I felt I was in a dark area, like a void, but somehow, even though I could not see anything I knew there were limits to this area: borders? Walls? There were others there too. I had a sense of myself, floating, but not having control of the movement, others seemed to know how, and I could sense them. There was the sound of a bell, every now and then; it would toll singly, not regularly.
I tried to work out what was happening, then a female voice said, 'You just got here; don't know how to move yet.' Even though I did not ask what the bell was, I was told every time someone died it rung. It was then that I got worried. I knew I was dead, I did not like the dark, was I going to be there always? I then saw my life, my very short and unimpressive life, I did not feel proud of it, and it felt somewhat wasted. This was followed by a list of my past ancestors, very long all written on single file. I read my father's name on the deceased side. I was confused; he was alive at that time: he died later that year. Following my father's name there was a dividing line where my descendants' names started, this part of the list was much shorter and odd as I had not had any children.
I then saw a light, and I felt I was going through to a field from the ground up. This was light itself, no beginning or end, it was not blinding, just light, it permeated everything, and it was quiet, peaceful. The ground was covered with grass, not green; it was quite tall but not as tall as the flowers. They were radiant, they did not seem to be attached to the stems, but they had to be? The colors, the colors! Then I wanted to stay, being dead was good, I did not want to go. I was told it was sensed to me, 'it was not the time' for me, it was not my time to stay. I knew I was being sent back. I could tell I had only been given a split view of where I would go eventually, when I finished my work here first.
I woke up in great pain again, could hardly move, there was a nurse looking into my face. She had been pressing or touching my wound area, she turned away and I realized I was back in recovery after the surgery. I wanted to tell someone what had happened but as no one seemed to make any comments about the surgery, I did not want to own up to my experience. I had been trained as a Mental Health nurse and it was just too irrational a story to tell. I knew it had happened and that was enough. I have told this story to three people in my life only. I have never written it down, or thought about it in such detail since: this is a first. Weird that it should be so fresh after all these years.
Date NDE Occurred: 03/01/1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related Laparotomy- Appendectomy- Emergency Other Laparotomy- Appendectomy- Emergency
Acute abdominal pain, I was placed in observation and fasting for surgery. Surgical intervention, during the surgery the anesthesia was insufficient: I could feel the pain of the surgery. I could not move, I tried to scream but couldn't, I could feel I was being ventilated, my chest filling and emptying and the sound of the machine. It went on forever. I kept fainting due to the pain, eventually I heard someone say she is moving. Then I guess the anesthesia was increased, it was then that I had my experience.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Described above in the main narration
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 The ability to sense the freedom and the recall of everything past, and present: without a body. The body was/is restricting: a jail really.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? In the field.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
In the dark space it seemed very slow. Then when the ancestor, descendants list was shown it was very fast. I was not allowed to read in detail, only my father's name, so that I could understand what it was.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was in the hospital: normal, everyday; and then went into the operating room for my operation, and going under for the anesthesia. It's hard to tell. The vision during the experience was very acute.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Crisper, clearer, but combined with 'sensing'
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It did not feel like a tunnel, I saw the light and I was there. It felt as though only my head/ shoulders were allowed into the light area, the field, for an instant as it were: from the ground up. Going back meant going down into the dark again, but it wasn't, I just woke up in recovery.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 Brightness, no individual light, everything was light, even the grass and the flowers, except that they were grass and flowers: go figure.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Described above
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Worried, lonely, guilty, relaxed, peaceful, happy, exhilarated, disappointed, and purposeful.
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
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
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future The list of descendants
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes It was all done by sensing, the boundaries were there but 'sensed' not physical.
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 When I had a look at the field with the flowers and sensed the peace and happiness I wanted to stay. There were no words spoken just sensed, I had been taught what had happened. That each individual counts, and that we all have a part to play here. The beauty, the peace and happiness in the field of light as wonderful as it was/is comes to be when it is decided and that decision is not by the individual.
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? Other or several faiths Agnostic at the time of the incident.
Brought up as a strict Catholic.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Described above.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Slightly important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know
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 Brought up as a Catholic but emancipated and independent. At the time I was an agnostic.
The experienced made me wonder my set of believes.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I went back to my Religious upbringing beliefs.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify A female voice, but it was of another human, which was my feeling, just more advanced in the dark area, than me. She knew more and was able to move without a body.
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? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I felt I had to be purposeful: useful, to others, to be better than before.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes described in 32
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? I am uncertain if an afterlife exists Yes I knew I had died.
I was shown where people go soon after death, in transit as it were.
Then the journey can be shorter or longer.
I believed it depended on how much the individual had accomplished during their life.
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? Not 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 possibly 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? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
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 Moderate changes in my life. The immediate reaction was marked; I became religious again. I brought up my children religious, not fanatically but with a religious background. As the years have passed, I have become more agnostic. I am again reviewing my views.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I do not think I have changed my way of being with others. My background and upbringing and the type of work I do have made me the individual I am. I am sure I could be better, but I'd like to think I have led a fruitful life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Experience not ordinary, new and out of this dimension.
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 Even though I have not thought or discussed the experience for over 30 years it is very easy to recall every detail, and the order of events.
If I attempt to do that with other major occurences, I have to stop and think carefully, check other events etc to ensure it is an accurate recollection.
It is not the case with the event in question.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have had an out of body experience on one other occasion. I could tell a patient had died before I got to her. I sensed her (soul) and others had come to collect her.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Years, in between each time I shared. Unfortunately, no one had experienced it also. I told my aunt, who was a religious nun, thinking she would understand, (about a year after it had happened) and she told me it was a hallucination from the anesthetic. I was very disappointed and put me off from telling it again. Then I saw an article in the UK about an US surgeon, a cardiologist, describing near death experiences from a couple of his patients, following CPR. One such description described my field of flowers. Any doubts I had had, just vanished!
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 For days after, then it was just so weird an experience and life took over again. Then my father became very ill in Spain, I was living in the United Kingdom at the time. I was sent a telegram to visit him as he was dying. I did and wanted to tell him it was fine, that dying was good. It did not hurt, and he had been a good man, he would be okay. But when I got to him he was just too gone for me to tell him. I wish I had.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I'd rather not
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No