In April of 1995, I was a newly divorced mother of two boys, ages seven and two. I'd been working two jobs to support us, and fell ill with what I believed was the flu. Each day I worked, and each day I felt a greater weight on my chest. As I was only in Georgia for four years at this time, I had no family, only friends. Neighbors often rallied to my side with help in a crisis, I felt blessed. As I grew weaker, the Lynch family stopped by and offered to take my sons for the night, and would drop them at school/daycare the next day. Another neighbor was instructed by the Lynch's to check up on me the next morning. With my children cared for, I crawled into the bottom bunk of my sons' bed. Excruciating pain grew stronger across my chest and shoulders. In a fraction of a moment, everything around me melted away.
I was surrounded by a mass of solid glowing white. My eyes caught a girl to my right side. She was probably nineteen or twenty. Shorter than my five feet eight inches stature she starred up at me. She asked where we were. I had no clue. She proceeded to tell me she'd been driving home from work and didn't understand how she was now standing beside me. I revealed likewise, that I had been in my sons' bunk bed and had no recollection of moving.
In front of us, a man appeared and approached us. The best I can describe his face/features is brown curly hair to the nape of his neck, liquid brown eyes, capable of illuminating the most unbelievable compassion, and a delicate mustache under a pronounced nose. His face literally glowed. His eyes kept mine to his. I asked him where we were. He smiled, nodded, and said, 'The best way to describe this is, you are in a form of limbo.' My mind desperately tried to grasp what he was implying. Unfortunately, whenever I am stressed, excited, antsy etc. my bladder turns into a waterlogged tsetse fly. Embarrassed, I moved forward and asked where the restrooms were. This part is where I get emotional in repeating my NDE. This man simply smiled at me. Not a smirk. Not a condescending gesture. He smiled with every ounce of unconditional love and compassion that I will never properly explain. His smile covered my body like a blanket and made me feel so at peace. Asking me to move with him, I assumed he was taking me to the facilities.
Gesturing he told me to walk forward and I would see what I would call 'a mirror'. Once in front of it, I would understand why I didn't need a bathroom. Moving into the direction, before me was a liquid pool of white, yet, it also appeared to be a mirror. I was completely mesmerized. There were colors - brilliant colors everywhere. I was an array of beautiful moving, shimmering, vibrating, and colors. He came closer and said, 'Do you understand now?' I realized I was pure energy, spirit, and part of a flowing consciousness; while still remaining 'Denise'. At that moment, he shared his name, 'John'. As we moved, he also shared with me what was happening.
The following is a reiteration of his words. 'Everyone has choices. Everyone has free will. How this interacts in your life, and death, and with others, is all by choice. For instance, look at the girl who came here at the same time as you. If the ambulance driver takes a different road to the scene, if someone decides to move her and doesn't know what they are doing and cause more damage, if her internal organs are too crushed by the accident by speed and timing, she will stay here. You are laying in your sons' bedroom. Your one neighbor was given the responsibility to check on you. It is her choice, her free will. Will she find you? Will she decide to take a shower first and be too late? Each of us always hangs in a balance, by decisions, Not only by our own actions, but by the free will and actions of others.' He finished, 'I need to tell you, your neighbor is entering your home. She will find you. You will be going back.'
With these last words still ringing in my ears, I was sucked like a vacuum back into my body. My physical pain took my breath away. My neighbor was crying, pounding on my chest, and screaming for me to breathe. I was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with pleurisy. My left lung muscle was so damaged the doctors informed me any future incidents with my lungs would kill me.
Jump ahead to 2003. On a trip with my mother and friend to Savannah Georgia, we decided to visit the Catholic Cathedral. Upon entering the church and looking around, a short elderly man, with twinkling grey eyes, came softly up to my right side. He took my hand and asked me to walk with him. I wasn't afraid or fearful (besides my mom and friend were directly in front of us). As they walked ahead and moved towards the altar, the little man guided me to the last stained-glass window on the left, closest to the alter. He asked if I saw anyone I knew in the stained glass. It was a side profile, but I recognized him immediately.
It was John, my John from my NDE. I whispered in awe, 'That's John.' 'Yes it is my dear. He was an apostle on earth and he was called smiling John. You needed to see this. You needed to remember and know that it happened.' I stood there shaking my head in a yes motion and turned to look at the little man. He was gone, nowhere in sight. My mother and her friend had turned to me and asked where he went. I told them I did not know - but I had a something to share with them. And I've been sharing my NDE with anyone who needs to hear it ever since.
Date NDE Occurred: April 1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
If I had not been found and brought back I would not be here writing this.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When looking in front of the mirror and comprehending where I was.
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
I felt I was there for a while.
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. The brilliant energy of seeing myself as colors.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I do not recall seeing lips moving. It was more a sharing of thoughts and hearing it clearly.
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? No It was instant.
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 John listed above in my NDE experience.
The experience included: Light
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? Yes Whiteness all around me at first.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Once I understood what was happening I was at peace and had no regrets, nor wanted to go back to my body.
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
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? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was always spiritual and had a close relationship with God from childhood. I was raised Catholic but my belief system runs towards the teachings of God/Jesus opposed to doctrines created by men and the church.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was always spiritual and had a close relationship with God from childhood. I was raised Catholic but my belief system runs towards the teachings of God/Jesus opposed to doctrines created by men and the church.
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 It was explained to me about free will, choices, and how everything affects something else.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I think with every day I evolve into a better more knowledgeable person because of what I experienced and what I know.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I get overwhelmed with emotion because of the unconditional love I felt there.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I can sense and communicate from the other side, I could not prior.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The love that I felt, an understanding of how everything interacts, and no more fear of dying.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not at first but more so after my encounter in 2003 listed above in my NDE experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I saw some reports on this subject matter on TV shows but I never researched any of it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real There is no other explanation in my mind other than it happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No