Experience Description


(BORN 1849, DIED 1933)

As told by granddaughter Janice B. (1884 NDE as related by two relatives)

The setting for these events is 1884. My grandmother lived with her family in a large home in Greenville, Michigan. She was the mother of four living children ranging in age from ten to an infant. My grandfather was a family doctor.

I will tell her story of a near death experience as I remember it being told to me many years ago. I am also attaching my father's account of these events as he recorded them in the thirties as a part of his autobiography.

My grandmother was seriously ill. An upstairs room on the third floor of the home was set aside as sickroom for her, away from the hubbub of her active children. A "hired girl" cared for the children and took care of running the household while grandmother was sick. During this period of time my grandmother seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of what was happening in the household and in the neighborhood, although no one was providing her the information nor could she hear what was happening on the floors below. The only example of this that I can recount is, for instance, she said, "A neighbor has brought over some freshly-chummed butter and left it at the back door. Will you, please, bring it in." There was no way she could have seen or heard this happening. I was told there were many other such instances.

There came a time when she became increasingly ill. My grandfather brought in a medical colleague for consultation. While they were with her she ceased to breathe and neither my grandfather not his colleague could feel a pulse. They declared her dead but my grandfather was not one to give up easily. He rigged up a battery to give a shock to her heart. She began to breathe again and lived another fifty years.

She recounted a most remarkable experience during this period of time after being declared “dead." She felt as though she were taking a gentle journey down a river. She heard beautiful music. She felt a degree of peace and joy such as she had never experienced before. She believed she was in heaven and recognized that she had died. While this was going on she began to have conflicting thoughts-I must go back, my children need me vs. I can't leave this contentment and beauty. This internal struggle went on for some time. Then she awakened and recovered her health, living a full and satisfying life, and seeing her children all grow up and have successful lives of their own.

Janice’s Father’s Account of the Same Episode, April 6, 2002

Another vivid memory is the illness of my mother. My brothers and I had German measles, but not severely; however my mother, tired out with taking care of us, came down with the same disease, complicated with pneumonia, as we were recovering and after a severe illness was apparently dead. As she was failing we were called in to say goodbye to her when other doctors pronounced her dead, my father insisted on continuing various restorative measures, including an electrical battery , and after a time she again began to breath and lived for another fifty years. One feature of this illness was the clairvoyant dreams in which she seemed to visit other places and see various scenes. She was even able to tell of events and incidents, which occurred in the house during her illness and of which no one told her. This whole illness and the accompanying phenomena we were never able to explain. Right after this illness, she took a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to rest up after the strain of her experience and while crossing Lake Michigan, her steamer caught fire and she spent most of the night in an open boat in her nightgown.

Background Information:

Gender: Female