Experience Description

While on vacation at my aunt's house, my aunt, her two children and I went to a neighbor's home to swim. The women were visiting in lounge chairs at poolside, while we three children were playing in the pool. I had just learned how to swim a little and when a plastic ball was thrown into the deep end of the pool, I thought I could retrieve it and swam into the deep end.

Suddenly, I was totally out of strength, couldn't swim another stroke, and panicked. I could not see how close I was to the edge of the pool because of the water in my eyes, nor could I scream for help. I recall consciously raising my hand over my head, hoping someone would see me, which, in fact, did happen eventually. However, before I was pulled out of the pool, I had clarity about the trouble I was in and suddenly in my mind's eye; I saw headlines from a very old newspaper with a story about my drowning. Then I saw a scene that might have been set at, or before, the turn of the century. A group of people in long black dresses and funeral attire were carrying my casket up a hill and across a rather level, weeded area for burial. I knew it was my body in the casket. My mother and father were part of the group of 15 or 20 people walking with the casket. I began to cry because I could see their grief and sadness and I felt sorry for them.

It was at that point that I was pulled from the water. I must have lost consciousness for at least a few minutes, but came to with no medical intervention, only frightened people standing over me.

I told my story immediately, but I was confused about it. I still have some confusion about it, though I have often wondered if that experience evoked a memory of a drowning and burial in a previous life. I can find no other explanation as to why I would have been thrust into that pioneer type setting when I was in the midst of drowning in this century. I do believe the experience left the door open for me to later embrace the idea of reincarnation or eternal life in some form.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 1951

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death Near drowning in private swimming pool. Pulled out by neighbor.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Semi-conscious perhaps. I was aware of the trouble I was in, but was not totally conscious when I was pulled out of the pool.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Friends and family at my funeral.

The experience included: A landscape or city

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? First fear, then quickly curiosity about unfolding events on the screen and, finally, grief. Sadness and tears because I was dying and knew my parents would be sad.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No

The experience included: Life review

Did scenes from the future come to you? No

Did you come to a border or point of no return? No

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Baptist

What is your religion now? Liberal Non-religious, strong spiritual beliefs

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It opened my mind to different possibilities of the afterlife.

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? Best: I learned that dying is easy. At least, drowning is easy. The worst: not understanding the puzzle of it; why I was thrust back into another era?

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes During a spontaneous OBE many years later, I experienced the same separation of body and experience.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No.