The poisoning caused distress, loss of hearing, loss of motor skills and eventually I slipped into blackness. I immediately descended as if in a speeding elevator car. My only sensation was that of being taken downward in total darkness, total silence. When the descent ended, I was in the deepest, darkest void I had ever experienced. Suddenly everything became clear to me. I WAS DEAD. I HAD BEEN CREATED BY GOD. GOD WAS A REALITY BUT I WAS NOT WITH HIM. As it turned out, he was with me but I did not know that yet. I tried to see but could not. I began to hear noise and what I heard was extremely distressing and eventually unbearable. As the noise grew in intensity, I realized it was voices, the countless voices of many, many souls, saying nothing, only weeping and wailing. It was the most anguished, pathetic sound I had ever heard. With every passing moment, it grew until I imagined their numbers were in the millions. It was unbearable. I had to get out of this place. But how? I had no body and no voice. Finally, somewhere deep down in my spirit I screamed as hard as I could. I heard my own voice echoing on and on, GOD, HELP ME. The next thing that happened was a gigantic hand came down and moved under me and lifted me out of that abyss.
I was then taken up and up. The anguished voices faded and all was quiet. I saw again and realized I was passing up away from the Earth. In moments, I had arrived at a certain destination and was confused. I was concerned about what had happened to me, that is, what had happened to my body. I found myself facing a group of people that I felt that I knew somehow. It seemed I had known them from a very long time ago. I knew they knew who I was. It seemed they loved me very much and were extremely happy to see me. I couldn't make out their faces but I was sure I had known them and loved them somewhere, sometime. One of them seemed to be my grandmother but try as I might I could not make out her face. I kept asking them, 'What about Cathy?' I was so concerned about what had happened to me. The others told me not to worry about her (my body, my former self). They told me I was there with them and that was all that mattered.
They told me I had to talk to Him and pointed to a man who was off in the distance. I was immediately in His presence and we talked at length. I couldn't hear His voice but His thoughts instantly transferred to my consciousness and mine to His. I remember asking Him how I came to be here. He told me that He had created me, that it was His desire for me to be there with Him. I told Him this place was far too wonderful and I knew I had not done anything in my life to deserve being there in that beautiful place with Him. Once again, He told me that He had created my spirit in the beginning and had always longed for me to be there with Him! I insisted to Him that I was undeserving of His love and that I didn't think I should be there. He began answering questions for me. He made me understand that He created me and that He loved me so very much. His spirit passed through my spirit with His Incredible love. I came to realize that the love I had just experienced from my Creator was unlike any love I had ever known on Earth, even that of my grandmother who loved me dearly. Her love could not compare with the love this Father of mine had just revealed to me.
I knew that He had the answers to all questions so I began to ask Him things I had wondered about the most. Why is there evil? His reply, Because there is good.' I asked how anyone, being what they are, be permitted to exist in this home of God. He made me understand that He knew everything about me, that I was who I was because He Himself had designed me to be exactly, precisely who I was and that whatever I was I was still His creation, His child and He loved me so very much.
He asked me if I knew that I was dead. I said, 'Well, yes. I guess I know that I'm dead.' I asked Him, 'Please tell me. When we, your children, come into existence, do we live just one time or do we live over and over?' He said, 'It's like this' He took me to the entrance of a hall. We stood and looked down this long hall and there were millions and millions of doorways leading off this hall. He made me aware that there were many choices available to me and that that choice was the very answer to the question I had asked. The choice was up to ME. He made me understand that I could choose to stay where I was, that I could choose to walk down that hall and pick a door. He made me aware that picking a door would be my exit out of heaven and I would be born again out of the womb of some woman somewhere on Earth. I asked Him, 'But how do I know what door to pick?' His reply was merely that the door that I picked is my choice. He could not reveal what that life would be like. It would be a mystery.
I asked Him, 'Do we HAVE to pick another door and live over and over?' That in itself would be hell to me because what I had experienced, in large part, was very sad and distressful.
