The Miracle of Hospice: A Personal Journey of a Hospice Nurse Check it out at: Click Here
When I was 5 years old, we swam at a blood sucker-infested mud hole called Porter Lake. My mother had brought myself, my sister and several other children to swim. She made the mistake of telling me that I was doing such a good job scooting off the flat rock that was parallel to the surface of the water, that soon I would be diving as good as my sister off the big rock next to my small rock. With this newfound confidence, I proceeded to dive into the water, head first, with my inner tube holding me securely under water.
I opened my eyes under water, which I had never done before, and still rarely do, and to my amazement, I saw tropical fish and a sandy beach. There was a bright light and a feeling of great peace and awe. I distinctly recall thinking, ‘Gee, I didn't think you could breathe under water, but by golly, I sure am!’ I looked to my right and saw my mother’s legs and I somehow knew that was she, which gave me an even greater sense of peace and safety. It felt divine without really knowing what divine felt like. I never once felt any sense of panic or fear, just blissful peace and beauty, no struggle whatsoever.
Meanwhile my mother was counting heads and had only briefly turned her back to me. When she saw me, my legs were flailing frantically. I was surprised to hear this as I never felt anything under water besides pure bliss, peace and safety. I did not require any mouth to mouth resuscitation but was gasping and choking. I do not think I was taken to the doctor’s to be checked.
I found myself always doing school public speaking on the topics of death and dying and was always interested in the mystery of death and dying. The very first time I heard the word hospice I knew I was destined to do hospice work and that is pretty much what I have done my whole life. I was once part of a local research project at a Medical Center. There I learned some interesting commonalities that other people who experienced near death shared. For example, we recall the experience as though it happened yesterday, we do not fear death and others find it easy to talk with us about death; and that we have an aversion to loud noises by getting extremely startled. I would love to be in a group of others who experienced a near death as well. I consider it the most amazing experience of my life; the one I treasure the most and the one that shaped my life the most.
The greatest gift I received from it is that I share my experience with many of my dying patients, and families, especially when someone is struggling at the end of life. I like to think that those people are inwardly already in that divine heavenly space as if I was even though their body appears to be struggling on the outside. Many feel comforted by my testimony. I recently wrote a book entitled ‘The Miracle of Hospice’ that I self-published which has the above account in the introduction.
Date NDE Occurred: 1956
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Throughout the entire experience: very much higher, as it was an experience of pure peace and calm and love.
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 felt so very relaxed, that time seemed to slow down but in reality it took place rather quickly as my mother only took her eyes off me for a split second, according to her.
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. At age 5, I’m not sure how accurate I can be about after the experience but surely during it, I recall in great detail.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't recall hearing anything but stillness and quietness.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No Just white light
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Euphoria, bliss, peace, safe
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others At age 5, I am not sure what I could understand about the universe but there did not feel a need to understand anything. I did not question the fact that I was breathing under water. Everything just felt right and wonderful and special.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Unknown
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am a seeker of truth and am just realizing that it is, most likely, a result of my near death experience.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths my spiritual life is very eclectic and I consider myself a seeker of truth
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience the notion that I could breathe under water but as for religious beliefs not sure that I had any at age 5
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Because I don't really remember what, if any, beliefs I had at age 5, it is hard to say.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain nothing specific; just a feeling of oneness with all that is
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt enveloped in love and peace
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life. I feel as though I was given a gift and a purpose to my life. I feel it was the near death experience that makes me feel I am here to be of service and to share my experience with others.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am drawn to people who are spiritual or like-minded and have little tolerance for the mundane. In hospice you get very close to people very quickly.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is a peace and calm and love that surpass what I can attain in meditation. The only time I have come close to that same divine feeling was during a rebirthing session.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I can barely remember what happened yesterday and have always had a poor memory (genetic)yet I remember every detail of my near death experience like it happened 5 minutes ago.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I am a ‘want to be psychic’ and yet I do not have the confidence that I am. Every psychic I have ever been to, and there have been a lot throughout my whole life, has always told me that I was psychic and could be doing what they are doing.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The entire experience is incredibly meaningful to me. But as I stated before, the fact that outwardly I was struggling while inwardly so at peace makes me hopeful that others who struggle during the transition from this life to the next are having the same experience I had.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have always been proud of my near death experience and will tell anyone who will listen. I always get a positive response.
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 have never doubted for one minute that it was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I feel this is one of my greatest gifts given for me to share. Again, it has shaped my life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I had a rebirthing experience where I witnessed the white light and feeling of divine presence and oneness identical to my near death experience.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No, but I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience and would not have known you were here if I hadn't read Anita Moorjani's book, 'Dying to be me'.