The experience happened between the time I first fell unconscious shortly after the overdose and three weeks later when I woke up in the hospital.
I first remember being in the sky looking down through a hole in the clouds. I could see water, which I believed to be the Japan Sea. I could also see a plane floating which I believe had crash landed on the water.
All of a sudden I was warped down to what I thought was the inside of the cabin of the plane. I was sitting in a row of seats. Inside the cabin, it was very bright. It was so bright I could not see the cabin walls nor could I make out specific details. What I did see was mostly shadows and forms. I knew I was sitting in a seat amongst rows of them.
I felt a sudden impact and was propelled out of the seat and into an aisle. I landed on my back. I felt confused and disoriented feelings similar to having being concussed. My head was swirling. The seats melted away into the light. Everything was just light.
I looked to my right and in the distance, I could see a ball of brighter light. Almost an opening, as if the light I was immersed in was emanating from this spot. In my mind, I thought this was the way out of the plane and I needed to get up and head toward the opening. Every time I tried to get up, I was knocked back down as if a force was holding me back. I tried several times but always with the same results.
Ahead of me, I saw the forms of four people approaching me. I couldn't make them out, but I knew they were walking towards me. At first, I thought they were the stewards and stewardesses from the plane. Then I heard them say repeatedly to me, ‘Eric, we love you so much. Wake up now. Wake up because we love you, wake up.’
As they approached me and surrounded me, I saw them more closely. They had big and beautiful lidless eyes that were so full of love and compassion and eternity. Their faces quickly swirled around me and I saw them each and knew them. Even though in my mind I can still picture them clearly, I do not have the words to describe them fully. They were the most beautiful beings I ever saw and I realized they weren't human, but Angels.
And not only angels, but they were Archangels, and I knew each of their names as if I had known them my whole life. Mich'l, Raph'l, Gabriel and Zadkiel. I was in complete awe as I looked up at them towering over me. I was still lying on my back. I wasn't scared. I felt comforted and happy. I no longer felt confused or disoriented and was able to sit up.
At this point, I heard a fifth voice speak to me. A voice that was more powerful, even more loving and compassionate than the voices of the Angels. He lifted me up in his arms and I was completely filled with his light and his love completely. It was the most incredible feeling I have ever experienced and I didn't want to leave. Even though I couldn't see him I knew this was Jesus. He said to me, ‘This isn't your time; I still have plans for you. So wake up now Eric and know that I love you. I love you so much, so wake up now.’ He kept repeating these words until I did wake up. I was lying on a bed inside a hospital.
Date NDE Occurred: Jan 24/2013 - Feb 11/2013
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Suicide attempt. Drug or medication overdose 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I overdosed on mood stabilizers and sleeping pills in a suicide attempt. I was found a day later, unconscious, and rushed to the hospital. For over three weeks I was heavily sedated and in an induced coma. I have no recollection of real life events during this time period. In this state while in the hospital, I was told I had an extreme fever, an elevated heart rate, acute pneumonia and that my kidneys were severely damaged. I had three blood transfusions and blood dialysis administered. My family have told me during this time the doctors were very worried about my chances of survival and were preparing them for the eventuality of my passing.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain I'm not sure what significance the plane floating in the water has. I can't forget seeing it and feeling as if I had a part to play with it's being there.
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 This is very hard to describe, but the experience was more real than the reality I experience here in my physical body. It coursed through me. Every inch of me.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was lifted inside Jesus' arms.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
This is difficult to describe. I would have to say yes and no. The experience seemed to have happened in a moment, yet lasted forever.
