I recall lying in the dentist surgical room. It was a high ceiling, with a light hanging down from a long rod, and I lay on the surgical table (black leather - as I recall). When the nurse started giving me the 'gas' the doctor said she would count backwards from ten and I remember hearing ten, nine, eight, ssiixx(sic), fffiiiivvveee (fading out). The next thing that I recall was a terrible 'whirring' noise with an undulating high and low pitch. With that was this radiantly bright light in my eyes, and I could not get either the noise or the light to go away. It seemed that I could open my eyes or shut them, but the light was always there and the noise got louder. I found that I was spinning with the table in keeping with the whirring noise. I thought to myself, 'I can't stand this any longer' and I pleaded for the light and noise to go away because I could not take it any longer.
Then, suddenly, it started to get quiet, and I felt myself drifting up and out of my body - it was so peaceful, and I was so thankful. As I drifted toward that high ceiling, I rose above the large globe hanging from the rod. I looked at the top of the glass globe and saw dust on the top of it, and remember thinking that it was strange that it would be dusty in the operating room. As I floated up there, I was watching my body lying on the table with the doctor and nurse leaning over me. I could see the clothes I was wearing, my short-sleeve blue, red, and white shirt, which my grandma made for me and two like them for my brothers. I also had on some blue jeans and my black shoes. My shirt was partially covered with a white towel. As I watched from above, I became aware of a smell (like lilacs) which reminded me of my Grandma (my mother's mom) who had died in a car accident just two years before that. I tried to turn and look over my should to see her, and all I could see was a bright lighted tunnel sloping downward and then bent back upwards so I could not see the other end. Then Grandma's voice said, 'I am right here, Don, but you cannot see me, but I will always be near you.' There were some other 'person's presences' there too, I could sense them, but not see them. Grandma then calmly reassured me that I did not have to go with them at that time, and if I wanted to, I could go back down. It was good to be in her presence, a warm feeling that I always had when I sat by her in church.
That is all that I remember, but I recall waking up, all fuzzy headed with this terrible taste in my mouth, which was very full of gauze and blood. The doctor told me that the ether gave me the bad taste. It was not discussed with anyone, until about 1977 when I picked up the book 'Life After Life' by Dr. Raymond Moody. When I first read of another's encounter - then it all came back in a rush to my mind, as clearly as I recall it to this day.
I asked my mother, if they had any problems during the procedure, and all she said was that she was told that I woke up before they had finished and they had to give me ether.
Date NDE Occurred: 1954 summer
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related 'Oral Surgery - Had 8 baby teeth extracted, which were rotting my molars and permanent teeth coming in.' 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
I had been put to sleep with 'laughing gas' and then was told later, that I awoke during the procedure of pulling my bad teeth, so the doctor had to give me ether to put me back under. I do not recall waking up at all.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
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? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I had floated above the light globe, and saw that dust, and then smelled the fragrance of my grandma, and sensed her presence with me.
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
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. The incredible brightness of the light, the sensitiveness of my eyes to the light and my hearing to the sound. The bright light glowing from the tunnel was brilliant, too much so to look directly at it.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Loudness and high and low pitch of the whirring.
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 Stayed just outside the tunnel.
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 See above.
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 See above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, quiet, warmth from being close to grandma. Serene, not sure if I wanted to return to my body.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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? 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 United Methodist (family active in small rural Kansas church)
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate United Methodist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain When it happened, I did not share it with my mother or anyone else. I just put it out of my mind for many years, thinking perhaps I was dreaming at the time.
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 freedom from the noise and bright light and the sense of calm and peace which came as I left my body.
The smell and sense of my grandma's presence there with me surprised me, but was a comfort to me, not a shock.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Twenty-three years. They were quite interested, and touched by my experience. They asked more questions and told me of others they had heard of who they had read about or heard of who had gone through similar experiences.
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 probably not real I did not really think that I could have experienced that when it happened, and I thought my mother would just laugh it off or not believe me, so I did not share with anyone.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real I think that either my heart stopped or the blood flow to my brain stopped, and the experience was the way I was allowed to experience or recall what happened.
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 have shared with others in groups, and found in larger groups, others who have had similar experiences. I do not doubt that what happened was in the realm of an NDE, though I do not pretend to understand what exactly happened some fifty-three years ago.