I am the narrator but did not have this experience. Actually, it concerns my cousin. I used to be very careful about this kind of testimony. But, my cousin Dominique would be at great pain to tell it. He is poorly educated. He once was addicted to heroin. He is still an alcoholic. One might say he is always propping up the bar, being one of the heaviest drinkers you could imagine. What I find rather convincing is that supernatural, religious, or merely abstract stuff used to stay far beyond his understanding. He was definitely not the kind of guy interested at all in anything.
Dominique and one of his friends were by that time leaving a party that had been washed down with alcohol. No need to say that he was as drunk as usual and that his friend who was driving was almost in the same state. They failed a bend and the car underwent a violent smash.
At this very moment, Dominique got the sensation that he was leaving his body, as if the smash had been violent enough to eject his spirit from his mortal coil. He was staring at his friend near to him - his friend was killed in the accident - and got the feeling that he was looking at him but not in a physical way. Actually, he had a strong feeling that nothing worthwhile was going out of this friend. His exact description of the scene remains unclear. He was not able to see more than what is possible to see in a physical way, but asserts that he could see some kind of 'Ugliness' emanating from the nearby corpse. Dominique then states that he began floating around the car's wreck.
According to what he says, Dominique stayed quite a long time floating above the accident's place. Long enough to see the emergency ambulance arriving. He then saw his body taken into the ambulance car. While the ambulance was speeding up to hospital, he suddenly felt a violent urge to come back to his body. He is supposed to have therefore endeavored to fly after the ambulance car. He states that he was always flying right near the rear window and, nevertheless, remained unable to get back to his mortal coil. On arrival at the hospital, my cousin felt as if being blown into a tunnel that was not light at all.
He then began brooding over all the past events of his life and keeps saying that he was feeling the effects of his good deeds strongly amplified while he was overwhelmed with shame for the bad ones (I believe you may suppose without insulting him that they were more numerous - which he strongly acknowledges). Dominique then states that he found himself in a place, which could commonly be called Hell.
He was floating just a little above the ground and a multitude of persons were running towards him and trying to catch him in order to make him lower at their level. These beings' faces were tortured with anguish, fury, they were really frightening. My cousin says that there were also dogs and lions. This was, he says, the most frightening experience he has ever had in his life. What was this place exactly like? 'A place of misfortune', he adds, unwilling to give any further details.
Here comes another episode, which is still more unbelievable, and this will not get any better! A hand held back my cousin while he was on the verge of falling down and brought him back to the tunnel. This time there was a light at the end. Who saved him? 'A being of light'. 'The One nailed to the cross.' I am not even sure whether my cousin had ever heard of Jesus Christ before his accident. Tackling such a matter before him would have occasioned an oafish laughter from his part and he would surely have openly made fun of you.
My cousin says that he went near the edge of the light and that he met his father (deceased at experience's time) who seems to have said, half in jest and half in earnest 'So, You have again played the fool!' His father was also a being of light and seems to have accompanied my cousin within the Light.
Dominique is at a loss to express clearly, what he seems to have then experienced. He stutters, shows restlessness, anger and will almost break in tears. He declares that he has never felt such love and wellbeing as he did in this Light. That was something unspeakable and very powerful. This light was God, but he had no right to contemplate God. He could see the radiance but the origin of the Light was hidden from him by a sword(!), perhaps by an angel, this remains unclear. He states that he has gone to a wonderful place and that people living in the uttermost happiness surrounded him. These people had triangular faces or heads, or, perhaps, it was something more than triangular, as a triangle seems to be the nearest shape that Dominique is able to describe. This shape should be considered as a 'positive token' granted by God.
His father addressed him, to let him now that his daughter needed him (my great-cousin was then an infant) and that he would have to take care of her, that his duty was not yet fulfilled. My cousin says that he did not want to go away from the Light but that he was given no other choice. He then seems to have come back to his body.
Why am I telling all this since I never acted in this experience? Why do I believe it, although I feel some doubts? As I have already stated, my cousin was in no way the kind of person to take interest in spiritual stuff. In his opinion, intellectuals were only conceited morons. If you had been talking with him, he would have considered the tiniest interesting thing you were saying as an attempt to play on your highbrow capacities. He would have made fun of you.
