I had been ill with a bad case of bronchitis for several weeks. It was hanging on and on. I was traveling from Indianapolis to Terre Haute one day, and I got so tired, I decided to pull off at the little town of Cloverdale to take a brief rest. It was very cold. I parked the car in an empty parking lot and turned off the engine. I covered myself up with my coat and reclined my seat, just to try to get a short nap. The time was 12:02 pm. I did not go to sleep. After a few minutes, I began to have difficulty breathing. I fumbled in my purse for my inhaler, took a couple of inspirations from it, then lay back down - but I still could not breathe. I tried to sit up, but I was too weak. I struggled and struggled for air but simply could not breathe in or out. I started to pass out, and I became aware of my body, as if I were looking at it from the outside. I wasn't seeing it with my eyes, I was just aware there was a body there, that was struggling for air, and it was getting weaker and weaker. Then the body became very quiet.I knew the body was mine, but I didn't seem to care very much about it. Suddenly I found myself in a tunnel. The tunnel was made of some transparent kind of bricks or blocks. Light shone into the tunnel through the bricks. It was a beautiful golden light, and it felt warm and comforting. I wanted to get to the light. I stepped into the tunnel, and as I did, the tunnel began to slowly rotate. I told myself to be careful of my footing so I would not fall as the tunnel rotated. I walked a step or two before I saw a door at the end of the tunnel. It was a heavy, ornate, blue door. I had no sooner determined that I wanted to go up to the door, when suddenly, there I was. I tried to open it, but I couldn't. Then information just flowed into me. I was told that once the door was opened, I would be confronted with a choice. It was going to be a very difficult choice, so I should think carefully before making it.I stood quietly before the door, pondering the information, when suddenly it opened. I looked out on a great expanse of darkness immediately below and in front of me. Beyond the darkness, in the distance, was an endless galaxy. A bright Light, brighter than all the stars in the galaxy, shone from the center. This Light felt as if it were pulling me toward it. Below me, in the expanse of darkness, I could hear human beings in distress. I could tell they were suffering. It sounded something like a busy emergency room, but the suffering was palpable. Somehow, I knew if they would just turn to that Light, their suffering would end, but they were stubborn and would not turn to the Light.As I looked out at this most beautiful sight of stars, planets, and the great radiant and loving Light, I saw tiny trails of blue, pink and green lights traveling across the expanse of darkness toward the Great Light. I wondered what they were, and instantly I had the information that they were prayers from people seeking the Light. They were very beautiful, and once they reached the Light, they were absorbed into it. Then larger trails of white light traveled from the Great Light outward. I knew that these were answers to prayers. I just wanted to watch the traveling of the lights, be warmed by the Light and enjoy the beautiful view. The Light turned a magnificent blue and rolled toward me like an ocean wave. It was not really close to me, but nevertheless I could see the image of Jesus within the blue wave. Love poured out upon me, like warm water. Jesus looked just like he did on the poster in my Sunday School class. I had the thought that if I had been a Buddhist, perhaps he would look like Buddha, and I was told, 'That is right. God appears in a familiar form.' I wanted to ask Jesus some questions, but suddenly I was told I had to make a choice. I was not told by a person, it was more like a chorus of voices that were not heard with my ears, but somehow communicated another way. They told me I could stay or I could go back. I was to think carefully before making a decision.I thought about my three teen-aged children at home. They were all troubled. We had all been abandoned by my husband the year before. We were dealing with poverty and abandonment, in addition to all the stresses of puberty. I was very tempted to stay with the Light (which was now changing color and turning back into its original form), but I knew I could not abandon my children to a mean world without a mother. I did not even get a chance to tell the chorus that I had to go back to my children. As soon as I knew that I could not abandon them, I felt as if I had been dropped from thirty feet in the air onto a concrete slab. I slammed into my body with the most crushing pain imaginable. I could feel the fluttering of a preliminary heartbeat. I heard my body try to inhale. I felt the very cold fingers and cheeks. This body was extremely cold, and still it could not move. I heard it inhale sharply and groan. I listened for it to inhale again, and it did. I coaxed it, telling it when to breathe in and when to breathe out. I felt its heart gain a rhythm, and then I was completely within the body, struggling for a good breath.I have never been so cold. The outdoor temperature was about twenty degrees, and my body seemed nearly that cold. I looked at the clock. It was 12:40 pm. It took nearly an hour of heating the car and my body until I could move effectively. My breathing was very tenuous. Eventually I became strong enough to drive home.
Date NDE Occurred: 'January 5, 2005'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
While I was suffering from a bad case of bronchitis, I had an acute asthma attack and ceased breathing.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? My highest level of consciousness and alertness came when the door opened and I became aware of the prayers traveling toward the Light, and became aware that the people in the darkness below me only had to look at the Light to end their suffering.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I saw that there are no limits to the Universe, there were no boundaries except the one between the Universe and the darkness where the unbelievers were. There was no time. There was no way to keep track of time. Time does not exist there because it is an infinite place without a timeline.
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. I could see colors that are not visible on Earth. There are no descriptors for these colors. I have poor vision, but my vision there was very clear and bright, and my distance vision was vast. I could see for thousands, maybe even millions of miles. I saw stars that are only visible with telescopes, and I was seeing them clearly.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. With my ears I could hear sounds of the galaxy - stars exploding and snapping, solar winds, and the crackle of the aurora borealis. I also heard, with my ears, the sounds of the suffering people. I could also hear voices that gave me information - but not with my ears.
