My sister, two years younger than me, and I were at the swimming pool. I wanted to teach her to swim better; she had gained more confidence and was less fearful of water. I decided that it was time for her to leave the kids swimming pool and to go to the bigger one. We started to swim and then they announced that the five meters diving boards were going to be open for demonstrations. Since it was happening in some other pool, we were nearly alone. So we went on swimming up to the middle of the pool, until all of sudden my sister realized that she couldn't touch the bottom and started to panic. She held on tight to my neck, screaming and struggling.
I started to be fearful too, she was getting uncontrollable and she finally got over the top of my head. I was drowned under water; the first minute was awful, I wanted to live. Then came a kind of giving up. I didn't want to let my sister die. I had two choices; swim to the side of the pool; or keep her out of the water; I was fearful about facing my parents so I stayed there. The lack of air was beginning to be felt, I wanted to breathe, but I was keeping my mouth closed.
Then, an incredible well-being, I felt lightness, happiness, my body felt like cotton wool, I was only love and here words are too weak, there are none in the dictionary which can describe this moment of intense ecstasy. Meanwhile, my whole life was flashing by in detail, and I was staying there looking at the images with such a feeling of inner peace. There were also stars of light showering down on me, through me. I must admit that I don't remember now which came first, the life movie or the stars, but I remember that it was extraordinary.
Meanwhile, my sister was screaming and nobody came to the rescue because they thought we were playing games.
When I opened my eyes, we were beside the swimming pool, legs shaking, and not understanding what had really been going on. We didn't dare talk about it to our parents because we had gone to the pool behind their back. We talked about it only years later, five years ago. To my astonishment, my sister had been experiencing this quite differently. According to her, while I was feeling this great happiness, I grabbed her underneath, gave her a blow -- seemed like a man's hand since it was so strong and big -- and took her to the side of the pool. I don't remember anything like that and I'm still amazed that we could make it to the side of the pool.
What happened during the first following year, visions of catastrophes, which unfortunately happened, for example the earthquakes in Italy during the 1980's. I was in the classroom when I felt the earthquake and heard people screaming. I stood up and I shouted what was happening. People were shocked and started laughing. They were laughing less when the drama happened.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1981 :été 1981
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes drowning: noyade Life threatening event, but not clinical death Drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Normal, feeling happy to be in the water.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning I had the feeling that the whole experience lasted for a quarter of an hour, but it took five minutes.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? No, rather peaceful.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Not at the moment, but later on, yes.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happiness, a burst of universal love, joy and so much more.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No Later, yes.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control There was something more wonderful in this world, close to us without being able to see or touch it, but which was there somehow.
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 I wanted to stay there, but it turned out differently.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe in a unique God and reincarnation.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words can't describe.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Rather auditory than visual, beside certain great catastrophes where the images are superimposed in front of my eyes. It can be smells also. I don’t control this, sometimes I feel intensively, some other times nothing happens.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best: having the experience. The worst: coming back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Some have stopped to phone me, some others do it more, for some the testimony represented hope or a calling into question of their own beliefs.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain A small part through acupuncture.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Did people want to come back or to stay where they were?