Myself, three of my teenage children, and 1 friend were floating down the Illinois River. It had rained quite a lot a 2 weeks prior to us going on the float. The river was running fast and rough. Our raft was being forced toward a huge treetop toward the right of the river in very deep water. The tree had numerous huge limbs coming out of the trunk and you could see more below the water and around that area. Our raft hit one of the huge limbs, my friend tried to push against it, and it snapped back and knocked me off the raft. The raft was quite large, a 4-seater.When I fell into the water, I got trapped under the raft and in the limbs of the tree below. I was following the bottom of the raft with my hands trying to get to the end of it so I could get back in. Between the force of the water, the limbs below and not being able to move the raft or find an end to it, I could not return to the surface. I remember thinking, 'I'm not going to get out of this'. In a split second of panic, quickly I felt my body relax and calmness came over me, I closed my eyes and all I saw was blackness. It was peaceful, no fear at all, just nothingness. It was a few minutes later, I felt being grabbed from behind and my eyes opened when my daughter, Sarah, had found me and pulled me to the top surface, I remember the touch of her hands and feeling like I was being pulled back from somewhere; and then opening my eyes just as I came to the surface. Luckily, my daughters were watching the current and looking for me. It was a miracle they found me. I was very distraught and could not get into the raft. I held on to the side of it until we could get to shore. I went into shock I think, shaking uncontrollably, and crying. My friend drove us home. Once I was home, showered and laid in my own bed I felt much better. I dreamt about it for several nights and it took a while for me to get past the experience. I still have a very clear vision of myself and how I felt when I almost drowned. FYI: I considered myself a strong swimmer, I taught swimming lessons and was a lifeguard myself when I was younger. I taught all four of my now grown children to swim. But I could not get myself out of the situation of being stuck between a huge raft and a huge tree in the river.
Date NDE Occurred: Memorial Day Weekend 2003
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Accident. Drowning 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Just before I felt my body go calm and everything went black.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No difference
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No difference
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: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As Above.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
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? No comment Spiritual
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? No comment Spiritual
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 had no beliefs of what death would be like at the time of my experience therefore I cannot answer this.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe It was Just NOT my time to leave this world. I devoted my life to my children whom I raised alone. They only had me, and they needed me.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God 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? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? I am uncertain if an afterlife exists No
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? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
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? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Moderate changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No I have always been sensitive.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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 definitely real
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? My daughter was my guarding Angel.
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