I am not saying this out of wickedness toward him; I just want to enhance the contrast between the experiment's subject and the contents of his narrative. What induces me to believe in the truth of his narrative lies on the fact that, under normal circumstances, my cousin would be the last person to be heard telling such story. He did not share this experience by himself because he is neither interested in the Internet nor any other stuff than alcohol and drunkards' talk. He gets very timid when you tackle the subject; you have to push him a bit to get into the discussion because of his fear to look insane. But he is never embarrassed at telling his own story since he does not seem to clearly identify its relationship with spirituality.
Has anything changed in his life after the accident? Yes, of course, but only to a certain extent. He has remained quadriplegic for several months after the accident. Rehabilitation can sometimes prove wonderful since, little by little; he has recovered his four limbs' mobility. But it took him years to get independent. He now walks with the help of a stick and lives on an invalidity pension.
On a moral viewpoint, he has set to thoroughly save money for his daughter until she is able to earn wages. He has no other contacts with her and the latter does not particularly wish to meet him. One thing is puzzling; Dominique says that sometimes, at night, someone 'grips' him during his sleep, thus compelling him to wake up and think. He says that he is yearning for the Light. He still goes on drinking as heavily as ever but asserts: 'The Lord knew very well that if he sent me back to earth I would not stop drinking'.
Date NDE Occurred: 1990
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Clinical state not well determined but violent car crash. Another person died in the accident while my cousin had severe after-effects (from which he recovered in the long run).
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Dominique seems to be sure of the reality of what he is saying. He is nevertheless reluctant to talk about it if a climate of confidence fails to establish itself. He is afraid one might think he is insane.
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 The three usual dimensions seem insufficient to describe the heavenly landscape.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? The landscapes successively evoked by Dominique seem of an unspeakable beauty as well as the description of his friend lying in the car and of the inhabitants of the unearthly landscape. If I have duly understood what he was saying, my cousin seems to have appealed to a perception mingled with eyesight and another undetermined sense.
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? Yes At first stage a dark and anguishing tunnel before entrance to 'Hell', then after being 'saved', a tunnel leading to intense light. Just before entrance to Light, his father was waiting for him.
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 Damned souls whose obvious intent was to draw him among them and do harm to him; a 'being of light' who remains silent while rescuing him from the damned souls, and whose deep love he feels; his father who scolds him on his arrival to the light, 'various' beings of light 'branded' with a sort of 'triangle', neutral in their attitude but my cousin found them benevolent. God, hidden by a sword, but whose profuse love and joy deeply impressed my cousin.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 Light giving off infinite love, a feeling of unspeakable joy.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Description très vagues dans le cas du paysage celeste comme celui d angoisse - cela semble dû au fait que les mots sont difficiles, voire impossibles à trouver pour une bonne description. L accent est mis sur le ressenti incroyablement intense, positif ou négatif
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Various emotions during the review of past life events, indescribable terror during his stay in 'the place of misfortune', love and wellbeing on seeing the Light.
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 Not specified for the precise facts of his life he keeps on re-sifting. He just has a very amplified, gratifying or condemning feeling of Good or Evil done to others.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Dominique had the feeling that he had left his body, was 'following' it behind the ambulance, and was travelling through different planes of existence
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? Liberal totalement athé
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Dominique strongly believes in God and Jesus but is no church-goer. Before the experience, he would have found stupid to tackle these matters.
What is your religion now? Moderate croyance en Dieu et Jésus, mais pas de rattachement à une eglise particulière
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Dominique strongly believes in God and Jesus but is no church-goer. Before the experience, he would have found stupid to tackle these matters.
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 Perception of the Earth as a whole and of a form of moral value which emanates from it.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain For several years on has undertaken to spare and invest money for his daughter. But apart from accident's physical and social side-effects, he did not change his way of life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words fail to express it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain At night, Dominique often feels someone 'shakes' him or 'grips' him in his sleep, in order to make him awake and think over the meaning of his own life.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Personally, I did, which led us to speak about it - there is almost no doubt that he had never heard of such a thing prior to his experience
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. Dominique seems to firmly believe what happened to him - what prevents him from speaking about it is other people's opinion.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Years do not seem to have altered his opinion about the subject.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Not that I know. He drinks a lot.