It was about 10:30 Sunday night. I was in my backyard with my dog. It was his final potty break of the night. My husband was inside; he works nights and was supposed to be at work, but took this day off. After being outside for a few seconds, I heard some rustling in the live oak tree (it was over two hundred years old). I noticed my dog looking up in the tree and I also noticed some of the little branches moving around. It was dark outside and I got a panicked feeling. I opened the sliding glass door and yelled for my husband to get a flash light. A few second later, he came to the door and I repeated that something was in the tree and to get a light. I shut the door and looked at my dog (a dachshund). He looked back at me, and then I heard two popping noises. I realized at that point that the tree was going to fall.
At that same point, my dog looked up at the tree and I yelled his name. I ran into the yard, scooped him up and starting running to get between the two houses. I didn't know which part of the tree was going to fall - I just knew it was going to happen. As I was running with my dog (granted at this point I only made it a few feet) I heard the terrible noise of the tree breaking. I repeated to myself with fear - I've got to get between the houses. At that point, - about six feet from my goal - it happened. A portion of the tree hit me.
I felt several things at once. But the first thing I felt and saw when the tree hit my side was being in the middle of a bright light. It was around me and the edges were yellow and red. At that moment, I felt the presence of my granny and my grandpa and felt that they were there with me. I felt that they moved me to where I wouldn't be directly hit by the tree - like they saved me. I then thought, 'Wow, there really is a white light. This isn't how I'm supposed to die - I've got too many things to do.' It's as if time stood still because when I was back in my life, I saw the remaining part of the tree fall, hit the swing, and I watched it continue to fall on me. The actions were freeze framed, piece by piece - but my thoughts moved so fast. All the sounds and smells were frozen as each section moved. Once it all fell, all I heard was crickets and I remember looking at the sky, feeling panic and pain, wondering if I was dying and all the things I would leave.
My husband came out and found me under the massive tree limb. I could hardly speak; I was getting cold and sweating. I whispered to him, after I asked him to call 911, 'Where is Lucky?' (My dog.) I thought he was crushed. My husband called for him and he emerged, unharmed, from the side of the house. I had further experiences in the ambulance and at the hospital. I can further explain. I will say that while at the hospital being wheeled into surgery I made an effort to look at myself in the mirrors that cornered the walls. It was as if I said goodbye and wanted to see if I looked how I knew I did. Dead.
Date NDE Occurred: 8/20/2006
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death . I was hit by a sixty-five feet live oak tree limb in my back yard. I suffered internal injuries, bleeding and superficial lacerations.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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? More consciousness and alertness than normal The moment of impact with the tree limb.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The moment of impact with the tree limb.
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 Time seemed to stop, but my mind continued and my senses were heightened.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Everything was heightened beyond anything I ever experienced.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I noticed the crickets and the piercing silence. I've never just noticed and focused on that before.
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 I was in the light - it surrounded me - but I didn't move into a tunnel.
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 did not physically see anyone but I felt and knew my granny and grandpa were there. I felt their spirits with mine.
The experience included: Void
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 All I saw was a bright light, it surrounded me and it had yellow and red ridges that spiked. It was similar to when you look at the sun and the different colors move around. There were a few differences, but mainly, it was around me, as if it was a part of me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt a more aware, separate existance. It was a division between my life and the experience I was in.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm that there is more than what we live, fear of unknown, fear of leaving without saying goodbye, love from my deceased relatives.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
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 After the experience when I was on the ground waiting for help to arrive I thought of all the things I did wrong in life and disappointing others if I died. Unresolved issues left me feeling panicked.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes
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 Things are coming back to me slowly, it all made sense at the time.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have more meaningful relationships and cut out the crap of those that are not meaningful.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was difficult to find the words to explain the intense, complicated feelings. Words seem to dumb the experience down.
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? Seeing the light and confirming it does exist, feeling my relatives with me, seeing myself in the mirrors at the hospital, holding on and not letting myself sleep in the CAT scan.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have tried talking about it with others - very few people - but they don't understand. They don't seem to comprehend the difference between before the accident - the experience- any my life since then. They seem to put a simplistic explanation. I wish to talk about it more and understand it more.
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. The experience was real - I wonder how real this life is now.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I wish I could bottle the experience - I'm scared the feeling will fade with time.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No