On the 11th of November 1993 in Zurich, Switzerland I was poisoned with Strychnine. This substance is mainly used to kill rats and it can be lethal even when inhaled in small amounts. I was seventeen when an 'emotionally challenged man' decided to kill me and gave me something that contained rat poison and sugar (so that I would die faster). Unaware of what I had just been given, I went to school and started to feel sick. The teacher told me that I was green in the face and that it would be best if I go home. On my way out, I set up a meeting with my boyfriend, telling him that I would meet him at 2:00 o'clock at the bridge by Zurich's Limmat River. I had to pass by the river on my way home and felt so sick that I could no longer walk. I didn't understand what was going on. There were stone benches along the river and I lay down on one. It slowly dawned on me that something was terribly wrong. I watched the ducks swimming in the water - that was the last thing I saw, before I died.
Suddenly I woke up. It was like waking up from a nightmare. I was terrified and disoriented. Everything looked the same as before. I saw the river, the benches, and the bridge, but it seemed as if a veil was hanging over the world. I remembered that I had been lying on the stone bench and realized that I was no longer lying there. I was afraid. I thought completely clearly, 'I'm not sitting. I'm not standing. I'm not lying down. Nothing on my body touches the ground. How am I existing?' I could not figure it out. My feelings of fear were expanding. It was as if my soul was completely consumed by fear and remorse, guilt and despair and that was all that I existed of. I realized that it was 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. I remembered my date at 2:00 on the bridge with my boyfriend. I wanted to go there and floated through the air. I didn't have to go very far, because I could see what was happening on the bridge, even though I was not on it. I saw that my boyfriend was not there yet. (Which he later confirmed.) Even though I was not on the bridge, I could see what was happening there. It was as if I could see anything I wanted to see. There were no limitations. I was still in the air and full of fear. The fear was so strong that I started to scream. (I did not know that I was dead.) I did not know what was happening. I screamed, but I could not hear my voice. I could not use my vocal cords. Instead, I heard my voice as if someone would think a loud cry. That upset me even more. It was so terrifying. I was all alone. No one else was there in that place, but then I heard voices that sounded like they were underwater and I turned around.
Paramedics were in a panic. They were working on someone lying on one of the benches hastily. (It did not occur to me to look at the person lying there - of course, it was me.) I went close to them and looked at one of them. It was as if a glass wall was between us. I went straight up to his face, but he ignored me. I got upset. I tried to speak to him, but he didn't listen to me. I was just ignored by all of them. I started yelling at them without my voice. Only my thoughts screamed, 'I cannot go. I cannot go. Don't you hear me? I still have to meet my boyfriend.' I screamed and got right into their faces and then it hit me that they could neither see nor hear me. I was horribly frightened. I went up, flew upwards to the crowns of the trees and I started to cry, but I had no tears. I was so lonely and I felt like this was all a terrible mistake. Not me. Why me? I missed everyone that I loved, thinking that I would never see them again. Like everyone, that I loved died at once, because I died. (But I was not aware that I had died - it was as if death doesn't exist, because it is just a different type of existence - like you are going to another dimension, but continue existing.) I felt like I was separated from everyone in the world, but was still trapped in the world.
My surroundings were the same as before, but I could fly and everything was drenched in a bit of a grey tone. Everything seemed grey. Then I heard someone calling a name. It was not my name. The name was 'Michele'. They kept on calling it and calling it. I all of a sudden remembered that my ID used my second name instead of my first. My second name is 'Michele' even though nobody ever called me by that name. I just knew in that instance what had happened: they had looked at my ID, got the name from it and were now calling me by it to try to get me to come to them. I flew towards the voices until the paramedics surrounded me and it was like I was sucked into something. I was back in my body and it was overwhelming. It was so tight. I shook uncontrollably and had severely painful muscle spasms. I had no control over my body. I had such violent convulsions that the paramedics had to tie me down. I just screamed, cried, and tried to kick them. I was so upset and shocked about what had happened to me. One of the paramedics then leaned over and I recognized him from before. I tried to speak to him but it was almost impossible, because my voice was shaking so much. It was so extreme to have my voice back. I asked him, 'Why did you not answer me? Why did you not listen to me?' He was puzzled and asked me, 'When?' And I said: 'Just now, at 2:00 o'clock.' He told me: 'You never spoke to me. You have just had a cardiac and respiratory arrest. At 2:00 o'clock, you were dead! You cannot fall asleep again. You have to stay awake. If you fall asleep, again you might not come back. You have to be strong.' I told him: 'I am as strong as a horse.'
Because I was mistaken for a 'drug addict', I was not taken to a hospital, but to a police station instead, where I had to undergo an intensive interrogation. As a direct result of the lack of medical treatment, I collapsed a second time and had another cardiac and respiratory arrest. Only after I died the second time was I finally given the proper medical care I needed and was taken to an Emergency Room and later handed over to the Intensive Care Unit. There they made an analysis and that's how I found out that I had been poisoned. The second time I died, I did not experience anything except for complete darkness, nothing else. Just darkness. Ever since, I cannot be in the dark. I can only sleep with the lights on. Even though my experience was terrifying I am grateful that I got to die to know that we live on.
Date NDE Occurred: 11/11/1993
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack Strychnine Poisoning Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) . The poisoning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Frightening
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 I was able to see places (the bridge) without being there. I can't do that in normal everyday life.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was completely alert the entire time. I guess when I just woke up on 'the other side' I was extremely alert. Also, when I could see the bridge and what was happening on it, without actually being on it, I was at a level of consciousness I had never experienced before.
