I'm going to have to describe 'scenes' that I can recall - since I was cheated out of a full and complete memory of it.
The first scene I remember was that I was in my apartment bedroom (where my body lay). My ceiling light was on and my body lay near the right side of my bed. I was on the left side of my bed, not up in the air, yet not on the ground either. I saw several people knelt down around my body, so I couldn't really even see myself. The people wore dark clothing, so I'm assuming they were police. I think I saw one person with a white shirt (emergency medical technician?). While I was watching the 'event' I was with two of my deceased relatives: my grandfather's cousin, Aunt Kate (who was more like a grandmother to me); and my Uncle Harry. In life, these were really the only two members of my family (besides my mother) that I was close to. I loved them very, very much.
I don't remember ANY strong emotion at all during the NDE. In fact, I felt almost emotionally detached from what was going on. I was not elated; I was not frightened nor angry, etc. Just peaceful, calm, and almost like accepting. I 'knew' why Kate and Harry were there. I knew that they were going to take me somewhere. I was ok with it. I did feel some type of comfort in knowing that they were there, and maybe even a bit of surprise.
One VERY strong memory of this scene was the fact that my aunt and uncle did not speak to me in words - yet I was communicating with them. (I mean, maybe they DID speak to me, but I have no memory of it.) The weirdest thing was the fact that I didn't really 'see' them as 'people' as I remembered them in life. They were there, but I'm not sure how I perceived them - if that makes any sense!
The next scene was completely different. I was outside and it was dark. (The incident happened in the evening) I was travelling forward - not walking, not flying, just being propelled forward. I could 'see' my aunt and uncle in front of me - my uncle slightly to my right and my aunt in the lead. We were travelling through this beautiful valley - a completely open and uninhabited space. I slightly remember the sensation of coolness. I remember the black sky, maybe some stars. In the distance was a massive 'wall' of rolling hills/mountains. We were moving towards the mountains.
Unfortunately, that's it. When I awoke from my coma, my mother told me that I was asking for my aunt and uncle; and was shocked to hear that they were deceased!! She said that I exclaimed, 'But I was just with them!' But I didn't explain anything more than that, nor was I asked. I have no memory of saying that because of my short-term memory loss - I had only a retention of a few seconds after I awoke. For example, I kept asking over and over again 'Who sent the pretty flowers?!?' in my hospital room! LOL. It drove my parents crazy!
Date NDE Occurred: June 1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Ventricular fibrillation Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was being treated for leukemia; and one of the chemo drugs caused major electrical problems in my heart. I experienced ventricular fibrillation one night and did not have an internal defibrillator at that time.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't know if I can answer that because of the sketchiness of the memory. I do remember both scenes (my apartment and the valley) quite vividly. I guess during those two scenes, I was at my most alert. Maybe that's why I retained the memory of those scenes?
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
No sense of time at all. Time did not exist.
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 was VERY aware of the brightness of my ceiling light. The nighttime blackness of the valley was very distinct. The coolness I felt was very clear.
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 remember hearing anything. But again, that could be due to poor memory, not the experience itself.
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? Uncertain Again, poor memory.
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 My deceased aunt and uncle. They were by my side, one on either side of me in my bedroom - then, in front of me during my journey. They communicated with me but I don't remember words being spoken. They were there for a reason - to comfort me and take me somewhere.
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? Uncertain Same.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I described the valley/mountains. They were beautiful but black because it was night time. I would assume that I was still on earth at that time, but I'm just not sure.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, comfort, calmness, acceptance, NOT frightened at all, happy/surprised to see my relatives, not emotionally connected in any way to the people in the room, including myself.
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 Poor memory.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Poor memory.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Maybe the wall of hills/mountains was the boundary? Because I could not see what was beyond them!! There was slight anticipation about reaching this wall.
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 'I was raised a Catholic, but at the time of the NDE I was not religious at all and probably agnostic, bordering on atheistic.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes As I explained above, I became much more open minded to the possibility of a God and began searching for him more seriously.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Practicing Catholic NOT a fundamentalist though! politically/socially conservative.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes As I explained above, I became much more open minded to the possibility of a God and began searching for him more seriously.
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 knew that I was going somewhere. I didn't realize that it was probably heaven until I remembered the experience after waking up.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain My relationship with my parents were already changing prior to my NDE because of the reality of my leukemia and the fact that I might die. Very soon after the NDE, I met my husband and we married quickly and started a family. Before this, I never would have thought that I would get married and have kids. I wasn't sure that I wanted that. After the NDE, I did, very much.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes My memories of it are sketchy because I was in a coma afterwards and suffered from short term memory loss for years afterwards.
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? Being with my aunt and uncle. That was very comforting and pleasant. I wanted to be with them.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my mother as soon as I awoke in the hospital, but she didn't press me for details. Nobody's reaction was negative. Many people that heard the story believed that it was probably a real NDE. MY mom didn't try to help me remember it. She just listened to me. I also told other people in days/months/years to come.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of it, probably from TV, and was curious about the 'science' or neurological basis of it - but was pretty skeptical about it and figured it was probably some form of hallucination.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real Well, as I said above, as a science teacher and a materialist back then, I was skeptical about the event. I felt quite angry that I was cheated out of the complete memory of it (assuming that there was more too it!). I had always 'searched' for God and felt that a full memory of the NDE would certainly have helped me in my own personal belief system. Only recently have I become more open minded to the existence of God.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I have been very serious about my search for God in the past year - reading everything I can get my hands on (debates, books, etc.). I'm now realizing that the arguments for atheism just don't satisfy my deepest questions anymore.
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? Yes!! (This is extremely personal.) About a year after the NDE, I became pregnant. At first, I was filled with fear because I was still in remission from the leukemia and didn't want to relapse and be pregnant at the same time. I knew that I wouldn't survive the relapse and that my child would be without a mother. I planned an abortion. On the day of the abortion, I was lying on a stretcher, waiting to be taken into the operating room. All of a sudden (and I wasn't a very emotional person before this), I became filled with love for my child and grief about what I was about to do. The doctor came over and saw my utter despair. She held my hand and I said, 'I can't do this.' She smiled and I got up, got dressed and went home with my husband. Something inside, something foreign, was telling me, 'How could you do this when you yourself were given a second (surviving cancer) and third (surviving the NDE) chance to live!!' It was the BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY LIFE! (In addition to my second child, also!!) LOL.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? If my NDE ever does get published somewhere, I would like to know about it somehow.