Experience Description

I suffered serious complications from a tonsillectomy at age seven. Hemorrhaging badly, my parents took me to the hospital to have my throat cauterized. I lost a great deal of blood. I lay near death. My parents were brought into the room and I remember floating high above my body, so that I could touch the exposed pipes on the ceiling. A great, ubiquitous light surrounded me. I heard the nurse and doctor say to my parents, 'She won't live through the night.' My mother fell over the table, sobbing. My father, with whom I have always had a close bond, said that he would donate his blood to me directly from a table nearby. This was done and I survived. Later, when I awoke, I tried to tell the nurse, the doctor, and my mother what I had experienced. The doctor protested that I could not have heard the conversation for I was unconscious. I insisted and my mother embraced me, saying, that I should not say these things for the doctor would not allow me to leave the hospital. I never spoke of this again and buried the memory for many years.

Later in life, when I was an adult, something jogged my memory and I asked my parents about the experience. They listened to me; however, they said (or rather my mother said) that I should not speak of such things for to do so would open Pandora's Box and that one must never speak of the occult. My mother was very devout all of her life (her father was an English missionary to the island of Saba in the Dutch West Indies) and she admonished me to say my prayers and ask for God's protection.

After I married, I spoke of this experience with my husband, who is also an Episcopal priest (in addition to being a Ph.D. psychologist). He has always listened to my account with patience, even though his analytical mind cannot accept the fact that this incident is possible.

I never saw a tunnel nor did I hear voices or see a spiritual being. I simply had the feeling that I could float above my body and be a witness to the events taking place below

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: l946

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes IllnessSurgery-related Life threatening event, but not clinical death See main narrative.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was not concerned with my appearance, just with what was going on below me.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Fully alert, to the best of my recollection.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time was irrelevant and of course, at that young age, I did not ponder about it.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Very bright, almost blinding.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Upset that I might be leaving my parents in great despair. I wanted to reassure them.

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe That I was loved and had a purpose in my life to be determined.

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I knew instinctively that my father and I would always have a bond stretching from this lifetime into the next. My concept of God was one in which He would be greater than the love my father on earth had for me. If God is like my father, Alfred, then He must be truly wonderful, for I had the best.

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I knew I was going to live when my father gave me a direct transfusion.

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I was in a big, white box -- the operating room -- and there were no doors to the outside.

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 I was focused on the table beneath me and was pained to look at my crying mother.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate practicing Episcopalian

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best part of the experience was in knowing that I was loved. It has been buried for so many years and I'm sure has caused me to be reticent about taking chances. I am a conservative, careful person.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Interest was shown by all and sometimes others have related similar experiences.

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 wish I had been older at the time of this event. It has helped me to accept the real presence of Our Lord and know that He is all powerful and that my life is in His hands. I feel that He still has a job for me to do before I depart this earth. Now that I have raised my family, I am ready to go to the task. My husband and I are ready to begin a new chapter together. To whom much has been given, much is expected and we are both such fortunate people to be able to realize how blessed we have been with the most wonderful parents God could have given us.