I was feverish and uncomfortable with all the lines going in and out of my body.
All of a sudden, I was in a very beautiful place with soft green grass and a blue, blue sky. There was a perfect refreshing temperature (it was summer in Phoenix and hot in the hospital). There was a light, but no sun to be seen. I was standing barefooted on a slight downward slope with a clear brook not too deep and about two or three feet wide at the bottom of the incline. The other side of the brook/river was a slight incline, but a little higher than the one I was on - the slope was not uncomfortable on which to stand.
I was walking slowly towards the water (I am not sure why I was drawn to the water) and was surprised to be able to breathe well and felt no pain. I was barefooted, but do not remember what I was wearing. I looked up towards the opposite bank and saw my Aunt Margaret coming rapidly towards me. She has been a Christian and Junior High English teacher (retired) in life. She was young and had a reddish cast to her hair, she was wearing what I would later learn from my mother was her favorite dress early in her life. It was brown with floral print, light yellow flowers, with a light brown background, and a lace collar, and a narrow belt. She also wore her hose and sensible shoes.
She pointed at me with an outstretched right arm and said, 'Dianne, turn around, you cannot cross the river today.' As she said that I looked behind her at a large field of green as far as I could see and saw people coming behind her. I think that I recognized my mother-in-law, (she was wearing a red sweater) my two grandmothers and maternal grandfather and some others that I thought I should know, coming towards me at the horizon. They were all young and laughing. I just caught a glimpse of these people.
I felt at peace and content and felt no pain or thought the situation strange. I turned around and was again in the hospital bed. Almost at the same instant a nurse came in and took my vitals, humphed, then a second one did the same (humphed, as well). Neither said anything then, but later said that I was doing very well and I went home after more tests a day or two later.
Date NDE Occurred: 2008
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Unknown problem during cancer treatment. 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
I was hospitalized and then admitted after I was in the hospital room. No one seemed to know what was wrong except that I needed fluids. My oncologist had directed several tests to be run. I was feverish and my body functions were not as they should have been.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I felt that I was highly conscious and alert the whole experience. I also felt no anxious thoughts and was at peace.
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
Afterwards, I thought that the time was different. But it is hard to describe what was different I don't seem to think it was faster or slower. I am not sure about this.
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. During the experience, everything seemed normal. Because of the cancer treatments I was not normal in my regular life.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The experience seemed normal, but I did hear everything clearly including my mother-in-law's laughter. She was a Christian and had been promoted to glory (the Salvation Army's term for death) several years before. At that time because of the medications I did not hear very well.
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 My Aunt Margaret, and my mother-in-law, two grandmothers my maternal grandfather and others I felt I should recognize but did not specifically. They were all happy and young. They 'walked happy' almost skipping, except my Aunt who 'was on a mission' to talk to me.
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 The light I saw was all around me and not coming from any source.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Just the green soft grass, the blue blue sky and the clear river. The field behind the river was all green I saw no flowers or trees.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happy, peaceful, calm, interested.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Only that I would get well and a sense that I would see those people again.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I was told to go back and since my Aunt told me to, I did. But if I ever get to that river again I am going to cross it. Unless I have a very good reason not to do that.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Members of my church are known as Salvationists
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I find more pleasure in Bible reading and prayer. And more insight as I read and pray. I pray more specifically and feel that is the way I should be, better than I was.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist retired Salvation Army Officer (Colonel) after 46 years of service
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I find more pleasure in Bible reading and prayer. And more insight as I read and pray. I pray more specifically and feel that is the way I should be, better than I was.
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 That I would recover from the cancer and that I should not be anxious and should take things as they come.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am not as critical and am more patient with others. I am more in love with my husband of forty-six years, I do things that I enjoy and for others because it is a real joy and not out of duty only.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was difficult to describe without people being uncomfortable hearing about it.
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? I was glad for the assurance that there is life after death and now when someone I know dies, I feel first how fortunate and happy they must be. Then I talk to the living.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it right away. Many looked skeptical and said that I was very sick and probably was 'dreaming or something'. When I share with Christians, they asked questions. My cousins were annoyed that their mother might be bossy in heaven as she was on earth.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes In my work. This was not the same as anything shared with me in my ministry.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real As I think about it more I was at peace, and look forward with my heart and not just my mind to heaven.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Even though I understood with my mind and because of study the fact about Heaven and life after death and I now feel it is sure and I have more interest in Bible study in general, have more calm and peace in my soul or heart and mind if you will.
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 am glad to have had the experience.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Thank you for allowing me to write about this experience. I appreciate the opportunity.