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? Yes The tunnel was made out of translucent blocks or bricks, about the size of the typical concrete building block. The inside surface of the tunnel was not smooth, but was slightly undulating. The tunnel rotated sporadically, and slowly. A golden light shone through the bricks and lit the tunnel with warmth and comfort.
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 saw Jesus, dressed in homespun linen, at the center of the light which had turned to a blue wave. I knew he was Jesus because he looked exactly like he had on a poster in Sunday School when I was a kid. He had a beard, brown hair and brown eyes. To be within his gaze was unbelievably comforting.
The experience included: Darkness
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 I saw the light that came into the tunnel through the bricks. Once I got to the door, I saw that the tunnel light was emanating from the Great Light, which was at the center of the cosmic vista. That Light was gigantic; it dwarfed the other lights around it. It was white and very bright, but not painfully so. Wherever it traveled, it spread comfort, love, and goodness. To be with that Light was what I wanted.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I saw the universe in all its incredible glory. I also saw the darkness where unbelievers dwell.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first I was afraid, because I knew I could not breathe and I thought I might die. Once I did die, I felt curious about the tunnel and the door at the end of it. I felt hopeful that I could be with the light that came into the tunnel through the translucent bricks. I also felt warm, comforted, loved, and extremely curious about everything I saw. I felt calm, but did not feel peace, because I knew I would have to make a decision, and that gave me some anxiety. When I saw Jesus, it was as if every puzzle piece of my life fell into place, and I felt validated.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 I did not see or experience a review of past events. But the experience as a whole helped me focus more deeply on people, especially those in mourning, living in poverty, and those who are sick or in prison. I don't care about things and money, but I never did, even before this event.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I was given to know that if I went back, I would live long enough to raise my children and see them achieve independence.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The ornate blue door at the end of the tunnel was a boundary. I knew if I went beyond the doorway, or just even put one foot through the door, I would not be able to return to my Earthly life and my children.
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I had stopped going to church about a year before my NDE. My NDE showed me there are many ways back to the Great Light. After a few years of philosophy and deep inquiry, I realized that my church was one of the ways back to the Great Light and I didn't have to look any farther. So I went back to church and started again practicing my religious path.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I had stopped going to church about a year before my NDE. My NDE showed me there are many ways back to the Great Light. After a few years of philosophy and deep inquiry, I realized that my church was one of the ways back to the Great Light and I didn't have to look any farther. So I went back to church and started again practicing my religious path.
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? Yes I came to know that we are all important to God/the Light, even the plants and animals. We each hold an important place in the structure, or plan, of the Universe, and we each have something to do. I learned that the Great Light is more merciful and loving than anything or anyone we have experienced here on Earth. The plan is for each of us to come back to the Great Light - but some will not, because they refuse to accept the Light.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I divorced the unsuitable husband I had at the time. I have sought out friends who are not superficial, but who are in touch with the important things in life. These things include a placing great importance on serving the poor, the suffering, and those without opportunity. I don't spend time with people who focus their lives on money, guilt, superficiality, social climbing, or who are depressed and don't want to change. There are too many people who do need help and who do want to change, so I focus on them.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Some information that I got seemed to have no source except the Light. There were colors and sounds beyond Earthly experience.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Flowing water (such as out of the faucet) seemed to be musical. I could tell when someone was lying to me - and I still can. I could not wear a watch, because every watch either wouldn't keep time, or burned up.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Everything about it is significant to me. But probably the most significant is the realization I had that everyone is as important as everyone else, and that each person plays an important part in the overall plan. Before my experience, I was very judgmental. My experience taught me that I have to let go of judgment and try to embrace each human being as the unique individual he/she is. It was also very meaningful to me to find out that we each experience the Great Light through our own culture and our own previous experiences. The Great Light can be Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and nobody has 'the only path' back to God.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was four months before I shared the experience with a few friends. It was clear they did not believe me, and I was sorry I shared it with them. I also shared it with a few members of my family, but they were also skeptical.
The only person who believes me is my current husband.
I don't think anyone has been influenced directly by my experience except me. Others have been affected because I treat them differently than I did before my NDE. But they don't realize that's what it's from.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had read one of Dr. Moody's books a long time before my NDE. I really don't know if it affected my experience. Would I have seen the tunnel if I hadn't read his book? I don't know.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real From the very start and in the days after it happened, I saw the experience as 'definitely real.' I viewed it as the most real thing that had ever happened to me. It did not carry the aura of something hazy or unnatural, or clothed in mystery. It was more real than my daily life here on this planet, because with the experience, I was given a CERTAIN, PROFOUND, and UNSHAKABLE KNOWLEDGE of God's system and how we each fit into it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Now I still see the experience as 'definitely real.' My view of its reality has not changed a bit from the days immediately after it. I know that being with the Great Light is a more important part of our entire existence than our time on Earth is. I know there is much more for us to learn and do there, and that our lives will continue, they will be full, and we will continue to learn and grow.
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? Shortly after my NDE, I became very unhappy. I could see that a great many people are shallow and not engaged in behavior that would take them back to the Great Light. I wondered how so many people could be so superficial. Then I realized they did not have the benefit of an NDE. I thought sharing mine with them would help them. I even thought perhaps that was part of my mission - to share my NDE. But people are so skeptical that no one believed me, and I was gravely disappointed. I still am.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It might be interesting to see if there is any correlation between a given subject's religious background and their NDE experience. IS the symbolism the same? Are the religious figures the same? Etc. I notice you have carefully excluded all questions about religion. (NDERF: We didn't exclude them; they are in the private part of the questionnaire.)
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