It was early morning, I was seventeen years old (just turned) and on my way to work before school (I worked for a garbage company as a garbage man riding on the back of the trucks). I would work there early, going in around 3:00 am and on leaving, I would go back home, clean up and go to school. (I was a high school senior at the time)
In looking back at the calendar, I am sure it was October 19, 1989; it could have been the 12th. I am pretty sure it was a Thursday and not too long after my birthday which was on the 8th. Anyway, on this particular morning, it was cold and raining, the conditions on the road were bad.
Long story short, a car came at me and drove me off the road. I was on a road that had guardrails, with a small cliff (ten to thirty feet or so), with rocks and a river at the bottom.
As I lost control of the car, I remember seeing a guardrail coming at me. The guardrail was dead on center of the car. I was going normal speed, maybe thirty-five to forty mph or so. I remember seeing the guardrail coming at the car, I remember the headlights (it was dark and raining) shining on the guardrail, and that was the moment I KNEW I was going to die.
In that instant, something happened to me, some kind of 'rush' and in that one instant, prior to contact, my entire life 'flashed before my eyes', just like they describe it on TV shows or in movies or what not, my life flashed from start to end and in the one moment I knew every moment of my life.
Here is the strange thing however, I saw my life as it was, everything I had done, and I also saw my life as it WOULD be, far into the future, I saw people I did not know, I saw myself doing things I never did. Now because this experience happened in a split second, a split instant, I only retained very little bits of things in my 'flash', essentially I came away from it knowing it had happened, and knowing that I just saw my entire life.
The next part is very personal and I am not comfortable stating it here, but as the crash occurred and this 'flash' came over me, I actually spoke a name of a person, and gave a specific reason why I knew I wasn't going to die at that moment. (Essentially, I knew that this person would be in my life in a special way, but that it hadn't happened yet, but since I saw it, I KNEW I was not going to die because that event had not happened.) I came away from the event with the feeling of what had happened, the 'feeling' of my entire life, as well as something very specific: the name I blurted out as well as a couple of 'visions' of that person, whom I did not know.
After the accident, I was left stranded on the side of the road, the car that ran me off had left me there and I was cold, wet, afraid, slightly hurt (had I not been wearing my seatbelt I have little doubt that I would have died). I walked several miles to my grandparents' house, It seemed far then, but I know the walk took me a good three hours or more, it was freezing cold, wet rain and wind, I was not in good shape when I arrived at their house around 7:00 am.
I had a lot of time to reflect on what had happened during that walk, I tried to understand what happened and I could not. I got to my grandparents' house and got a ride back to my house, where I changed clothes and went to school as if nothing had happened other than missing work that day. My mother got the car towed from the accident while I was in school.
I wrote down what I blurted out in that moment when I got home, and I had a pen pal at the time that I wrote about it to. I did not know the person that I called out, nor did I know anyone with that name.
Over the years, it has popped into my head a few times, but I have tried to put it out of my thought. Nearly twenty years later, I reconnected with a former high school classmate whom I hadn't seen or heard from in almost two decades. In High School I was very quiet and kept to myself, so I had a lot of acquaintances, but no 'friends', so it was nice to begin a friendship with someone I had known for so long, but never really 'knew'. It took a bit of time, but one day it suddenly hit me. The pieces fell into place. This girl was the girl that I had the vision of, and she looked now like she looked in my flash, or at least the impression of what I remembered from that day now fit, and the name as well. We have formed a strong friendship now and I am eager to explore more about what happened to me and why or how I knew this person, yet at the time did not know this person.
In addition to this, I have frequent déjà vu experiences, almost on a daily basis, and I can't help but wonder if my 'flash' of my life and my life yet to come, left faint impressions in me somehow that have given me this feeling that I often get.
Date NDE Occurred: 'October 19, 1989'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was in a car accident, and in the moment (the instant) before the crash occurred, I knew it was going to occur (I could see it coming) and in that moment I knew I was going to die. I mentally and spiritually thought that I would be dead in about two seconds.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I lost awareness of my body
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? Less than a second before the car made contact with the guard rail, the entire event literally lasted an instant, like I spent hours seeing myself and my life, but it all happened in an instant.
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
Most definitely yes to this one. Time had no meaning at all, at least not in the way we think of it. I literally saw my entire life and lived every moment in that instant, so time was altered incredibly for me at this instance.
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. In that instant I saw everything, it is hard to explain in words, but when you watch a TV show and they flash pictures on the screen in a rapid succession, that was what it was like for me, but a billion times faster and not just photos, but actual 'moments' in my life.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I had forgotten this detail until I read the question. I remember I was listening to a talk radio show that morning, I believe it was the Sebastian show (I think that is what it was called) and I think it was on 'WCCC' which was the only station I really listened to.
So, I am listening to the radio show, and then this accident happens and in that instant I had the flash of my life, it was silent, I could not hear the car, the radio, the rain, nothing. It was the entire thing in silence, at least as far as my ears hearing things; it was not silent in my head. Anyhow, the moment lasted an instant and then CRASH, I heard the car hitting the guardrail; I heard the steel twisting, the glass shattering, etc. Then it was as if suddenly everything was back to 'normal'.
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 I answered uncertain to this only to give a more detailed reply to question #13. To answer this question (#15), no there was no tunnel or enclosure.
