Prior to this experience: At age 6, 7 or 8, I was told in a dream that I would have an opportunity to live or die before I was 24 years old. The water skiing accident occurred 3 months and 12 days before my 24th birthday.
I saw the ski boat headed in my direction. I waved my arms and screamed. I knew I would be hit; I said the Our Father prayer as the shadow of the boat overcame me. I remember the impact forced the air from me.
Immediately I was without a body. The best way to describe the experience is that I knew who I was, however, I did not feel pain nor was I afraid. A tremendous white light surrounded me. I felt unbelievable peace, love, harmony, goodness. I knew I was floating, that I did not have a body; I sensed goodness around me then sensed a question asking if I was ready to die. I knew I had mixed feelings. Instantaneously, I saw my grave with my two little children crying standing apart from my husband, their dad. I sensed I could not leave my children; I saw the lake water parting as I was pushed to the surface of the lake.
I saw a clear blue sky and a single white bird then I felt the pain. I made my way to the boat that hit me. A nurse and a doctor were at lakeside. I later learned only a nurse was present when our boat docked; I will swear a doctor was also there; that the doctor applied a pressure bandage to my abdomen. I later learned no doctor was present. Paramedics arriving 15-20 minutes after the accident was called in applied the pressure bandage. I remember the premonition, the accident, and the experience as if each happened just yesterday though 37 years have passed. I experience a degree of premonition limited to events I need to be aware of, prepared for. May 17, 1977 changed my life, the lives of my children in ways too surreal to mention. I feel the accident was a blessing of significant degrees.
Date NDE Occurred: May 17, 1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function).
I was water skiing. I fell. A ski boat hit me in the abdomen at an estimated 35mph based on injuries. Liver lacerated. Right kidney lacerated. Right side muscle wall severed in two. Lacerations from right side neck to right thigh.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes The doctor at the lake who told me to breathe and put the pressure bandage around my abdomen. An eyewitness (my husband) told me a doctor was never present at lakeside - just a nurse then the paramedics. I know a doctor was with the nurse
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Floating in the brilliant white space I believe to be Heaven. It was absolute of every sense, communication was thought not word; it was absolute goodness, awareness, peace. Post-accident: Awareness remains heightened but nothing like May 17, 1977.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I was at a certain surreal place for a specific reason - it is as if time stopped upon my arrival, stood still filled with the question, my indecision, the vision of my gravesite. The surreal place ended after knowing I could not leave my children behind.
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. 'Un-blinded' to 'everything'. It was like seeing and being aware of everything around me concurrently.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Thoughts replaced words. Everything was instantaneous, immediately understood.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My children and husband when I was shown my gravesite when I was asked if I was ready to die.
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 Total whiteness, absolute white, shimmering white I associated as love.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was immediately in a bright white space filled with goodness; I knew I was without a body; I knew I'd been transformed into the purest element of the soul. I was so at peace with being where and how I was. I felt as if I'd arrived home.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt absolute peace, happiness, love, goodness, and belonging. Conflicted only when I was asked if I was ready to die.
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 I felt part of the All of everything impossible to describe except to call it Heaven.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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 Seeing my children crying at my graveside. I felt my husband would not raise them in the way they needed to be raised, with the knowledge each of them needed to be taught in order to live the lives they needed to live to fulfill their purpose in life. I saw them at my graveside; I knew I could not leave them. Immediately I was aware of being pushed to the surface of the lake.
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 Practicing Catholic; strong belief in God
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I know God is everywhere and hears every word and thought and does listen to prayers and answers them though I joke that God's interpretation of a prayer is much different than the intentions of the one praying. I say this with good reason and have realized sometimes we take ourselves too seriously.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic Non-practicing Catholic, Zen
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 Consistent: I believed in and believe in God.
In-consistent: I did not know God is aware of everyone and everything every minute of each day...that each act, word, intention is duly noted....
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I know nothing is coincidental - every person, every circumstance, every experience has value and is necessary for me, for others - that we engage with others we are meant to engage with though reason cannot be defined and outcome may never be known.
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 I felt 'part of the whole' completeness, total immersion into the totality of everything. I felt in the presence of God
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.)? Yes I felt in communion with Jesus.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes I had a choice to live or die. I was aware of a life ending event before I'd turn 24; I knew I would be asked if I was ready to die; it was like I've been here before and was assigned a task to do but I could choose not to continue - my life would be dif
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes In the white light I was part of every experience with all souls.
