It was a usual Saturday Morning. I am a forty-six year old man with no history of illness. I awoke and dressed to go out for breakfast. I walked down the stairs and as I turned to enter the living room, I felt funny. The feeling made me stop in my tracks. I didn't hear a voice but felt something inside me, instructing me. I remember thinking, ‘Oh no. I hope that I am not dying. I have too much to do.’ It was as if I were answering someone's questions. I expressed fear for my older sister. She is disabled and needs help financially and with day to day life. I feared for her care. How lonely she might be.
My thoughts were racing my feelings ebbing and flowing, detached, I complied with inner feelings. My insides were saying sit down and be quiet, or risk alarming your sister. I knew she was sitting only a few feet away at the kitchen table. My head suddenly felt very large, I could hear my heart beat. The beat was pounding in a downbeat or decrescendo rhythm. I could now only see a warm orange glow that went to bright white as I felt myself floating away. I could see my body sitting slumped on the edge of the chair below me as I became surrounded by a warm, bright, summer sunshine sort of light. It felt warm. I was so happy in it. The experience felt just so wonderful. I cannot find words adequate to express my joy.
Somehow, I knew that if I gave in to the feeling and stayed any longer I would not be able to go back. To return to life. As soon as that thought occurred my vision returned. The experience ended and I was back in my body looking at the living room. I was amazed and scared all at once. I thought, ‘Wow! Hope that doesn't happen again.’ I was afraid to move.
I became aware that I couldn't breathe. I was hyperventilating. I stuck my face in my shirt and tried to normalize my breathing. When I could breathe again I stood up to go into the kitchen for a drink of water and found I could only go a few feet without losing my breath completely. I took an aspirin and within fifteen minutes or so was back to normal except for feeling very tired. I went upstairs to rest.
The next day, Sunday, my right leg swelled and on Monday I went to the doctor. He called for an ambulance and I was immediately taken to a hospital and placed in the intensive care unit for clotting and all the embolisms. In the emergency room the pulmonary doctor looked over me. In astonishment he said, ‘I can't believe you survived! You have blood clots in your lungs and yet you lie there looking perfectly healthy. You know this is usually catastrophic. Those who do survive struggle to breathe and yet you lie there breathing only room air.’ He shook his head and proceeded to tell me about the filter I needed to stop clots from getting to my lungs and what else to expect. His words did not seem real. The doctors dubbed me as the guy who cheated death. Several doctors in all were in and out during the stay.
I am now at home, recuperating and adjusting to blood thinners; trying to comprehend all that happened. It turns out I have a genetic disorder. Guess that is why I did not think much about what happened physically to me that Saturday. The lightness and hyperventilating has happened to me many times before. Not to the extent it did on Saturday besides I had been to see the doctor for swelling and pain in my calves. He said it was just tight calf muscles and sent me for physical therapy. With all the pain my calf is in from the clots, and all the poking and prodding from the doctors, I wonder whether I cheated death or death cheated me.
Date NDE Occurred: October 5, 2002
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes inherited blood disorder (factor five leiden) Life threatening event, but not clinical death Pulmonary EmbolismsBlood clots had formed and reached my lungs, arms and head.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was above looking down at my living room. My body was sitting slumped forward on the edge of the straight chair. I could not see my face, just the top and back of my head.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Very conscious and alert.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning The experience seemed to last a long time but in reality was probably only a second or two in real time.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Apart from my heart beat, no.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I was aware of a presence but it was more of a feeling than a vision.
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It began as a warm orangey colored glow that went to sunshine daylight.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Just the dimension of being bathed in warm beautiful peaceful light.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The weirdest part for me is that I was not afraid at all while it was happening to me. It was only after it stopped that I became scared... nervous. Mostly I felt amazement and peace and the warmest contentment I have ever felt in a lifetime. My good feelings were all intensified I had no negative feelings.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It seems strange even to me because I never thought about these things but it became clear to me that nothing in life is linear. Instead everything is circular. Thus, rather than being born on one day and moving linearly towards the day you die, birth becomes the beginning of a circle that completes with death. This death becomes the birth of a new beginning. Weird huh?
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
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 I had initially been concerned that I could not die because my sister needed me to take care of her. As I became comfortable in the light I realized that I would not be able to turn back if I followed it any further.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal I was raised Roman Catholic. I do not practice that faith. I believe in a Higher power.
What is your religion now? Liberal I was raised Roman Catholic. I do not practice that faith. I believe in a Higher power.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Not religious or spiritual changes but a sort of reinforcement in continuing beyond mortal life. I am comforted to know that my parents and other loved ones that have died are okay.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I can not honestly answer this yet. For me so far it is just an experience.
I will say that the worst for me was lying in an intensive care unit hooked up to equipment, doctors telling me how sick I was, scheduling surgery, they had me thinking I might die any minute. I didn't mind the dying what I minded was that my life would end there in that bed. All I wanted to do was sign myself out and head for Hampton Beach where I could sit on the sand and expire with a coffee and a cigarette and the sound of waves breaking on the shore.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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? In all honesty this thought has crossed my mind several times. I almost wish in some way that my life had ended that day. It would have been a nice way to go. I had no pain and no prior knowledge that death might come. I had absolutely no fear of what was happening to me that day while it was occurring and that feeling was so good when I was being bathed in light I felt whole and completely content in it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Maybe a follow up at a later date might help. My experience is only a few weeks old. I wonder how I will feel about this as time goes on. Thanks for having a place like this where people like me can get this off our chests.