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 Neither space nor time really existed where I was, HOWEVER I knew exactly was time it was for the Living. In my case I knew it was 2:00 o'clock without looking at a watch, which was later confirmed.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Everything seemed as if it was under a veil. The world was greyer and I heard the 'Living people's' voices like as if they were underwater. I could not see myself, but I could see other things. Of course, when I flew I could see the world from above, which was an interesting perspective. The living people (the paramedics) were as if they were behind glass. They were unreachable for me.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? It was as if everything was underwater and my own voice was gone. I could hear my cries like I can hear them when I only THINK them.
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
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Darkness
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I saw the bridge and I did get to look a bit over the city and the river, because I was up at the crowns of the trees. It felt like I was still in the same world but separated through a glass wall from the living.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear, terror, horror, guilt, shock, emotional pain, remorse, regret, loneliness, bitterness, disappointment, despair, confusion, the most terrible feelings imaginable.
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? Liberal
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Absolutely. I went through many religions to find meaning in my NDE. I became a Mormon in 1998, but left that Church again in 2003. The Mormon Missionaries told me that I was sent to 'Spirit Prison' how they call it, because I was not a Mormon at the time of my death and that the only way to avoid another frightening death would be to become a Mormon myself. So I did. I worked in the Mormon Temple to 'save the dead', because they told me that I could help those other trapped spirits out of that world and I could help them to get to heaven by spending time in the Mormon Temple and doing the ordinances for them. I believed them and worked as an Ordinance Worker in the Temple for two full years (amongst elderly people - I was twenty-three). I now feel like they used my NDE to put pressure on me to join their Church. I am glad I am no longer part of it. I am now just spiritual and free.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Absolutely. I went through many religions to find meaning in my NDE. I became a Mormon in 1998, but left that Church again in 2003. The Mormon Missionaries told me that I was sent to 'Spirit Prison' how they call it, because I was not a Mormon at the time of my death and that the only way to avoid another frightening death would be to become a Mormon myself. So I did. I worked in the Mormon Temple to 'save the dead', because they told me that I could help those other trapped spirits out of that world and I could help them to get to heaven by spending time in the Mormon Temple and doing the ordinances for them. I believed them and worked as an Ordinance Worker in the Temple for two full years (amongst elderly people - I was twenty-three). I now feel like they used my NDE to put pressure on me to join their Church. I am glad I am no longer part of it. I am now just spiritual and free.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have problems making friends and to have attachments, because I know that I will have to say goodbye someday to everyone I know. Also, I don't have a very good sense of what is physically acceptable and what isn't. I'm just very affectionate, some times that puts others of, because they seem so tied to their bodies. I have the biggest problem with my son, because I am afraid to love him, because of fear of separation through death someday. My family doesn't understand how big of a deal it is to me to have had a NDE and sometimes we fight because of it. They are tired of me telling them that I am now different. I feel like I am separated from other people through my experience. I am extremely comforted by the presence of people either who had had a NDE themselves or that have lost loved ones. I feel close to them without knowing them and I feel almost closer to them than to my friends who haven't had death in their lives as much and that is scary.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The emotions were so over humanly strong that it is hard to put into words, because it seems like the words fear, horror, and terror still do my emotions justice.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have been able to know when a family member dies, without having been informed about it, but it was later confirmed. I have seen deceased family members who were on a different continent and later found out that they were dead at the time I saw them. I have been able to speak to my son before he was born. I already knew he was going to be a boy, because I felt his soul. I have seen angels (or deceased) like behind a glass wall, when I was fully conscious. I have the ability to heal with my hands and to extract pain (mainly from the head and the stomach), but I only do this for family members. It also works on myself. I often know things before they happen. When I meditate I cannot truly leave my body, but it feels like my spirit is struggling to get out and it feels like as if I would explode. It is difficult in such instances to keep the spirit inside my body and I have to stop the meditation. I can feel other people's feelings. I know when spirits are present and it makes me cry. I can have visions of other people's past, which are confirmed by them later. I have visions of the future, which also come to pass. I have learned about a certain religion without knowing it, I learned about it without someone teaching me about it, but other people always confirmed the doctrine later and were surprised how I knew. I can often see if someone is good or bad inside their heart.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The not being able to communicate with others was horrifying. I often am worried that there are a lot of spirits out there that don't know that they are dead and try to talk to me and I can't hear them.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared my experience over and over since day one. People often stop me in the middle of it, usually as soon as they find out that I did not see a nice light and that hurts. Not being able to finish my account leaves me without closure. People don't understand what a big deal it is to me. People have judged me and told me that I had a bad NDE because I would be a bad person, which has led me to stop sharing it all together for quite some time.
HOWEVER, I always share it and have shared it with people who are planning to commit suicide and it has been a true blessing. People listen and when they find out that they will be trapped in their pain and that death will not end their pain they have (so far) always reconsidered. Many have told me that telling my experience has saved their lives and has made all the differenced to them. Also, some people who have lost loved ones have been comforted by my experience. Strangely, they are convinced that their loved ones had a good experience, for whatever reason. The majority of people show no respect for it though and are very ignorant and insulting. Many Christians tell me that I went to hell and that it was God's punishment for me, because I am not a Christian. This is very hurtful to me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of accounts of tunnels and lights. I had never heard of any frightening accounts like mine. No, it did not influence me in any way, because at the time of my NDE, I was not aware that I was dead.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It was completely real! I experienced it as aware, or more aware, than I am as I am typing this now. There were never any doubts that it happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It is always engrained in my memory. It has never let me go.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Not medications or substances, but meditations.
I meditated in 1998 and had an experience that was like a nice NDE, where I saw the whole world, finally felt loved, and where no fear or evil could reach me. It was very healing and very strong. It changed my life as much as my real NDE in 1993. This time for the better, because I found somewhat of an inner peace through it.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I experienced darkness in my second NDE and since then I can no longer be in the dark. It has been a true struggle for me.