I feel it important to set the stage a little bit so the understanding of things done and said might be understood better by those that read my story. I also want it to be understood that this to me is and was a VERY spiritual experience and was something that I did not really believe possible, from it I have an unbreakable faith in life after death and a peace surrounding death with no fear of its time but an almost anticipation of its coming.
I was in a very bad relationship and was in the middle of financial as well as emotional ruin. I just lost a job that I had put all of my resources into while 'buying' in to the opportunity, and had just recently found out that my partner John had not been faithful to our relationship and did not love me as he had before.
For the second time in my life, I was passing kidney stones. As it turns out, two of them. I had been in extreme pain for three days already and had been to the hospital for the second time the night before my experience. Both times at the hospital I was given morphine by shot and then drip until I was out of pain enough to go home. I was given Percocet to help with the pain when not at the hospital. I took two tablets every three hours to keep from simply writhing in pain on my bed.
On this Sunday morning my partner John said he had to go to work to prepare for the next day's work. His work was only fifteen minutes from our home and he said he would check in often by phone to see that I was okay.
I fell asleep and was awakened by a phone call from John checking up on me. As we started to talk I told him that I felt pretty good because of the visit the night before to the hospital. I needed to use the bathroom so I got up and walked from my bed to the bathroom as we spoke, when I reached the bathroom John asked me why I was speaking so slow and quietly, I did not realize that I was talking any differently than at first. He asked if I was okay and I said I wasn't sure. I started to feel a tightness and pain in my chest and then a very quick shortness of breath. I fell forward against the counter in the bathroom and told John that I was not okay, I told him what I was feeling as I tried to walk back to my bed. My pain increased to where I could barely speak, my left arm and hand went so numb that I could not hold the phone anymore. I fell to one knee and as I fell, I told John that I was having a heart attack and that I needed help.
The phone fell and I could not pick it up again, my left arm and hand were so numb I couldn't use them; they were almost like in a charley horse pulled tight to my body. My pain was so much that I could not tell anymore where it was coming from at all, the kidney stones, my chest, my arm, I didn't know, all I know is it was the worst I have ever felt.
I used my right arm to pull myself over to my bed and up onto it. As I fell back onto the top of my sheets, I immediately felt total peace, no pain, no anguish, nothing but total serenity. My last words, I don't know if they were spoken or just thought, were, 'Mom, if it's this easy, why are we so afraid?' Everything then went black.
After an unknown amount of time to me, I was awake again lying on my bed but things were very different. I felt no pain, very much at peace, and not sure if I just woke up or was awakened but on the left side of my bed was my Oma and Opa (grandmother and grandfather in German) both of whom had died at different times in the past. On the right side of my bed were my Great Grand Mother and Great Grand Father. I have never met my Great Grand Father; he died long before I was even born. My Great Grand Mother was the love of my life as a child, if I was bad during the week my punishment was that I would not be allowed to go to her home and stay with her for the weekend. I have more fond memories of her and being with her than anyone in my life. For many of her last years she was in retirement centers, my oldest daughter and I would go every week to see her and did so for many years. I sat beside her and held her hand when she died, watching as she slowly and quietly passed away.
My Opa was a great and very kind man but it was my Oma that I was closest to. She was not a part of my life like my Great Grandma but during her last years, as with my Great Grandma I and my three daughters would go every week to the retirement center and pick her up and take her to McDonalds because she loved to have a cup of coffee, kids cheeseburger and some fries. We loved her very much. The feelings I felt then were not consciously known but realized after the fact, we were there in my room just like before I blacked out but all I could 'consciously' see at the time were the people clearly, while the rest of the room was blurred as if transparent. I saw things but remember feeling nothing physical, and emotionally I knew what - how to say this - what the emotion at the time was that I felt and yet I didn't 'feel' anything, but was aware of the emotion at the same time. I was a bit surprised to see them standing there and looked from side to side for a second into each of their eyes.
My Great Grandma and Grandpa both had expressions of, not sadness, but compassion I guess would be the word. My Opa had a very serious expression on his face, one like I would see only when he spoke to me very seriously, and Oma well it was a look that was determined and serious, she was the only one that spoke, and she took my hand in hers, which I saw but did not feel. Then she said, 'Enough is enough, you're coming home!' I turned my eyes from hers to my Great Grandma's, she said nothing but her look confirmed what Oma had said as she nodded yes to me.
While not being able to feel anything physically I can remember the emotions clearly. The peace I felt was amazing. For what seemed like only a moment, I felt enough emotions to have taken me hours to have processed, I thought all the way through the differences of going home with them and not feeling any more of the pain, hurt, and sorrow that was filling my life, to the opportunities and or responsibilities I would have if I stayed. I have three daughters and in like the blink of an eye all of these emotions went through me and in-between every one of them I saw my daughter's faces.
I looked back into my Oma's eyes and as I pulled my hand out of hers as I told her, 'No, I can't go with you!' She asked me 'Why?' I told her 'I can't go; I have to take care of my kids.'
