Experience Description

It was a Saturday morning. I only mention this because my son and I had a number of snow removal customers, and I had called him and told him that I was going to do the two customers on the east side of the river, and then I would pick him up. If this had be during the workweek (Monday - Friday), I would have been doing the day care center alone and some child would have found me in the snow bank. I thank God that it was a Saturday, thus the day care was not a rush, as it was closed on the weekends.

I should also point out that we did all the snow clearing of the driveways by shovel. I remember that while doing the shoveling at the first house, I felt as if something snapped in my chest - but there was not a lot of pain involved. I never considered a heart attack. I had always thought that there was supposed to be a feeling of extreme chest pressure during a heart attack, I just felt kind of funny - and finished the driveway.

I then got back into the truck and drove to the next customer (Maureen). At that time I was a smoker - so of course, since I was feeling a little queasy, I decided I needed a cigarette (no logic). On arrival at my next customer, I got the shovel and started clearing the driveway. Maureen was at the living room window and waved to me, she then came to the front door. She told me that I looked like ' a bag of shit ' (her words) - to which I thanked her.

I stared back shoveling, and then started to get very nauseous, I felt like I was going to vomit, my jaw began to ache, and as strange as it sounds, it felt like I had an electric current crisscrossing my chest. I knocked on Maureen's door and she brought me into her living room. I should point out that Maureen had a heart attack a couple of years prior, thus, she knew the signs. At that time, she gave me a couple of sprays of her nitro and also gave me two baby aspirin. Maureen then called for an ambulance.

I still did not accept the fact that I was having a heart attack. I phoned my wife to tell her that I was not feeling well and was going to go to the hospital to be checked out - and that all would be okay and not to worry - I would be in touch. My wife later said that I spoke very calmly. I then called my son and told him what was happening and where I was. Apparently, I told him that he would have to finish the snow customers alone.

The next thing I knew the fire department arrived and my son was right behind them. The ambulance arrived moments after my son. By this time I was starting to get scared, and began to realize that all was not right. I remember handing the truck keys and my wallet over to my son, and more importantly, I told him how much I loved him. I remember being placed in the ambulance, and thinking to myself that I could die - and I asked God's forgiveness and I remember saying the Our Father and a Hail Mary - I don't know if I said the prayers out loud or to myself - I didn't care if anyone else heard me or not. I don't remember much about to trip to the hospital - however - I do remember think that the ambulance siren didn't sound too loud inside the ambulance. I don't remember being admitted to the hospital. But, I do remember thinking that I had to wait for my wife to arrive, because I wanted to tell her how much I loved her, and to apologize for all this trouble - because I had to go. I really didn't know where I had to go, but I knew that I had to go - and I wanted to make sure she knew about my love for her.

I remember April (my wife) coming into the room or cubicle where I was. I told her I loved her, and I apologized to her. That's when it happened. One moment she is standing in front of me, and the next I am going away from her at an incredible speed. One instant I am looking at her in a full size, the next she is a mere speck and then not there. I could feel a sensation of movement and a whooshing sound - not loud, just there.

It was really hard to put into words - because I don't know if I have any words that can do justice to the experience. I don't re-call seeing a tunnel with light - but I do re-call a feeling of calm and warmth and pure peace. I knew I was dead, and remember thinking to myself 'this isn't bad.' One part of me didn't want to leave my family - but at the same time, I didn't want to leave where I was. It's hard to describe, but it was the most beautiful experience, I was so at peace, it was like I was enveloped in pure love - I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone but me, but that's okay. I don't re-call the light, or a life review - I just remember the absolute love and peace. Even now two years later I can still remember and feel - trust me it is beautiful beyond words.

My wife says that as soon as I told her I loved her, all color left my body, and she says it was like a gray line moving from my feet to the top of my head. At that time all the bells and whistles went off and I flat-lined. Apparently, I was dead for about one minute; they had to paddle me several times to resuscitate me.

Prior to this happening, I wondered what it would be like to die. Now I know. I have no fear of death now - don't get me wrong, I am not rushing towards death, I don't fear its approach.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 02 February 2008

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Major heart attack - required three stents.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful

Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain I lost awareness of my body

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Less consciousness and alertness than normal As above.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I'm not sure of what stage you are talking about. During the heart attack itself, I think I went from normal to less, as I don't recall all the ambulance ride or being admitted to the hospital. However, after my heart ceased completely, I accepted the fact that I was dead - things just got better. Being dead didn't bother me; it just seemed to be the natural order of things.

