The event of May 17, 1977 was the fulfillment of a promise made to me by an Angel or the Virgin Mother when I was a small child on my parent's farm in Nebraska. My claim is this: I woke in the middle of the night to a vision of a lady at the foot of my bed. She was dressed in blue with stars around her; a bright light emanated from behind, below and above her. She said to me, Bonnie before you reach the age of twenty-four you will be given a choice to live or die.' I remember that vision as if it occurred just last night when it fact it occurred at least fifty years ago. I remembered it somewhat while I was a child but as I neared my twenties each year a couple of months before my birthday I would wonder if I would actually live to see my birthday.
On May 17, 1977, I was three and half months away from my twenty-fourth birthday. I was in wonderful health and I thought 'I'm going to make it to my birthday without event.' Then the boat accident happened - a fluke. It was a clear day in May; only two boats were on the huge lake that day - the one I was riding in and the other occupied by a doctor and a nurse (we later found out when they reached shore to do triage on me). No wind, the lake was calm; the surface of the water was as smooth as a mirror.
At first, I did not know why the driver of the boat didn't see me. I was screaming and waving my arms - then I 'just knew' the boat was going to hit me so I maneuvered my body into a horizontal as best I could hoping to keep the bow of the boat from hitting my head. The last thing I remember prior to the NDE was saying the prayer, the Our Father (I was not terribly religious at that time) then feeling the impact of the boat in my side, having the wind knocked out of me and swallowing water.
The next thing I sensed was a surreal feeling of floating high, high in the sky. I had all of my senses though I felt I no longer had a body. All around me was bright, bright light and I sensed so much love I felt as if I'd never ever felt before - quiet, peace, serene contentment, no pain, no worry, just a tremendous sense of BEING - of me BEING. I heard (sensed) love, joy, peace, contentment. I floated without seeing anyone (relatives that had passed away). But, if this makes sense, I FELT God's presence.
Then I sensed (heard - I hesitate to describe the event with our human terms because I never HEARD anything yet I know I was asked) a question. The question was, 'Are you ready Bonnie?' I struggled with the answer and then I was shown my graveside. The grass around my burial plot was vivid, vivid green, the sky was blue, there was a gentle breeze - I even heard a bird sing. People were leaving the coffin for their cars. The only three people left by my coffin were my husband, my daughter then aged three and my son then aged seventeen months. AT THAT MOMENT I KNEW I could not leave my children - I telepathed my answer, 'NO.'
The next moment I saw myself being propelled through the water towards the surface of the lake, I remember watching the water part above me. I remember seeing the sky as the water opened in front of me. I remember being propelled with such force that I actually bobbed up and down (like a buoy) when I reached the surface.
I saw my husband diving from the boat into the lake looking for me (yes, I actually had been submerged). I tried to scream, tried to wave my arm to get his attention and that of the driver of the boat (my sister). I could not - I remember thinking - 'I'm going to have to save myself'. I swam to the boat (I don't remember how far the boat was from me). The doctor and the nurse (in the second boat) saw the accident - they had radioed (phoned - don't know which) for an ambulance then went to shore - met us at the shore.
My full life vest - the kind that is like a jacket that buckles around the waist and chest and has a belt was torn and waterlogged. I remember floating again and numerous times the nurse (or doctor) shaking me, slapping my face asking me to 'stay awake' - I remember hearing them - I don't think I ever opened my eyes.
I was taken to the hospital in a torso pressure bandage because I constantly moaned about my right side. In the emergency room the laceration to my thigh was fixed, the doctors deemed my right elbow was not crushed - the doctors intended to send me home. I didn't want to go home because of the pain in my right side - they sent me to the x-ray - where when the pressure bandage was removed I coded. I suffered lacerations to my liver, my right kidney, a five inch hernia to the right muscle wall BUT, and this of all things saved me - my skin did not tear - it was intact. Internal bleeding was so bad the doctors chose not to operate on me - they believed they could not control the bleeding if they operated so months later, after the edema dissipated I had surgery to put my muscle wall back together.
The story does not stop there - I then had the premonition that my time on earth would be finished once my children were settled in their lives - my children are in the early to mid-thirties, one married, one will be married (for the third and I know final time) this June. One has found her life career, the other is just now finding his - a budding idea but one in which I know he will be fulfilled and happy. I cannot shake the feeling that I will not be here for long - perhaps fifty-seven, 2.33 years - sounds dumb I know BUT so did the vision I had when I was a little girl.
Date NDE Occurred: May 17 1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other Accident - complications - in the water 3-4 minutes - hit by a motorboat going approx 35 mph - took the brunt of the impact on the right side of abdomen
I was water skiing. The boat pulling me hit me after I fell from the water skis. The boat speed approximated at thirty-five mph. I took the brunt of the impact from the boat on my right side - abdomen. Full body life jacket was lacerated and at the time I was revived, completely water soaked. First laceration was near my jugular vein (right neck) - last laceration was my right thigh (propeller cut). Massive internal damage - lacerated liver, right kidney, right side muscle wall completely severed. The only reason I am here is because the skin did not break - there was only a slight raised red ridge on my skin caused by the impact of the boat. The doctors said if my skin had cut open I would have lost my internal organs in the lake.
