I was in a backyard pool (with a deep end) at a swimming party for our Brownie group. Playing with a beach ball a friend accidentally hit me in the face and I went under water. I was told that my mother saw me and tried to get someone's attention, but then I looked like I was ok. I wasn't. I had struggled up to the surface three times, and then had a very warm, comfortable feeling that everything was going to be fine. I saw what I thought was the sun sparkling on the surface of the water, then suddenly the water was gone and I was moving toward a figure. Before I got to the person, I had a flash of things that had happened in my life. As short as it was at the time, and can recall three or four things that happened when I was an infant (ivy wallpaper, getting my hair washed, having my tonsils out, my first dog dying, etc.), but there was only a happy feeling, nothing sad. I could then see that the man had a funny hat and the most beautiful face. He smiled at me and seemed to say that it wasn't time yet, but I kept close to him because it felt so comforting to me.
During this unspoken communication, I was suddenly jolted back by a hard pressure on my chest, and then I was floating above a scene by the side of the pool. My mother was crying and kneeling over me while my friend's brother was pushing on my back. It seemed like it lasted for a long time, but I saw several people doing things that I remembered to be strange, as I was 'treetop level' in the yard, (there was only an avocado tree in the yard, not a tall one). At that moment, I came whooshing back into my body, feeling like I couldn't breathe. Back to reality.
Date NDE Occurred: 1956
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other drowning
Near drowning event. I had gone under three times before anyone realized I was having trouble.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The entire experience felt like I was in a higher level of awareness than I had ever been. This event is crystal clear in my memory and has always been.
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
I couldn't tell how long I was there, but it seemed like there was no sense of time, or that I needed to get back. Then, when I heard him say it wasn't time, I whooshed back into the backyard.
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 was seeing multiple things all at the same time.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was a musical humming but not a song, per se.
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? Uncertain There was a dark area, but not a tunnel so much as a hallway with a light at the end.
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 My Grandfather, whom I had never met. He died eight years before I was born. He looked younger than his picture, but he had the same wide brimmed hat that he wore tilted on his head.
The experience included: 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
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Surrounding my grandfather, there was a beautiful meadow, with several animals (dogs, birds, a cat) and the colors were very vivid, like in a painting. There was a golden haze or glow all around.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, happiness and connectedness.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control Please see narrative above.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future This is another thing that I kept from the experience. I am very tuned into my loved ones and seem to know before things happen that they're going to happen.
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Not religiousness, but spirituality. I see all religions as having parts of the truth. We choose what religion to follow based on our soul's needs.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Not religiousness, but spirituality. I see all religions as having parts of the truth. We choose what religion to follow based on our soul's needs.
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? Yes Within weeks of this event I found an article about the Rosicrucian's (Know the Mysteries of Life) and I ordered the small paperback books and read every one of them. My parents thought I needed counselling.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The difficulty was in getting my parents to let me talk about it. I wanted to tell them how good it felt, and that I had seen my mother's father who had died before I was born. The whole event scared both my parents, so the only one I could really talk to about it was my grandmother (wife of the grandfather I had met), who totally believed me.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The whole experience.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately, and still 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 When my grandmother visited and I told her about the man I thought was my grandfather, she listened and then pulled out this picture of him (he was 65 when he died). It was the same man I had visited, but much younger.
He didn't say this to me, but I said something to my grandmother that convinced her that I had seen him. It was strange, but I remembered to tell her that the key was behind the stove. She had lost her clock key, and that's where she found it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It has changed my life in terms of my belief system, how I treat others and how I view the nature of the soul.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I very much enjoyed sharing this event. I truly believe that the soul is immutable and that there is an afterlife (probably many lifetimes).