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 It's hard to say. After bringing me back, the doctor induced a coma because while inserting a breathing tube for my flight to Toronto, they tore the back of my throat, thus they induced a coma while this healed.

For me I died on a Saturday morning and came out of a coma on a Wednesday night. I really have no concept of the time frame, as one part only a minute was death and the rest was coma - so I can't give an accurate answer. So for question # 27, I wish there was an Uncertain.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

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? Uncertain

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I don't remember seeing anyone, but I do remember that I was not alone, I could feel another presence - but I wasn't afraid. It was completely normal. I think this other presence was there to help - when I needed it.

The experience included: Darkness

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? Uncertain

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Pure joy, no pain, not burdened with physical being. I felt absolute love all around me, I don't remember seeing anyone, but I knew that I was not alone. I was sorry to leave my family, but I didn't want to leave where I was now.

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? 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 roman catholic non practicing

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I now pray daily, I ask for help and guidance in all aspects of my life. I must admit that since the heart attack and death experience I feel much closer to God. Prior to the heart attack and death experience, my religious behavior left a lot to be desired. Now, I am still very private about it, but God and I have our little conversations daily.

Please don't get me wrong, we don't sit on a rock and chat over a cup of tea. I talk and he listens, I talk about things going on and sometimes ask for his help and guidance. He doesn't yell out an answer, but everything always seems to work out. Funny thing is as a self-employed handyman, I have always struggled for work, now jobs seem to come along, as I need them. Nothing big, but we always have what we need. To my way of thinking there is only one reason for that.

What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist 'much more at peace with religious feelings, and I am not ashamed to express my belief still consider myself as roman catholic, still don't attend services regularly, but I feel I am now much more religious'

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I now pray daily, I ask for help and guidance in all aspects of my life. I must admit that since the heart attack and death experience I feel much closer to God. Prior to the heart attack and death experience, my religious behavior left a lot to be desired. Now, I am still very private about it, but God and I have our little conversations daily.

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? Yes I love my family more now than I did prior. That might not sound right, but I love more and want them to know they have nothing to fear. Now when some dies, I rejoice for them.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain It was hard to find the right words - however - I have only encountered a couple of people I would call true skeptics. I am thankful to the doctor who inserted my stents, as she confirmed what I already knew - I had died. She asked about my experience and that told me that it was the same as many others she had spoken to over the years - I felt vindicated.

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 absolute calm and peace, I have since slowed down and as the saying goes learned to stop and smell the flowers. There is nothing in this world more important than preparing for the next step in your journey. I think I learned to be more patient and accepting of others, but more importantly, I have learned to be more patient and understanding of myself.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I had the heart attack on a Saturday morning, and spoke to the doctor who inserted the stents on Thursday morning. She was the first person I spoke to as she confirmed my death and gave me permission to speak about it. I knew that I had died, and knew what I experienced - but I didn't say anything to anyone, as I thought they would think I was a nut. She gave me permission to acknowledge this gift (and it was a gift).

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Heard some mention on TV, saw books in the store, put it all down as people trying to make a fast buck - after all nobody dies and come back to talk about it. Well, let me tell you it is true, I have died and came back to tell about it. I consider the entire experience as a gift and a second chance, of which I intend to take full advantage.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Like I said earlier, at first I said nothing, not even to my wife, I knew it had happened but I had no proof, I knew I had died - no one, not even my wife, had mentioned it to me. However, when that doctor confirmed my death, and wanted to know my experience, it was like being given permission to acknowledge what I already knew.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real In my heart and in my soul I know it was real, to this day two years later, I still recall every detail and emotion involved. When I stop and think about it during a quiet time, I can still feel the emotional state - and it's fantastic. I just pray that when the time comes I will be ready and allowed to go all the way home.

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 don't know if my experience fits your criteria - but I do know what happened and I do know what I experienced.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I have no suggestions. I want to say Thank-you for the survey. Thanks again.