I was jumping off the top of a small dam into the river. I followed the example of some older boys who were doing it for fun. It was a dangerous and risky activity, but I thought I could do it successfully. My first few jumps off the dam were exhilarating. I just needed to be sure that I jumped out far enough to clear the cascade of water falling down from the dam. Otherwise, one could get pulled down under the water and pinned to the river bottom. Needless to say, I made too short of a jump, and fell into the cascading water. I was tumbled and pushed to the bottom of the river and pinned down flat by the water pressure. I tried to break free, but was not strong enough. I held my breath and thought to myself, 'This is it, I am going to die.' The moment I drew water into my lungs, I thought, 'Dying is so easy, only one breath-span between here and there.' It was soft, like gossamer on a butterfly's wing.
My life flashed before my eyes in rapid sequence, like flashcards or playing cards being ruffled quickly. All of my life moments, including the inconsequential moments as well as important instances. They all came flooding through. From the red canvas of my tennis shoes, to the wind and smell of the oak trees I loved to climb; everything I experienced was shown frame-by-frame in a part-second. I was suddenly pulled by many filaments located in the center of my chest. I went forward like a kite of a string, down through a tunnel or wormhole. I went extremely fast, like a bottle rocket - whoosh! I was flying toward a bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Then I was standing in bare feet on river sand. I was standing on the edge of a great river which flowed from left to right. It looked to be a couple of miles wide. Behind me were stabilized dunes with willow and alder trees, intermittently spaced along the rivers edge. There was grass in the dunes. I first looked for the sun, but found nothing that provided a light source for the daylight conditions. I then looked across the river, to see such an amazing world of mountains, trees, waterfalls, exotic flowers. Everywhere was green, green, green! It looked like our own natural world, but on steroids. There was so much life with colors, textures, light, and smells that were all in a state of absolute perfection and abundance. I could scarcely take it in.
Then whoooooooosh! I felt myself being pulled behind by the same filaments between my shoulder blades back through the wornhole. I found myself being resuscitated at the rivers edge. A couple of teenage boys had jumped into the water, found me, and pulled me out.
Date NDE Occurred: 08/10/1967
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I was drowning, pinned to the bottom of the Russian River by water pressure coming off of a dam.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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. It felt like the level of alertness that comes with an adrenaline rush. Things appeared and felt crisper, clearer, and my skin felt more sensitive. I could take in a lot of information and details without effort.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I found myself standing at the river's edge and could feel that my feet were damp and had sand between my toes.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
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. I had excellent vision, both short and long range. The edges of objects were extremely clear. I was not wearing glasses. My everyday vision is very poor, I am legally blind.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Very acute, I swear I could hear a butterfly speak a mile away. Under the water, I could hear only muffled sounds of pounding water.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere, as if by ESP? No
The experience included: Passing into or through a tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes As mentioned earlier, I passed through a tunnel or wormhole of light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an Unearthly light? Yes I was able to see, which meant a light source was available, but there was no sun.
The experience included: An unearthly landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm What emotions did you feel during the experience? Absolute certainty, peace, safety, and AWE!
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life Review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control. My life flashed before my eyes as described earlier
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am a very spiritual person, and it really shows in my art.
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 entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
experienceDid you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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 I felt the presence of a creator, something much bigger than just myself.
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? No
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? No
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, I felt that the world I was looking around was where I was going when I die.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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? Slightly 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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt like I was deeply, deeply loved and cared for.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life. After seeing such a world in my NDE, I became a botanist, wildlife biologist, ornithologist, forester and a wetland ecologist through both academic and professional pursuits. I tell folks I'm 'going to be a botanist/herbalist in heaven,'
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
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. My memory of this event is so much more clear and accurate than anything else I remember of that vacation time.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I am an empath. I have the ability to 'read' the emotional state and truth of people and situations upon contact. I am able to alleviate the sense of suffering in others.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I had a Shared Death Experience with my paternal grandmother. We ended up at the exact same place as I experienced before only 40+ years later!