He told me some people choose to go back again and again. He doesn't want them to. He wants them to stay with Him but He understands my feelings. He explained that when we choose to leave Him He removes all memories of previous lives because He doesn't want us distressed. He means for life to be a good thing for all of us. He then reiterated all my choices and again infused me with His love. He then asked, 'Now, why would you want to leave me?' I don't remember responding. He asked, 'Now, how do you feel about being dead?' I said that it really didn't bother me that much but that my only regret was that I hadn't had the chance to say goodbye to my parents.
The very next thing that I became aware of, amazingly, remarkably, astoundingly - was that once again I was in my old body without realizing I had made my choice. I chose to leave my all-loving, all-accepting heavenly Father in order to come back and say goodbye to my parents. My God, what had I given up? I became so horrified, distressed, and depressed beyond words. But here I was again back in this world. I CHOSE the life I mapped out for myself. It's exactly what I got, to say goodbye to my parents. And so the story goes. My Dad died four years later. I'm still saying goodbye to my Mom.
Date NDE Occurred: 'November,1972'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack poisoning was intentional Other Strychnine poisoning confirmed after the incident
As stated previously, I was the victim of a poisoning. I was given a soft drink laced with strychnine.
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 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? Immediately after I left my body and until I returned, I was very much alert and aware that I had left my physical body, that it had ceased functioning and that I was on a new level of existence.
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 was timeless and without distraction. It was a huge open area.
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 initially perceived only total darkness. After being taken up into what I would perceive as the heavens, I became aware of all the people who were there immediately to greet me. There was nothing else at that moment that I was permitted to see. But I definitely felt that there was so much more that was not being shown to me.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. As I progressed through the process of dying I lost my hearing at some point. However, at my first after death destination I had only my sense of hearing.
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 First travelled downward as in an invisible elevator. Was later lifted into space by a giant hand.
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 In the downward level I heard the wailing of countless souls. In the upper level, I met faceless beings that I knew that I knew. I spoke to some and they directed me to one who I spoke with at length.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm As stated, I first experienced a dark abyss where only sound could be discerned. After being lifted out of this I experienced a location that was without scenery. It was a dimension-less place populated with others. These other, familiar-feeling individuals greeted and spoke with me. I felt as though they expected me.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First, fear and dread. I felt alone and lost. When I cried out for help, I was lifted to a higher place. I experienced the feeling of overwhelming love and acceptance.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
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? Liberal none
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It made me realize my spiritual core. I had no beliefs prior to this. I had only contempt for God up to this time because of the death of my grandmother.
What is your religion now? Liberal Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It made me realize my spiritual core. I had no beliefs prior to this. I had only contempt for God up to this time because of the death of my grandmother.
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? Yes I described this in the story of my experience. It came with the conversation I had with the One.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I ultimately fled from the abuser. I related differently to my parents. For the longest time following I felt incredible sadness for everyone because they didn't know what I knew.
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 have had numerous experiences of sensitivity to the deaths of others. I have gotten signals, heard names repeatedly, sensed the occurrence of deaths of others (plane crashes, boats sinking, accidents, abductions, etc.). In most cases, I didn't even know these people. I would hesitate to call it a gift. It has been more on the order of a curse as I am always the helpless by-stander.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The most significant part of the whole experience was that immediately after losing consciousness, I was CERTAIN of my own death and I was CERTAIN of the existence of God and my absence from Him. The conversation with the One is still with me and the information that He gave me is indisputable and is a part of me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About three years later, my father was dying of cancer and he asked me what I thought happened after life. I shared the experience with him. He was amazed by the story and told me that if he was able, he would try to contact me. I sometimes feel that he has. Years later, around the late 1980's, I met a couple who hosted a 'Friends of The International Association for Near-Death Studies' meeting and was persuaded to share my story. They told me that I was one of two out of about a thousand interviewed, that they were aware of, that had a negative experience that is travelling into what I can only call Hell. There have also been a few occasions, in the course of my nursing career, where I felt compelled to share my story with a terminally ill patient. I have also discussed it with various family members.
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 It has always been real. It was too profound to diminish in my memory of it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Time does not change the truth.
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? For some reason, I now feel strongly inclined to share this experience on a wider scale. It's the same intuitive feeling that I have had concerning others' deaths.