I had spent about twenty-four hours in extreme discomfort from pressure in my chest and after taking a shower I packed a small bag with essentials and sat as quietly as possible waiting for daylight to call 911. They came promptly, were very thoughtful and kind and gave me a choice of hospitals, one of which they took me to. I was immediately put on a gurney and taken into a small side room with necessary monitors. About 10:45, a nurse came in to ask if I felt I could be alone, as she wanted to go get something to eat as she had had no breakfast yet. Normally, I would have thought of the nurse's needs first and said 'sure, go ahead.' I didn't for some reason and suggested she wheel me out near the desk or next to the Operating Room. As she started to push me through the door into the hall, I heard, 'Code blue! Code blue!' I realized from a distance it was about me.
My hearing, smell and 'vision?' became very acute; I was aware of EVERYTHING. The only voluntary thinking seemed to be, 'Hmmn, I wonder what's next.' I heard a young man's rather angry voice say, 'For God's sake get that ambulance back here! This place has no equipment to deal with this case. I'll ride with her down to Lankenau. She's damn lucky I came in here on a Sunday.' Then I was aware of lots of activity, a woman's voice calling, 'Elizabeth' plus 'Mrs. L and sweetheart to please come back,' then giggles, laughter, which seemed strange to me under the circumstances.
Later she asked me, had I heard her, to which I replied of course but what was so funny that made everyone laugh so hard and she said your answer that came out suddenly with your first breath, when I called to come back. Made I have permission to put it in our record book of NDEs. You sounded angry when you said, 'I'll THINK about it.' I did not recall saying anything but I felt very annoyed to be taken away from such a peaceful space. And space is exactly what it was. It was the color of Montana sky, had no walls, ceiling or any type of perimeters. There were a few very white clouds here and there and I recall looking around for some kind of tunnel or exit but at the same time hoping I could be in this place forever free of emotional and physical pain, or stress, it was fabulous indeed. But as I thought about being able to stay where I was, I heard a powerful voice, heard isn't exactly the right word. I seemed to feel/hear/sense it in my thinking part of my brain. It said, 'NO, not now, later, you have much yet to do.' I was sad to be back in the physical part of me and am still wondering what I should be doing.
I did drive a few weeks later, with my precious buddy Tuette beside me, from Philadelphia to Seattle, with a bumper sticker that proclaimed (DOG IS MY CO-PILOT). I also joined Hospice at Jefferson Hospital in Port Townsend to be out there, so I would see whatever I was supposed to do and be aware. Nothing major has occurred but I have had many Jungian synchronicities where other folks were maybe facing death or their dear ones were and I have been able to allay their fears. If that's all I'm supposed to do, so be it. Fear is not addressed enough in religions; in fact there is too much of it in most of them, so maybe that is to be my job.
Date NDE Occurred: 9/11/05 at 11/11 am
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) It in on the Medical record that I was clinically gone for 5/6 min
I had come to the hospital alone from a difficult home environment in the middle of moving from east coast to west coast, a major life change.
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 lost awareness of my body
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 That is difficult to say as it was pretty even.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? That is difficult to say as it was pretty even.
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
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. I think I explained it in the story part - it was a feeling of vision and even though it would be very normal for me to see especially in color because of my artistic career, even that seemed to be a thought form.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could actually hear everything at once even some of what they were thinking.
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 Happiness is a choice we have, JOY is not it is a gift.
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: 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? No I was in the light - it was all around me and through me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I said in my experience description that it was an undefined space
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, Joy, Safety needing nothing else This was sooo wonderful considering the hell I had been through for weeks prior.
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 I get feelings of future events and know when people are saying one thing while thinking another.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
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 I have always been allowed a spiritual path of my own choosing
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Just a little as I have been able to validate that I don't need a church or a group since I feel stronger on my own than I did before. And I can feel lonely but never feel alone.
What is your religion now? Liberal A Course in Miracles groups give me what I need for spiritual support as well as intellectual.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Just a little as I have been able to validate that I don't need a church or a group since I feel stronger on my own than I did before. And I can feel lonely but never feel alone.
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 have always had a sense of universal order and/or purpose.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Those of my spiritually based friends have gotten stronger but the assholes in my life don't stay around too long. Excuse the crudities but it suffices for me.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No There actually are no words to truly express an awesome experience and I have a very broad vocabulary in several tongues.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I don't know if I didn't have them before or just am now paying attention to them.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? That there was a reason for me to continue living.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did share it with my surgeon and he cautioned me to choose carefully with whom I shared it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I studied with Richard Sutphen about twenty years ago but knew no one who had had this experience and yes I guess it did because I was looking for a tunnel or opening to a special place.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real There was nothing out of reality other than my super-hearing/feeling/etc. that would make me not accept the experience as true for me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real After a while I did question it but the synchronistic signposts that continue along my life's path keep it real for me and I AM cautious about those I share it with. I WILL not allow others to spoil the beautiful memory of it for me.
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 wish anyone with fear as a companion could have a similar experience.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I can't believe I don't have suggestions - I Always have to add something. There is a Jungian Psychologist who wrote a book (The Borderlanders) you just might want to contact. I met him at a church when he was speaking there. He's online.