She was sick in the emergency room and on a table, lying there and being worked on when suddenly she was floating in the room above her body. She could see and hear the doctors and nurses in the room. She saw my father threaten the doctor. The next thing she knew she was floating at high speed down a long, perfectly black tunnel with the sensation of being enfolded in soft, luxurious black velvet. She used the words 'black velvet' in her description. She described how wonderful she felt, how good it was, with the complete absence of pain and struggle. No trouble breathing, no distress of any kind. She had a feeling of pure physical wellbeing and overwhelming goodness and relief.
Then abruptly, she felt as if she had reached the end of the tunnel when she saw a bright light that had been getting brighter as she moved towards it. There were people there she did not recognize and one spoke to her. He said that she could stay if she wanted to but it really wasn't time yet, that she still had something important to do. She felt as if she decided almost too quickly and was returned to her body before she had time to think much about it. Back in her body, she heard the doctor saying something like he hadn't expected her to respond and recover her heartbeat and consciousness as she did. She remembers my father crying.
Date NDE Occurred: 1951
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes severe asthma attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
She had a severe asthma attack and her heart stopped. The doctor was telling the other staff to stop treatment when my dad overheard outside the curtain and threatened to kill the doc if he withheld 'the needle' he had decided not to give her. It was probably adrenalin, commonly used at that time to restart a stopped heart. The doctor agreed and she got the shot which brought her back.
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? From what I remember of her description, it was most likely at the moment of return to her 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
It seemed that time slowed down while traversing the tunnel. Then it sped up tremendously as she returned to her body.
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. She wasn't wearing her glasses in the emergency room but saw perfectly as she floated above her body.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything sounded clearly and of normal pitch, except she described the tunnel as silent and the man talking to her at the end was not talking, his words were in her mind.
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 The black velvet tunnel already described.
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 man at the tunnel's end. She did not recognize him, or the others in the background. He told her she could stay if she wanted but still had things of importance to do in this life.
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 At the tunnel's end she saw a bright light that had been getting almost imperceptibly brighter until the end.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The hint of a wonderful place where the people at the tunnel's end were.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear and anxiety just before, the peacefulness and joy during the long tunnel trip, then a bit of anger and irritation when she realized she had to go back. Then acceptance and resolution after she returned.
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 She learned she still had work to do in her life, and was given the understanding that death was not to be feared when it came. She understood the need to live out this life.
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 She stopped moving at the tunnel's end and was unable to pass through into the realm where the people were with the man who talked to her.
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 she was very open minded her whole life.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes She searched for a church or religion that would give her more understanding, but never was able to find one that made sense to her.
What is your religion now? Liberal agnostic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes She searched for a church or religion that would give her more understanding, but never was able to find one that made sense to her.
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 Just that she had important tasks to do in this world, and that death was nothing to be feared.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes She was more prosaic about life. I think she was disappointed that she did not have more experiences later in life that revealed the spiritual side of life. It wasn't until the last year of her life that she had other experiences that would prepare her for her death.
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? The feeling of peace and serenity she had while traversing the tunnel. It helped her lose her fear of death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes She told me about it when I was very young, after a beloved pet cat died. I was about ten years old, so that was about fourteen years after her experience. Then I demanded to hear it over and over, so I could understand. It has affected me deeply, and I have shared it with a number of people to help them with dealing with the death of a loved one, and even talked about it with a few dying people I took care of during my thirty years of being a healthcare provider.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain She was very well read so it is possible she knew about such things. She was fascinated with ancient Egypt and reincarnation, she told me she read about it in detail as a young girl. She was pretty accepting about the unusual in life, including a couple of experiences she had that can only be called psychic - before her OBE/NDE.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I am not sure of her perceptions here.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real She accepted it as real, as long as I can recall.
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? In the last year of her life several things happened that at first caused her much sadness until she realized what they meant. I am certain she knew she was to die, and she hung around just long enough to know I would be safe and loved (by my then fiancée, now husband.)
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I can't think of any.