Francis J Shared Death Experience

Experience Description

I was close, but not unusually so, to my mother's parents. My grandfather died in approximately 1969, when I was 15. There was nothing extraordinary. In approximately 1982, I was married and the mother of two young children. I was asleep and had an incredibly vivid dream in which I was surrounded by water and unable to breathe. The water was kind of living water. I don't know how else to describe it other than maybe amniotic fluid. I could see shadows outside the water and knew they were people I loved but we weren't really connected physically. I fought and fought not to breathe the water. I was rasping heavily in my breathing. Nearing exhaustion, I decided to breathe the water.

The next experience in my 'dream' was sudden and immediate. A big black paw hit my forehead followed immediately by what I can only describe as 'peace beyond all understanding.' After the long and excruciating battle against breathing the water, these steps were quicker. Feeling peace beyond all understanding, I was sort of floating above a bed, a hospital bed. Medical staff surrounded the bed, I can still identify the staff today. There was a young man with somewhat dark complexion and dark wavy hair with a stethoscope around his neck and a lovely young woman with beautiful auburn wavy hair. I don't know these people in my real life. They said to me (the body below me) that they were sorry they could not save me. I 'think/talked' to them, feeling so peaceful, that it was ok.

Next, a wonderful green-yellow-white light drew me to it (still floating in the hospital room). I couldn't resist the light and entered into it. There was an immense and more than beautiful lawn or meadow, and a tree with a man gardening under it. I moved toward the man (who was somewhat ephemeral) and it was my grandfather (my grandmother's deceased husband). He began to welcome me. Then the phone in the bedroom rang and rang. My husband awoke, answered the phone, and called me to it. I was very groggy from the dream, and my voice still 'froggy' from all the rasping, as I had tried not to breathe the water. It was my dad on the phone, telling me my grandmother had passed away, approximately a two-hour drive from my home.

That is the end of my experience. I believe I experienced her death and her first experiences (in heaven) following her death. Please bear in mind that my grandmother died from heart failure, and her lungs filled with fluid. That is how she died.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: Approximately 1982

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Other: 'I was asleep at the time my grandmother died. I believe I had her death experience while I was ''sleeping.''' There was the death of my grandmother.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes As described previously, when I was above my body, I heard the medical staff speaking that they were sorry they couldn't save me. Please keep in mind that my grandmother had heart trouble for years and had instructed my parents (her daughter) not to revive her. She was ready to go, and wanted to join her deceased husband. 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 think this experience is among the most vivid in my entire life. I remember all of it better than even the birth of my own children.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I'm not certain if my highest level of consciousness was when the blackness hit me followed by a wave of peace beyond all understanding, or if it was when I entered the light

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 The time before I 'died' seemed to take a long time. Upon giving up life, when I decided to 'breathe the water,' it was quick.

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. It was less visual and more experiential with all my senses (probably not smell).

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I think my hearing was reduced to the peripheral.

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out

The experience included: Tunnel

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It was more an aura of light that had a specific place (like a window).

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 encountered my deceased grandfather, the husband of my grandmother whose death I believe I experienced.

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 It was something like a window.

The experience included: A landscape or city

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was a garden, but without borders.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? When I was 'trying not to breathe the water' I was very focused. When I gave in to it, I felt so peaceful I cannot describe it. When passing into the light, I felt helpless, curious, and joyful.

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 or purpose

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? 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? Christian- Protestant I am faithful regarding a "higher power." However, I believe most people in the world, including myself, attribute "religious" attributes and practices to the culture we were raised in...I don't believe there is one true faith superceding all the rest. I privately pray and practice some Christian aspects of faith because it is the one I am most familiar with, but after the "death" experience I did go on a "spiritual quest" to find where I fit in the world of faith.

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me

What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I am faithful regarding a "higher power." However, I believe most people in the world, including myself, attribute "religious" attributes and practices to the culture we were raised in...I don't believe there is one true faith superceding all the rest. I privately pray and practice some Christian aspects of faith because it is the one I am most familiar with, but after the "death" experience I did go on a "spiritual quest" to find where I fit in the world of faith.

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 am a spiritual person, privately. If this experience hadn't happened to me, I would not have thought it possible. I do, however, think it's likely we somehow share the space we live in, or maybe the space adjacent, with some people we had a loving relationship with. For example, about 20 years ago, my husband at the time (I have since remarried) was diagonosed with a life-threatening disease. I was praying at night to my God (higher power) that he not die. I think I heard his mother's voice say "He's not ready yet." She had passed away about 5 years previously. I don't think I came up with that thought myself, never having thought people were "ready" to die.

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? No

Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them

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.)? No

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 think it was what Christians call "heaven."

Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists

During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain Well, I didn't exactly meet God or his/her representative. But the experience did lead me to believe in some sort of life after death, a religious principle of most folks.

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 possibly 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 Uncertain It's hard for me to believe this was no more than an incredibly, uncanny dream.

Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death

Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death

Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 possibly meaningful and significant

Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? Uncertain My grandmother was devoted to her husband. He was the one I/she "saw" in "heaven."

Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others

What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life I am a spiritual person, privately. If this experience hadn't happened to me, I would not have thought it possible. I do, however, think it's likely we somehow share the space we live in, or maybe the space adjacent, with some people we had a loving relationship with. For example, about 20 years ago, my husband at the time (I have since remarried) was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. I was praying at night to my God (higher power) that he would not die. I think I heard his mother's voice say. 'He's not ready yet.' She had passed away about 5 years previously. I don't think I came up with that thought myself, never having thought people were 'ready' to die.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No

After the NDE:


Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words full or rich enough to explain, especially what I refer to as the sudden blackness, 'peace beyond all understanding. ' and how I was drawn to the light, as well as the living color of the light.

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 I'm an ordinary person.

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? No, I frankly find it odd that I had this experience.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my mother, within several months of it happening. She totally misunderstood. I've only shared it since with a few lovers who I considered particularly enlightened.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of it.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real How did I get the experience of my grandmother dying? Why did I have it? From the medical perspective, this was probably her physical experience prior to her death. But what explained the part about after her death?

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real

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 heard about near death experiences but never about experiencing the death of someone else, in a different place, when I did not even know she was dying at the time, nor how she would die.