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it immediately with my family. It was received with great skepticism.
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? Yes I experienced a duplication of this NDE with my grandmother's passing. We had a Shared NDE.
It was in June 1989. I was working in mineral exploration as a biogeochemist and soil microbiologist. I had finished my lab work a bit late, was in a hurry to get home, and dumped two vials of chemicals into the laboratory basin to get rid of them. A strong chemical reactive vapor rose up from the sink and hit me full on in the face. I immediately rinsed off my eyes and face in the laboratory emergency shower. I ended up having an allergic reaction to the vapor which resulted in my eyes being swollen shut.
Thank goodness the next day was Saturday. I was unable to do much around the house, so I lay down on the couch with ice packs over my eyes to reduce the swelling. My partner was in the room with me when I was doing this. As I lay on the couch, images began to flow into my mind. The creak of the kitchen, metal-cabinet door at my grandmother's house would creak everytime she went to open it. I saw a bare spot on the carpet inside her front door, and saw her watering pansies in her back yard. I remember telling my partner that I thought I was dying since it appeared that my life was beginning to flash before my eyes like in the NDE as a teenager. I even asked her, 'Am I dying?' She said, 'No', that she didn't think so.
With that feedback, I began to look more closely at the images flashing through my brain. Although they were familiar, I could recognize that they were not particularly mine. I told my partner, ' I think these pictures belong to my Grandmother.' She said, 'We should check the time.' We wrote it down as 11:26 am. Immediately after that, I felt pulled by my solar plexus filaments, into the wormhole and toward the light. It all looked and felt exactly like what had happened before. I felt calm and curious, but was wondering what was happening.
Whoooooooosh! I landed with my feet in wet river sand, barefoot again. Right back where I had visited before. 'Whoa!' was the only thought that came to mind. My senses were operating at a high level of sensitivity. The color of blue in the sky was robin's egg blue, and it was so crisp and clear. The sky was the bluest of all blues. I could see each grain of the sand with such clarity. I could smell the acrid scent of leaves and saw small debris floating in the water. I heard the breeze rustle through the grass on the dune, as clear as sandpaper rubbing against a chalk board. Everything seemed alive, full of the energy of life, bursting the seams in abundance, wellness and potency. Again, I was facing the river.
I heard heavy sobbing off to my right and saw my grandmother crumpled on the ground in the sand at the river's edge. I knew what was wrong, she had always been terrified of water her entire life.
'Grandma, Grandma, can you hear me? Can you hear me?' I asked as I gently went to touch her left shoulder. 'Grandma, it's Barbara. Barbara. do you remember me?' She was inconsolable and continued to weep. I placed my arm around her shoulders and whispered to her, 'The water is not deep Grandma. It's only an illusion, it barely comes up to your ankles.' She continued to weep.
As I was holding her, a young man about the age of 16 came running over the dunes toward us. He had on long swimming trunks with a towel over his shoulder. He stopped short when he saw us and asked if he could help. I told him the problem. He placed his hand on her right shoulder and asked if it was true that she was afraid of the water. She looked at him and said, 'Yes.' He returned her gaze and said, 'Camille, l'm here to help you. Let's do this together.' She looked at him again, and you could see wonder ripple across her face. 'Clinton?' she asked. 'Yes,' he replied. It turned out to be my grandfather, her husband as a young man and her only love. He helped her up off the ground, brushed her off, and they both stepped into the river together. At that moment, I was jerked back through the wormhole by the filaments between my shoulder blades. I woke up on the couch and told my partner all about it.
One day later, I receive the call that my grandmother had died. I asked my sister the time of death. She replied, '11:26 yesterday morning.'
I brought this story forward at my grandmother's wake and told them all about what I had seen and experienced. The room was dead silent. Then my mother smacked the table with her hand and said, 'Hot damn! I knew someone would catch the crossing. In our family someone always catches the crossing.' I never asked her about that comment, but she sure sounded familiar with other stories in her own family. I have not had this occur again, but I can see the landscape and the situation clearly in my memory as if it were yesterday.
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