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 Specific focus by one entity my soul recognized as God. I was part of the great white light; I sensed many entities filled with love, goodness, peace...words are difficult to find to describe the Oneness with All state of being my sense of existence entered into.
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 That each soul is connected; that each has a purpose and each person is to perfect skills required to fulfill the purpose of that soul. A soul touches many in different ways, times and reasons we will never know yet the need to interact is ever present and we are responsible therefore we need to be aware and we need to believe in God to fulfill our purpose so others are able to fulfill their purpose.
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 Life's meaning is to love, to have faith, to believe, to teach, to influence by means of a consistent example regardless of life events.
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? An afterlife definitely exists Yes There is life after death. I sense belonging with all entities surrounding me though I sensed and responded to a single thought directed specifically to me.
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? Greatly 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? Yes All are opportunities to define character; that each minute of every day are opportunities to refine, perfect, understand, practice and be the best a person can be in all ways at all times understanding perfection is not possible however that fact does no
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love was the essence of the experience. Peace, harmony, love, goodness.
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 I stopped being afraid. I changed everything in my life that caused conflict. I became patient, very humble, and very aware of impacts my words or actions could or would have on others in my life long-term or short-term. Without directly seeking to be a confidant or counselor or shoulder to cry on I found myself surrounded by people in need of help, guidance, comfort. My stamina was stretched to limits not thought possible. The Book of Job became my roadmap. I believed and believe every step of my life thereafter was a test of faith.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes My close circle of friends and family is very small, limited. However, relationships with people who drop into my life during difficult times in their lives are great but very short-term. There are many of these, though as I age, the frequency slows. Now my young grandsons fill those vacant slots.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because words do not exist to explain pure thought void of need to embellish, justify, explain It 'just was'
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
though 37 years have passed, I remember every bit of the experience as if it just happened.
though 50+ years have passed since I was made aware that I'd have a chance to live/die before I reached my 24th birthday, I remember the premonition as if it happened last night.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I know to be prepared for major events though I do not always know what the major event will be. I know when a person is in emotional, mental or spiritual pain. I know thoughts of others; intentions.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I believe my life has a purpose or I'd not been made aware of a life-threatening event when I was a small child. I believe I came back to ensure my children reached their potential; that I would need to support their emotional and spiritual development. I believe my days are numbered; this could be an irrational thought however, the thought that I will finally die when my children are capable of moving forward without me without negative consequence This thought has never left me since May 17, 1977.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes 10, 20 years. Disbelief. Absolute disbelief. Doctors said my survival was a miracle. Religious people discount the experience as a physical reaction in the brain. Not many believe I had a premonition or that I experienced the white light, though my entire life has been entirely different since that time and I've accomplished impossible goals none ever thought me capable of reaching. I assign every goodness in my life to God; I assign willingness to accept challenges to me but without God's assignment then I'd not have the choice to accept or reject the challenge therefore everything in my life happens because God asks me to consider work He wishes me to do.
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 I remembered the premonition when I was a little girl during my mid-teen years. Each birthday I'd celebrate survival. In 1977, 3 months and 12 days before my 24th birthday, I'd laughed at myself for thinking the dream of a young girl was real. The event on May 17, 1977 happened exactly as the 'lady in the dream' told me it would happen though the cause that brought to premonition to fruition was unknown.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Because my life is totally different; my values and beliefs are totally different. Because my life has been one challenge after another, yet I always know what I am to do though I never know why I am supposed to do the things I do. My life is filled with goodness, not necessarily material goodness, but goodness of helping others to reach their potential, helping others understand changes needed in their lives and realizing the extent of change in other's lives.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Because of the accident, I've had many major surgeries. During two surgeries, I experienced out of body situations when I looked down on my body pleading for pain medication or watched blood transfusions while I bled out on an operating table. I've never returned to the bright light though. I feel the Oneness during the out of body experiences yet I never get asked if I am ready to die.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was real. It did affect my life in very positive ways. It did teach me humility; it did confirm God's existence and the fact we are all part of one Whole. No matter the impact on my life physically I feel I was and continue to be very blessed all of my life.