I was four and a half years old. My brother and I were playing cops and robbers with the two little neighbor girls. There was a garage between our houses. In it was an abandoned refrigerator so we decided to use it as the jail. We took turns being the robber and would let the kid out in just a few minutes. But when I was a robber the kids left me in an extra amount of time. Then their mother called them in for a snack. I was curled up in the bottom of the refrigerator and I remember there were two racks above me. I tried to get out and call and no one came. Then I looked up and I thought the little light up above came on (the refrigerator was not plugged in so there actually was no light). It was very tiny and then I felt myself leaving my body, going up through the grates, and into the light. I was being pulled up through a tunnel that opened into the most beautiful white light that I could ever describe.
When I was fully into the light, I realized it was the most incredibly beautiful light that I had ever seen. It seemed to have a personality that was beyond belief loving. I was happy just being in the light. I remember then that I heard a voice that I thought was the light that surrounded me. Without having a body, somehow, I talked to the voice. I was shown that the white light was really made up of all the colors. I was shown the zillions of colors in the light, more than I have seen on earth. They were all beautiful. I don't remember the exact words, but I do remember discussing that all things were made of the light. I asked if even mountains, and people, and the voice (which I now think was God) told me even mountains, and a long list of things, everything. He also told me that the people there were in the light. I don't remember much about that except that I was aware that people were about to come to take me into some beautiful place and I wanted to go.
The voice/light/God said do you want to stay? I said 'Yes.' But then I was told that I had to go back. I was told that my mother needed me and I saw something like my mom standing by a crib. (I didn't know it, but my mother was pregnant with another brother and I did help watch my other brother when the baby was born.) I learned that there were things I would be needed to do in the future and that sometimes I would just need to be there even if I had no specific task to perform.
Suddenly I was going back through the tunnel and the two racks and was back into my curled up body. I could hear calling from far away. It was the terrified mother of my friends who had just learned that they had left me in the refrigerator. When the opened the door I got out.
But I was different. I was not yet five but I had the belief that all people are connected, and that nature was also connected. My dad didn't want me to tell anybody about the light and the voice. I had never heard of God or death, but when I told my mom, she said she believed it was God. We didn't talk about it anymore but I became interested in learning about God when I was free to do so (first when I was six and allowed to go to a Vacation Bible School) and later when I was older and had a chance to go to church one day with a friend. I didn't know it was a near death experience until I heard someone talk about 'the tunnel and the light' when I was about thirty-five years old. As a little child, I thought of it as a special trip into some kind of fairyland and wished I could find a way back.
I was going to be a math professor, but I noticed that I seemed to be filled with empathy and compassion and decided to become a rehabilitation counselor instead. I helped school age and then college students who had physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. I was very successful in my career and have just recently retired. I had a sense that reaching out to the disabled was what God had told me I was to do when I was in the light and that I was given insight and knowledge to be able to do it effectively.
Date NDE Occurred: 1947
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes We were playing cops and robbers. I was the robber. The other kids put me into an abandoned refrigerator and then went inside to get popsicles. Other I'm not sure if I was clinically dead
I was locked in an abandoned refrigerator. I don't know how long. I just know that the other children went and got popsicles and I couldn't get out.
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 While in the light.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While in the light.
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
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. Many more colors.
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 heard some kind of sound and at first it was painful, just a second. Then I was whisked up into the light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain No, but if I stayed longer I was going to see people that I thought were related to me.
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 It was the most beautiful light as I described above. The light was whiter than our light. It was beautiful and had a personality of love. The light for a while became all colors, many more than I have seen on earth. It was too wonderful for me to describe. It surrounded me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Loved, joy, peace, no fear.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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 I learned that if you take away a person's race, age, sex, looks, they are still the person. I search for that person when I am counseling. I am able to love more because I 'see' beyond appearance.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I described knowing my mom would have a baby.
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 came from a non-religious background and sought after the light. I found the Bible and in the book of John it said, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.' Other verses said Jesus was the light. Genesis described the light as the beginning. So I became a believer and see God as the source and love as the power.
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian/Presbyterian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I came from a non-religious background and sought after the light. I found the Bible and in the book of John it said, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.' Other verses said Jesus was the light. Genesis described the light as the beginning. So I became a believer and see God as the source and love as the power.
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 My parents had not been able to complete even high school and didn't have much scientific knowledge. It was 1947 and I'm not sure that at that time anyone knew that all colors are in the color white??? And did they know that all things in the universe come from the same source, light or the same materials? I also learned that you can have a purpose in life that is beyond your tasks or accomplishments.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I explained this above. Yes, I see people outside of their boundaries of age, sex, color, etc.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes After I went through the tunnel and into the light I was in the most loving and beautiful light. When I left my body, I also left most things that identify me as a name, race, age, sex, etc. Yet I still knew myself. I entered into inconceivable love, wisdom, beauty, joy. Although I didn't have ears, I was told things. I could see the light. I have never seen a light as beautiful.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes When I was little I would have feelings that something was about to happen and then it would. Maybe just something simple as the phone about to ring. Or I seemed to understand people's emotions or needs far beyond the ability of children my age. Sometimes it was about something that I wished I could stop, like on September 11th I was in Pennsylvania. I looked up, saw a plane flying low, and had a huge emotion of grief, fear, and anger all at once. That was the plane that had the terrorists that crashed just minutes later.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The love of the light is beyond any love I have experienced or been able to give to others.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my mom right after but then my dad didn't want me to talk about it. He didn't want me to be 'religious' because that would make me different, or maybe they were afraid someone would get in trouble for having the refrigerator in the garage. I think the next time might have been when I told my husband.
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 thought I had been in some kind of fairy story world. I didn't know it was about death because I didn't know what death was. But yet I must have unconsciously known because I rode my tricycle down the steep basement stairs thinking it would somehow get me back into the light! My poor mother!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real They now explain it by other parts of the brain. I hope it was real because it would be a comfort now that I'm older and facing death someday. If it isn't real, I'm not sure how I learned about the colors and all things in the universe coming from an original light when I was technically not breathing. It was decades later that I learned this was also scientifically believed.
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 thank you for this chance to talk about this. People I know don't want to discuss it because it is about death, or they think it is too mystical or just nutty. But I know I am better because of the experience, think deeper, and have done more with my life because of it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Thank you for the opportunity. As for the current religious choices, I found it hard to choose among the three. It would have been easier to choose between 'strong faith, moderate, etc.' For the before experience, there was no place to check 'no religion'.