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? From the moment I sensed peace, joy, love, contentment and was floating - when I knew I did not have a body but I was still totally ME.
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 don't believe time existed on that level. I did not have a sense of time - I simply realized I was without a body - the only characteristic I had was my ability to process thought.
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 saw with my mind not my eyes. Clarity was amazing - as if seeing colors, objects for the first time. My husband, children at my grave were solid, very real - I could hear their cries, see their tears and also SENSE their pain. I sensed my husband's overwhelmed feeling about the children and KNEW he could not raise them as they needed to be raised - THE ONLY REASON I ANSWERED THE QUESTION I WAS ASKED WITH A 'NO'.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was not as we experience it in our everyday life - I SENSED the words rather than heard the words.
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 I was simply THERE - no tunnel, enclosure - I was simply WITH GOD.
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 No departed relatives or other 'dead' people, just my husband and children at my gravesite.
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 Everything was a light - the sky white that is the only thing I saw until I was shown my gravesite.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm ONLY MY GRAVESITE.....
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? A peace, joy, love, harmony, rapture that I knew I was with God.
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
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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? Moderate Born and raised Catholic but currently non-practicing - however I do have deep faith as a result of the NDE
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I know religion is practiced every day instead of one time a week in a building. I know goodness resides in a person's mind, heart and soul instead of the Bible. I know if we followed Jesus' simple teachings the WORLD would be a better place but I also know God gives us the CHOICE to be the person or people we decide to be.
What is your religion now? Moderate Deep personal relationship with God - no specific religion
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I know religion is practiced every day instead of one time a week in a building. I know goodness resides in a person's mind, heart and soul instead of the Bible. I know if we followed Jesus' simple teachings the WORLD would be a better place but I also know God gives us the CHOICE to be the person or people we decide to be.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am totally aware of Goodness, totally dedicated to helping, totally opposed when someone is hurting another individual and take an active part to end the hurt. I talk of God to others (not a fanatic) but I am forever grateful for all He has given me and the life He gave me. I KNOW I will see Him again.
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 sense change, trouble, illness, outcomes etc with respect to people I know and myself. I know when an object is going to break. I don't know when, how, or why I just know. My family, when we are not joking, say I am ninety-nine percent right with respect to what I tell them; my friends call me an angel. I seem to be put in places where people are in need - they tell me I 'fix' them - show them a different road to travel, way to think, belief in themselves, ways to come to a decision. With respect to 'knowing something' I knew I wouldn't finish a tour of employment offshore - that 'something' would bring me home well before my twenty-four months abroad was over - and it happened in the exact timeframe I outlined. I know when a car is going to break down before it does so. I know what a person needs - and I help them find peace, happiness. I seem to be helping others - at the same time I feel a great unsettledness in my life, like I am coming to the end of why I am here.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The entire incident because the promise made to me when I was a child that I would be asked to decide if I wanted to live or die before I turned twenty-four years of age.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes As soon as I was well enough. Through the years I've shared it with people who were in 'need' and 'needed to know' that God is with us, and loves them and is helping them through their difficulties, grief, sorrow, challenges. Awe, wonder, amazement. Yes, as a result of my sharing and my continued support of them during their trials - when the trial passed they tell me they could not have endured the hardship without me - they call me an Angel. The funny thing is - I have no sense of what it is I give to give such comfort or clarity or hope or whatever it is I give these people.
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 Absolutely real given the doctors said I should not be alive for the following reasons:
1) My life vest was completely water logged - I should have sunk rather than surface.
2) My skin should have split wide open from the impact of the boat.
3) Water was pumped out of my stomach and lungs.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Absolutely real. I knew nothing of NDEs prior to the experience. I had a premonition of death if I got into the water - yet I got in the water to ski anyway - I KNOW this was the premonition AT PLAY. There was no way I could have imagined such a surreal existence without my body. I KNOW I heard, but no words were spoken. I was able to see but knew I no longer had eyes, and could speak but did not have to say a word and there is no way to describe the absolute peace and love I felt and I saw my grave - my children crying and husband - and then I answered the question put to me. As soon as I gave the answer, I was back in the water being pushed to the surface of the lake - this was NOT a dream. This was the Hand of God.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Eight weeks ago I had lumbar spine surgery (continued fixing of issues caused by the boat accident thirty-plus years ago). During the surgery I ran into difficulty, blood pressure dropped extremely low, needed a blood transfusion - I experienced my first out-of-body experience. I was floating above my body - all aspects of my vision were semi-dark except for a white light shining down on me. I saw myself sit up two times begging and crying for pain pills, saw hands on me pushing me down on the gurney and a voice saying 'You cannot have pain medication because your blood pressure is extremely low.' While floating I did not feel pain, I did not have a sense of being attached to my body, in fact I was indifferent to what was happening.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I feel as if I've bought time on earth - time necessary to ensure my children are safe, stable, independent, happy and able to live without me and then my time here will be over. By the way, I ended up raising extremely independent children, very competent, capable, good, sensitive, caring, giving children. I feel that as soon as their happiness's are complete that some unknown incident will take me from them - unknown and very sudden - just like the boat accident.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None, a great questionnaire.