Age four, summer morning, Glasgow, Scotland, not long after a garbage strike which saw an infestation of dock rats in my neighborhood, requiring the army to come out and kill them. I was excited as it was the first time in a while that we were allowed to go outside. I was in the company of three other friends at the time. An older boy had climbed atop a 'dike', (a wall between tenement buildings), and threw a large live rat at us. The rat bit into my face, and my heart stopped.
My mother, on the 11th floor of the building, ran down the stairs to get me. I was dead for about three or four minutes, I guess, but I don't really recall the time, it's an assumption about how long it took her to get down the stairs, and get my heart started again (she's a registered nurse).
I felt weightless, and calm. All around me was a green meadow, and it was still and quiet. It was bright sunshine. I felt no threat at all, and, in fact, have never to this day felt so at ease as I did at that moment. There were figures, human, one was a woman, and I have the impression that she was a dead person related to me, although I have no idea who she was. I was told that it simply was not time for me to go, and that I had to go back. I didn't want to, but I didn't have a choice, I started to breathe again, and the panic, and pain set in.
I know that I feel perfectly calm about death to this day, and have spoken to many who are in fear of it. Thank you.
Date NDE Occurred: summer 1974
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentCriminal attack a guy threw a rat at me, and it bit me in the face Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I had an older boy throw a huge live dock rat (the size of a cocker spaniel) at my head. At the age of four, this could be considered life threatening. That my heart stopped would tend to back that up.
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 I felt perfect clarity, like there were no other questions, and everything that existed, existed right there in that meadow. I rarely feel that calm now, as there is always some other question to ask.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I would say about a few seconds into the experience.
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 I couldn't have been out too long, maybe only three or four minutes, but it felt like a lot longer, like I was in that field all day. I have never been in another meadow like it, so perhaps altered space?
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Everything was so clear, the green of the meadow was almost something you could feel, it was bright, but not glaring. There was no pain in any of it. It was just THERE.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? It was still and quiet, but not without sound, just without jarring sound. Nothing was a distraction.
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 I'm not sure how many there were in front of me. I had the feeling that I SHOULD have known them, and feel to this day that they were relatives, although I couldn't say for sure. I was told that I would be alright, but that it wasn't time for me to stay, and that I had to go back.
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 It wasn't a bright light, or a light from a tunnel. It was all around me like a beautiful sunny day, but without seeing the sun, the light was just there.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in a beautiful green meadow, filled with light.
it was calm, still and quiet
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, and calm, and warmth. I felt protected and safe.
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
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? Moderate none---I was baptised as a protestant, but, being 4, had no real faith
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was baptized as a Protestant, and, although our family was never a very religious one, I knew from a pretty early age (maybe seven or eight) that what was described in the Bible didn't come close to what I felt. I became a pagan, worshipping nature.
What is your religion now? Moderate pagan
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was baptized as a Protestant, and, although our family was never a very religious one, I knew from a pretty early age (maybe seven or eight) that what was described in the Bible didn't come close to what I felt. I became a pagan, worshipping nature.
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 was left with the notion that death is nothing to fear, and that we don't stop being simply by dying.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain As I was very young, I don't really have a clear way to tell, as I have nothing to compare it to. I know that other people I know panic about death and dying, and I know that I don't, and so know that this makes me a little different from them, in that regard.
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 Perhaps a gift would describe it best, an ability to put others at ease when they are frightened.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The meadow itself is so clear in my mind, and to this day, it's still the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Seeing people at all, and knowing they were dead, and yet still there to talk to me and comfort me was an incredibly powerful thing - that it doesn't all end, that we continue.
I have, of course, been afraid of rats since then, but am seeking to get over that.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have always accepted and spoke of what happened to me, save for a few years while in high school, when I didn't want to have it put out there for ridicule. Many people don't accept it at all. For some, however, it has given them a rope to hang on to, I hope.
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. I was very young when it happened; I believe I simply accepted it as being a perfectly natural experience. There are times when I believe that meadow was what was real, and everything else has somehow skewed that perfection somehow.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I understand some of the science of what may have happened, brain chemistry that makes you feel euphoric, etc. Yet, this doesn't remove any of the experiences reality for me. It may not be the reality for everyone, but for me, in that moment, it was, and continues to be, very real. It's like I carry that meadow around with me, inside, and when stuff gets hairy, I can go back. Not anywhere close to the same intensity, but it's like a picture I have brought with me
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No As a teenager I dabbled in drug use, although nothing came close to recreating the force of that experience at four. And so, disappointed, I gave that up.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I have had several episodes of dΘjα-vu. at twenty-six, while giving birth to my son, I was near death, and feared for my son's life. I remember making a sort of a bargain, offering my life, if my son would be born safe and healthy. I was again approached by someone, who I believe to be my maternal grandmother, deceased for some thirty years, who told me that my son would be okay, but that I was never, ever, to try to carry a child again, or the experience would kill me.