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. At first the light was almost blinding. As the Angels approached me, I could see them in very clear detail. Especially the finer details of their eyes. Prior to the experience, I've had better than normal eyesight, but the vision I had during the experience was even greater. Almost telescopic.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. What I heard during the experience filled my existence completely and reverberated throughout me to the core. I wouldn't say my everyday hearing is the greatest, but not the worst either.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 I was surrounded by this unearthly light and in the distance. I could see an even brighter ball of light. I would almost describe the experience as having three degrees of light. The light that surrounded me and emanated from the Angels was the first degree of light. The light that filled me from Jesus was the second degree of light. And the ball of light I saw in the distance was the third degree. Each degree of light was greater and brighter than the previous one.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I'm not sure where I was, but I definitely wasn't on this earth. I was in a place of pure light and love.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first confusion and disorientation. When I realized I was surrounded by the Angels and was in Jesus' presence, I felt nothing but pure bliss. There was compassion, love, happiness, and joy.
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I'm not sure. I feel the plane I saw floating in the water might have to do with something in my future.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Do not know I was raised as a Christian Baptist but in my teen years, strayed from the Christian faith and lived a more secular lifestyle.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I've renewed my faith in Christ. I go to church on a weekly basis. I pray every day and have begun to study the Bible. It's changed my lifestyle completely.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I grew up as a Christian but as I became a teen started to stray away from the church and adopted a secular lifestyle. I had become obsessed with the study of different world religions and question the historical factuality of the Bible. Even though I believed that God did exist in someway, I wasn't entirely convinced Jesus really existed as a human on earth. This experience obliterated any doubts. I now know first hand from experience and will never question his love and compassion for me.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My Faith has been renewed. I no longer concern myself about whether this or that happened. All I know is that God exists, he loves me, and that I love Him. I believe that Jesus came to this earth and gave his life for us all. I wish to show my gratitude for this second chance by giving back my love to God and also by being more compassionate towards others. By treating everyone equally and being non-judgmental, I’m dedicating my life back to God.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 I encountered four of the Archangels: Mich'l, Raph'l, Gabriel and Zadkiel. I also felt being surrounded by the presence of Jesus. Even though I didn't see him, I could feel him and knew who he was.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? Yes Jesus. I felt his presence and he lifted me into his arms and completely filled me with his light and his love. His being was light and love. I'm not sure how else to describe him.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I felt this awareness when I was filled with Jesus' light and love.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes He was there as Jesus. He spoke to me and held me in his arms.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Just being in the presence of Jesus and the four Angels suggests to me there is a continued existence. Being told it wasn't yet my time also further suggests to me there is something more waiting after death.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes It was intuitive and innate and I knew during the experience that love is not only the most important facet of human life but the only facet that should matter.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Since the experience, I've renewed my faith in Christ and now have made it a part of my everyday life. I've let go of my secular past.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I've become much closer to my family. Our communication has improved greatly. Also with my friends. I have more patience, I'm not so quick to anger, and I don't feel stress. I laugh more and spend more time listening to others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are certain details of what I witnessed that I cannot find the words to describe. There are none that I can find.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience The experience is very vivid in my mind whereas I still have memory gaps surrounding the real life events that happened prior and after being in a coma state.
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? I use to be so concerned about facts of the Bible and of Jesus' life on earth. I was too concerned about the specifics of the stories to the point I had lost touch with the true meaning. Now I don't worry about the specifics because I realize that's not what is truly important. What is important is that God loves us very much and we should honor that love by loving Him and being compassionate towards others here on earth.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I first told my father and stepmother who have remained faithful Christians my whole life. My step mother cried with joy and my father smile and told me he already knew.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I've read about it but didn't have much of an opinion. I always believed there must be some kind of scientific explanation. Like a lack of oxygen to the brain. But now I know differently. Having had the experience I believe there is only a spiritual explanation for near death experiences.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real I struggled at first comprehending the experience. As I was in a coma and heavily sedated for over three weeks, I questioned whether it could've been a dream, a drug induced hallucination, or a near death experience. But deep inside, I knew the answer regardless of the questions. The experience was too real for it to be anything but a near death experience.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know now deep inside my heart that what I experienced was real. And to this day, I don't care what anyone else thinks or says. What matters to me is what I experienced. It's real to me and that's all that matters. It has changed me profoundly.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No