As I said this to her we all heard the front door of my house open. This is where the really different things began to happen. As I told her no and the door opened they all left, going straight up in bolts of white light, they were then gone but I was also different. I was no longer lying on my bed, I was looking down on myself and I could see John walk into the house through the front door even though you can't see my front door from my bedroom. I watched him walk down the hallway and come into the bedroom. As he entered the bedroom, he walked past the end of the bed coming over to the side that I was on. As he passed the end of the bed he reached over and grabbed my foot and said 'Hey, how you doing? Derek you're cold, answer me Derek, answer me!' As he got to my side of the bed he felt my head, my body, etc. as I watched him from up above. He reached under the bed and grabbed the heating pad that was there and ran to the closet and grabbed blankets. He put the heating pad on my chest, turned it on and threw blankets over me. Then while holding me close and rubbing my body he frantically kept yelling, 'Derek, talk to me, talk to me. Yell at me, Derek.' I just watched until he put his head on my cheek as he rubbed my body to warm me. The instant he put his head on my cheek I was no longer watching him from above but I was opening my eyes from back inside my body. I looked up at him and said, 'I'm cold.' He said, 'I know'. I asked him how long it had been since we had spoken. 'Fifty minutes,' he said, 'the construction had the highway blocked, I came as fast as I could.'
He lay there with me for hours keeping me warm. I calmly fell asleep at some time and did not wake until the next morning. I felt no pain from at all from the moment I opened my eyes and said I was cold. Not from the kidney stones, not from anything.
I went to the doctor the next day to get a check-up. She listened to what I told her, checked all of my vital stats, and hooked me up to some machines to check how my heart was. Everything was perfect. Knowing from past conversations about my relationship and that I had told John that I was having a heart attack and needed help and yet he called no one to come help me, she told me, 'Well, it appears God has allowed you to stay to take care of your kids, but when will you take care of you?'
I left her office, went home, and had John leave. I have shared this experience with very few in my life as I have held it sacred. It's been three years now. Only now am I okay with sharing my experience and dealing with the skeptics and critics of those that don't believe. Until now, I simply wanted to enjoy the peace it brought to my life without talking about it to anyone but a few.
Thank you for allowing me to do so here tonight. I pray that it may in some way help you in your studies or that somewhere, sometime it may be read by someone else and touch them in a way to help them in some way.
May I conclude by saying that I know that we go on living after death, that death is simply a passage into another realm. I know that those we love whom have passed before us are there waiting for us and that some will come to take us home and show the way.
I thank God for giving me the chance to stay here and 'take care of my kids', my girls are my life and I could be no prouder as a father to see the women they have become. I have a great testimony of my faith, one that as a gay man is very hard for many to understand, but one that I could never deny.
Thank you again,
Date NDE Occurred: July 1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack 'Was in the third day of fighting kidney stones, had been to the hospital twice and given morphine, was also very hurt emotionally.' 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
While fighting kidney stones I had a heart attack.
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? It was after my Grand Parents had left and I was looking down on myself and John up until the time I want back into my body.
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 am not sure how long I was out. From when I awoke in the experience until I went back into my body seemed like a normal few minutes, so unless I was blacked out for forty to forty-five minutes then the time I was awake seemed like only a few minutes and yet was many more.
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 could see everything I wanted as if walls etc. did not exist, and what I was not looking at seemed transparent.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could see everything I wanted as if walls etc. did not exist, and what I was not looking at seemed transparent.
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
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
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 Only as my grandparents left.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm just that i could see thru walls etc.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Surprise, love, conviction, uneasiness, peace, and tranquility were all emotions that I was 'aware' of and yet can't say I felt any of them.
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 Only during the time that seemed like the blink of an eye after my Oma said, 'Enough is enough, it's time to go.' I saw clearly and quickly the times of pain and hurt that I had experienced and in between each the beautiful faces of my daughters. I had believed in life after death but not to near the extent that I do now. I also know that the pain and suffering that comes just before death for many is quickly gone and that it is not to be feared.
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 Christian/The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian/The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 our spirit and awareness continues.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My middle daughter and I are much closer from it and the talks we have had since. I have been single since it took place; it has taken a long time for me to work through why John would not have called for help for me when he knew I was in trouble.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, Several.
1. Those I love were there to take me home, that they watch over me and know what I am going threw in life.
2. That God allowed me to choose to stay.
3. I know we are to have faith in God and in life after death etc. Well I don't need to have faith anymore; they are things that I know.
4. That God does work in mysterious ways and that eternal powers are such that no man can put a limit to what they can do.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real
It has been the same since the next day. I know it's real and today it is as clear and the day it happened.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
My middle daughter and I are much closer from it and the talks we have had since. I have been single since it took place; it has taken a long time for me to work through why John would not have called for help for me when he knew I was in trouble.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared it only with a few, my doctor, and a few family members. My doctor was kind but I felt as if she was 'not believing.' My oldest and middle daughter understood totally. My youngest seemed to but I don't think she really believed. My other family parents, brothers, and sisters I told had mixed reactions. I am not sure about the influence I made on others except my middle daughter who became aware of why she had not sensed Oma with her anymore.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I have read different stories over the years about NDEs but they never crossed my mind or thoughts during my own experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew that it had happened. I am very aware of my body and my health; I always have been in tune with my body. The things that happened to me, the pain before it happened, and the absence of any pain after. The conversations with John, my daughter etc. all reaffirming what I felt. I have not a doubt of it happening.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It has been the same since the next day. I know it's real and today it is as clear and the day it happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? To make one thing understood by me, when you spoke or asked of 'mystical' beings I said NO, but yes to seeing beings. They were not mystical they were known and real. I perceive mystical to be just that Mystical and not real. I hope that is what you were after.