However, in question 13, it asked if I had a feeling of peace or pleasantness. In the moment leading up to the event, it was just total horror; I knew I was going to die. Time to 'give up the ghost', then I had my life flash before my eyes, and in that instant afterwards, I knew I was fine and would be fine, despite the fact that at that moment the car was crunching up into guard rails, etc. I was completely at peace afterwards because I KNEW I was not done with life yet.
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 In the aspect of seeing people in my life and interacting with them in a way that was a memory of mine, like I had interacted with them and was remembering it, although much of these events hadn't happened yet. I don't think this was anything more than my mind/soul/etc. recalling events that I had, I do not think this was any kind of intelligent other world being or anything.
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? Uncertain I don't know if it would be considered a 'light', at least not like you see in a movie where people walk down a tunnel towards a light, it was nothing like that.
Also, in reply to question 17 below, I can't say I felt 'surrounded by a brilliant light' so much as to say that I was surrounded by my life as it was and would be and that could be considered 'yes' to these questions I guess.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Unknown since I really can't recall the actual 'experience' as far as too many specific things, more so it was like an 'impression' of what had happened, as well as a name and some specific 'events' that would occur.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I cannot describe in detail as the experience was too overwhelming to remember other than an 'impression.' I reviewed my entire life (past and future life of things yet to be), I left with some specific details of the future life, some have come to pass and be true, even the specific name I mentioned (out loud) to myself at the time of the event, which I have now (nearly twenty years later) put the pieces together.
I also have not yet mentioned, but I believe that I left this event knowing some numbers were special in some way, I cannot explain this any other way than how you remember phone numbers or street numbers, even years after you no longer have that phone, you can remember it. Well I think that I have these numbers in my head because at some point in the future I WILL MEMORIZE them, and that because of that, and that being something that you get into your mind and cannot get rid of I somehow got these numbers from my life yet to be.
Many numbers have already happened in my life, after this event, one specific one I will mention here is a number that I knew after this event in 1989, it was stuck in MY HEAD, as if I knew a number but did not know why. Then, around 1998 or so, I got a yahoo email account, and my random password that it assigned me, was this long string of numbers that I knew almost a decade earlier, I ALREADY had them memorized before yahoo randomly generated them for me. There are a few specific examples like this, and also many that I have not yet discovered.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future This is an amazing question and the answer is yes, I have pretty much already described it, but I knew many things, several have come to pass, some are happening now, some have yet to happen but I know they will.
I also find that if I put too much effort/thought/focus into something, it will happen, not that I am making it happen, or that I am predicting it, it could be something completely out of my control, but I believe that I am 'remembering' events that haven't happened yet in some way.
In reply to #35 below, there is no comment box for it. The 'scenes' from the future were more like memories, and they were just of me specifically, not of the world, like I didn't see lotto numbers or world news or anything, but I did see my life and events in my life, some of which stuck with me.
There is only ONE 'world news' event that I had a memory of before it happened, and even then it is a stretch to say it was a specific memory, but I do believe I 'remembered' this although it hadn't happened.
Recently (a few years ago), I was looking through some of my old school papers, I took Creative Writing senior year of high school, this would have been a few months after the accident I had. I read one of the stories I wrote in early 1990 and was about ready to drop dead when I read the date I wrote in the story. It was about a terrorist attack, and although I did not write a year, I did use the date. The first line of the story eerily reads 'After the terrorists' attacks of September, 11th' - I wrote that in 1990. Now sure, I had a 1 in 365 chance of writing that date, but going back to the 'numbers' thing, I believe that numbers I will memorize or numbers, I will one day need or be important, I already know. And this is a classic example. Who doesn't know the date 9-11 and who doesn't associate it with a terrorist attack?
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 'I was raised a catholic and around the age of 12 I became an Atheist because religion had been 'force fed' to me. I later changed my views to Agnostic (believing there is something out there, greater than us, that we can't yet comprehend, although not necessarily god, Jesus, Buddha, etc.)'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes The second event that I described earlier completely makes me KNOW that there was more out there that we do not yet understand.
What is your religion now? Moderate 'As stated previously, I current know that there is something 'else' out there, I have had 2 experiences in my life now that have proved to me beyond any doubt that there is a 'higher-being' of some sort.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The second event that I described earlier completely makes me KNOW that there was more out there that we do not yet understand.
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 already have described this. The special knowledge was that I was not going to die because I SAW myself in what was yet to come. I don't know if this was a universal thing so much as a person thing that just affected me and the people I knew/would know.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain This is a hard one to answer, and it is very personal because I believe that I 'jumped the gun' on something that I thought was supposed to happen at a certain time, but looking back now I believe I had misinterpreted it. I try to NOT let my experience define my life now. I have learned that my life will unfold as it is supposed to, and me TRYING to make something happen, even if I am positive it is SUPPOSED to happen, only causes problems. So I have to just sit back and let it unfold naturally, despite knowing it will be, etc.
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? Uncertain If you consider the déjà vu I have on a regular basis, then yes.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The entire event left me with a new outlook on things, maybe not 'instantly' but as I started to realize the impact it would have on me, and now twenty years later I REALLY feel this is a significant and meaningful event.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared the experience with a pen-pal I had in high school, a girlfriend I had at the time (although I only told her that my life 'flashed before my eyes' and did not go into details) and then one other person twenty years later I told this to.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Just what you see on television or read in a book, etc., but those experiences you see in movies and whatnot, are not how it really was to me.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it happened, I was there, it happened to me, and there is no question about it in my mind.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Same reply as to previous question.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No