I was driving alone in a van down a loose gravel country road. A friend tried passing me, that was going to make rocks hit my vehicle, so I tried speeding up, then realized that wouldn't work, the other car was catching up to me. I put on the brakes, but the van went sideways, fishtailed and then rolled about four or six times, landing upside down. I was aware that I was on the roof of the van, by the sunroof, green foliage was visible.
Slowly I felt my body lifting away and in that moment, travelled through a starry tunnel/portal quickly, there I stopped floating, in what was a kind of a void. I felt not one presence but several, maybe three or four and a feeling that in the void there, even my brother, Terry, who died one year prior at age twenty-nine was there somehow. It was so peaceful, as if floating, like in that space just before falling asleep, tranquil, yet aware at the same time. These presences said in a language that had no words, it wasn't my time yet, there was still much for me to do. My brother had said that when he died he did choose to go when asked, but for me I wasn't going yet. It just was not my time.
I then felt a slight coming back to my body to feel the cut in the back of my head. Then felt as if part of me flew easily across the road, looking at the wreck, then the rest of me came to join the part that flew across the road. I felt whole, so very peaceful, not worried about what just happened. A friend who lived in the house right nearby was standing next to me, asking if I was all right, I said, 'I think so, yes.' I did have head trauma, a cut in the back of my head and lots of trouble sleeping that night with all my friends who had been away together on a weekend at a friend's cabin by a lake. All night I wanted to go back there, with no idea how to integrate this amazing experience. Then I felt really bad about what happened to my vehicle but worse about how it would upset my mom.
Through my life, I have tried to make the best of everything to honor that day and my brother's passing and all those who went before me. I have had many problems explaining how sweet life really is, running into much pain and heartbreak over life, over people's cruelty to each other, but not the same feeling towards death. I am not afraid. I feel I will actually pick the day when I will die and I may live a very long time, somehow I know it.
In my thirties, I knew that when my dad would pass on I would be there and I was there by his side until the last breath. Then he took me on a journey across the planet. First he was a manta ray in the ocean, I was riding on his back, then we flew up in the sky over all sacred places on earth. He flew up and away to the sky and I fell back down in my bed that morning two hours after he died. I cried to let him go - yet it was so beautiful at the same time - I hope I never forget these things as long as I live.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1978
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentDirect head injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When they told me I had to come back, it was not my time; I was disappointed, yet did not fuss.
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
It seemed I was there for a moment, yet no sense of time at all. It turned out to be about five minutes.
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. Depth perception, it was endless - no end, a vastness that is difficult to explain - maybe what we call the eternal or eternity.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was as if I could hear all things, thoughts especially.
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? Yes Like a tunnel travelled through very quickly, in a second I was there, where the presences were. The tunnel itself was like all light, all colors blending in a flash so I saw them but couldn't make out which color, yellow, red, blue, white, like going through a prism, kind of like that but very fast.
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 I didn't know the presences, they may have been relatives, grandparents maybe, but I did know the presence of my brother. The presences said it wasn't my time yet, they did sort of acknowledge in that 'language with no words' that yes, it was a nice place, but I couldn't stay.
The experience included: Void
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 It seemed a dark indigo blue void.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm This space the void was such a peaceful place, loving energy, no fear, no pain, another dimension kind of.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control The fact that I knew I passed through a portal to death, made me want to live my life more fully.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future The main thing that played out that meant the most to me and validated my Knowingness, was that I knew I would be there with my dad when it was his time to go. During his illness, his mom, my grandmother, whom I never knew came to me in a 'vision', I couldn't see her, but felt her over my shoulder and up near the sky light in my bedroom, say so clearly 'Thank you for looking after my son.' I also felt a voice say, 'I am with you,' one morning when I was awakening to go see my dad. That voice felt like a great power, but also felt like my brother Terry who died in 1977 at the same time. This was about three weeks from dad's passing away, he was very sick, I felt so sad and weak that day thinking I was going to lose my dad, the dearest guy anyone could know, such a good dad all my life. (I was at the old folk's home almost every day.) Dad died February 12, the day of his son Terry's birthday. They had called me from the old folk's home, it was time, and how can it be? I think dad wanted to go that day.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes At the end of the tunnel it opened into the void, into the vastness, and I just floated on into it. No sense of what would happen, only that I found myself there. I felt my own spirit rise, for lack of a better way to describe it.
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 None
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have never discounted the divine presences that may exist in other realms, yet it is like in a blink of an eye. I studied many things, and continue to have an inquisitive nature.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'eclectic, mostly Buddhist principles'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have never discounted the divine presences that may exist in other realms, yet it is like in a blink of an eye. I studied many things, and continue to have an inquisitive nature.
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
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? Uncertain I came to know there is no need to fear death, that when others passed, I knew they were at peace. What an amazing gift. When my mom died, I knew she had found peace. As I said before, I knew that I would be at my dad's side when he died, and I was, and I travelled with him through part of it. We were very close during all my life. He never discounted what others called my 'active imagination'.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
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? Yes I had always been able to see energy. Somehow, see dots transposed over everything. I don't think I ever developed anything much, just a deeper appreciation for all living things and a super sensitivity, beyond normal, to feelings, emotions of others and myself. I understand a lot about other cultures, even about animals and the way they communicate. Most wild animals don't run away from me. Some people do.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Feeling the presences, 'hearing and speaking with my heart' the 'language with no words'. The Spacious Vastness of Eternity, the Portal itself. The disappointment at being sent back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I kept it to myself and went into studying major religions and mystical studies, trying to understand. I didn't tell anyone except one friend for the longest time. I was ashamed that my vehicle was wrecked, still felt guilty and thought I should have died instead of my brother because he had two kids. In my mid-late twenties, I started to share a little more. I went to some counselors in my thirties and met a bunch of older hippies on the west coast and in Europe who understood a lot more than my peers and family. Most people just cannot relate, they think I am nuts or on drugs or both. I have shared it more easily and more over the years, now with you, thank you for doing this work.
My mom was very ill from alcoholism, but there were times of lucidity when she liked hearing how I felt Terry's presence. I only told her a few times, during the first opening up in my late twenties. They missed their son so much; it was too much to bear for my parents really. I would bring flowers to mom and dad's and say they were for Terry but we'd have them here at the house instead of the grave, because he is here in our hearts, mom used to like that, she'd cry a little, it seemed to help the ongoing grieving process.
I travelled and told some people from other countries who seemed to understand a lot better.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I had read some books after my brother died suddenly at twenty-nine, I was seventeen (1977). 'On Death and Dying' by Elizabeth Kubler Ross and 'A World Beyond' I think that was the title. It helped me understand death concepts and I felt like I could help my family too a bit, I did only a bit, it was so tough, such a tragedy to our family, mom and dad were inconsolable. I can't say whether having read a little had anything to do with my experience, my life still felt in such a daze after losing my brother a year earlier. He was a really great big brother.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Still in a daze, trying to make sense of it and of it all.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I can't forget it, explain it, but know that it happened. I have heard others' stories so similar, all around the world, we don't know each other, but collectively had this common, similar experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I had hypothermia once, felt the void, and then woke up quite quickly. Ayahuasca, DMT, magic mushrooms. I never went that far ever since.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I just feel I had been there, came back, lived to tell about it, to enrich my life so much that it is hard to put into words or impart the message to others who have no concept or context of this kind of experience. I don't regret it, it was possible I could have died that day, but didn't, I must live fully.