I am happy to be with mommy and daddy.’
August 21 2012. Diary entry, Today Eliana and I were looking at pictures in an angel book, (first time ever, never really mentioned nor talked about angels). She pointed at one and said ‘That’s the wrong color (it was wearing a brown robe)’ then she pointed to an angel in white and said ‘That’s the right one’ I asked ‘Did you see one like that?’ She pointed to the window. I asked ‘Outside?’ (I didn't want to put words in her mouth). She said ‘No, in Heaven’. I exclaimed ‘I would love to see an angel, too!’ Eliana in a soothing voice ‘Dat komt wel mama, als je in de hemel bent (don’t worry mom that will happen when you are in heaven.)’ Life with Eliana is amazing. I have never been so whole.
August 29 2012. Diary Entry, This was in the bathtub of course! I love how she pronounces believe as ‘bewieve’! Eliana asked, ‘Mum, what do you bewieve?’ Me, What do you mean? Eliana, ‘What you bewieve is who you are and what you need.’
September, 2012. Diary entry, Still trembling and shaky and I swear I am speaking the truth, although I hardly believe it. I just put Eliana down to sleep. I sang a Christmas lullaby ‘Er is een kindeke’ for her since she needed calming down. She is still so excited about her pre-school (a secular Montessori school). I sang a song about baby Jesus. She doesn’t know him in any other capacity than being a baby. She never went to Sunday school, nor did she ever hear about the crucifixion. (I just checked with G., our very Christian babysitter.) Suddenly Eliana said, ‘Jesus is better now.’ I said ‘What do you mean?’ Eliana said ‘He had blood.’ I asked ‘Where?’ Then she told me as serious as she never had been before, ‘On his feet. On his hands. Out of his eyes.’ And while touching my cheeks ‘On his cheeks’. My heart started beating super-fast. Where did you see that? Eliana, ‘In heaven.’ I started crying. Eliana never likes when I cry and almost started crying, too. I stopped immediately. She said, ‘Don’t cry, he is better now!’ I asked ‘Why did Jesus have blood?’ Then Eliana got a smirk on her face and said in a very suave tone, ‘Oh, he was run over by a car!’ Me, ‘Are there cars in heaven?’ Eliana smirking ‘Mom, THAT last part was a joke.
November 4 2012, Before this afternoons concert I was showing Eliana my new very shiny golden glittery stockings. They were as shiny as the sun. I guess, now that I think of it, even a little bit too shiny to be on stage! Now I quote, (Again totally out of the blue.) Eliana, ’Mama, zijn je panties dood?’ (Mom, are your stockings dead?). Me, Why would they be dead? Eliana pointing at the glitter, ‘Because that’s how it is in heaven.’ Then, in a soothing voice, ‘Always bewieve mama, always bewieve!’ Isn't this amazing? If I had to invent quotes of children about heaven I would never ever even have been able to come up with something like this. Days/weeks/months go by without any extraordinary sayings from Eliana. Then I think it is all over and then ‘boom’ she floors me again.
I promised to write more if Eliana would say more, so here it is (literally), Nov. 23 2012, Eliana, I saw 5 engelen in mijn lichaam. (Angels in my body)
Nov 24. 2012, Eliana, I hope the’ 'holies' are here. Me, What are the holies? Eliana, People in the light. De holies zijn mensen en kettingen (The holies are people and necklaces.) Me, kettingen? (Necklaces?) Eliana, Yes, they glisten. De mensen kunnen hun ogen niet open doen (the people can’t open their eyes). Me, Waarom niet? (Why not?) Eliana, There are dots, dot, dot, dot, dot. Me, m-m-m? Eliana, Glinster (glisten) like the light. Me, o-o-oh, the light is so bright? Eliana, Yes, in God.
March 13 2013, Today Eliana talked again. Eliana, Mom? I love God! He says he is in my heart always. He is light and dark and the light chases away the dark.’ (Maybe she said ‘get rid of’ I forgot the exact words.) And earlier this afternoon, we were reading together. So nice! She was ‘reading’ her book and I was reading my book. She looked in my book and saw a picture of an angel. (‘Forgotten Scriptures Revealed’ by J.R. Porter.) Pointing at the picture she said ‘That angel looks right, it has the right color’ Eliana, Mom? Me, Yes? Eliana, The angel touched me. Me, Where? Eliana, Here! (She was pointing to her chest/heart.)
April 10 2013, Today Eliana told me she was afraid of forgetting.
It makes me a little sad, but it might be good. I heard this might happen around this time. Eliana is now 4 years old and she is becoming more and more aware about the world around her. She also is becoming more self-conscience. The following conversation I wasn't able to write down right away. I wrote it down a few days later, so some words might have been different. Eliana, ‘Mommy, where was I when I was a baby?’ Me, ‘What do you mean?’ Eliana, ‘When I had a cut (pointing at her chest) and I went in. Me, ‘Oh when you told me you were with God and got a blue round cookie?’ Eliana, ‘YES! I am afraid I will forget! I want to go in again and get another blue round cookie. They are sweet. Like honey. NOT like sugar. There were angels in the white sky.’ Me, ‘What were they doing?’ Eliana, ‘They were HOLDING me you silly! I was a BABY!’
Date NDE Occurred: February 2009/June 2009
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedHeart attackWhile under general anesthesiaCPR given Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Eliana nearly died at 2 and 9 months.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 cannot answer this question since Eliana is still a toddler.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I have no idea.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. Cannot answer.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Cannot answer.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain Cannot answer.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain
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 Eliana always pointed to light as a baby.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Cannot answer.
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? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? 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 No idea, I can only quote Eliana.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Unknown
What was your religion prior to your experience? Do not know Eliana was a baby , so she didn't have any religion .She also has been kept out of church since she had to be isolated.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Unknown
What is your religion now? No comment
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 Can not answer for my 3 year old
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 Eliana talks about Mister God and Jesus.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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.)? Yes Eliana talks about Mister God and Jesus
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes
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? Uncertain Cannot answer for my 3 year old.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Unknown
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
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Uncertain
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Eliana just ‘knows’ people. When we were selling our couch a couple came to our door with their 3-year-old child. We didn't know these people and it was winter, so the child was wearing a warm sweater, no sign of heart surgery. When Eliana saw the child and the child saw Eliana they practically ran to each other, hugged, held hands and started dancing and singing. They were so happy to see each other. It was like they recognized each other. When I asked the mother if her child also had had heart surgery, she was floored and said ‘yes’. Her child also had had terrible complications during her heart surgery. Something similar happened just a month ago when she first started going to preschool. She has no special friends in her class, but during recess she has a super duper best friend .They wait for each other, they play, they give each other hugs, and kisses. I found out this child didn't have heart surgery, but she WAS born with a huge hole in her heart.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes
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
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? Uncertain