When I moved to Puerto Rico in 1994, I had no idea that I would live through a near-drowning, even though the island, surrounded by oceans and seas, scared me. I have always had a fear of drowning in deep water. A year and a half after arriving, on September 9, 1995, I was settled in my own home and busy working full-time. I was happy and having great fun with my local companions who had become family to me. One night after work, I gave a ride to some visitors of my friends, whom were visiting the island. I drove them up the west coast where I lived and worked. After some cajoling I was glad to take the drive up along the coast of beautiful Puerto Rico as I drove my local friend and his visitors up to their cottage where they were staying for a week.
It was evening by the time we arrived. I was going to stay the night and then drive home in the morning after shopping and going to the beach. Later that night, Maury and I went for a walk together, down to the beach. He was the handsome brother of the friend who had asked for the ride. We were getting along great. I felt invigorated and blessed, enjoying one of the most enchanting beaches in the world. This is the surfing capital of Puerto Rico and known world-wide by surfers who ride the huge waves along the pristine shoreline. The waves were gigantic and loud that particular night because of the post-hurricane weather, with another hurricane on the way.
We were playing by the shore with the beauty of the night sky off-setting the romantic ocean at our finger-tips; we were lulled into the ocean. While playing in the water, the ocean terrifyingly grabbed us in one wave! We were swept out to sea! Panicking, we struggled together to swim back to shore, but the waves were too big and powerful, plus the rip-tide had a deadly hold on us and we could not swim against it. Personally, I knew nothing of rip-tides or what to do if ever caught in one which is to swim parallel to the shore until out of the rip tide current. I did know I was going to drown that night and would never make it back to the beach. Due to the violent blasting of the waves, Maury and I were forcibly separated three times. He was not able to stay or swim me into the shore. I found myself alone in the middle of the vast, immense ocean, fighting for my life. I was able to prolong survival by timing the waves crashing on my head. I think I was out there for about thirty minutes, although it felt like forever. As the waves washed me under, over and over, I was able to tell when to take a breath, to sustain me underwater, until I swam up to the surface, to take another breath. This went on until I was too exhausted to move any body part.
Eventually the moment arrived when I became aware of exactly which wave would pummel me underwater to my death. As I inhaled my last breath, I felt an all-encompassing peace releasing all fears. The moment had come to get right with God. I was acutely conscious of the knowledge I would not make it up to the surface again. I was having my last view of the beach, the stars and the expansive, blue, dark ocean. As I took the breath that would sustain me for the rest of my life, I timed the wave falling on me. The ocean stilled and became very quiet. Stars began to fall on the horizon and dropped into the sea. When I looked up at the wave, it was suspended above me dripping droplets of water from its crest.
The next moment, I traveled to space. My spirit was taken in an instant to outer space and exploded into pure consciousness! I was acutely aware in my mind that I was traveling and had become an astral being. I was taken into the sky and into space. I was above the beach and to the right of the almost full moon. I was completely conscious of being alive without a body! As I began to comprehend where I found myself, my mental dialogue was the same as when I was in the physical realm. I noticed my mind was still thinking, hearing, and seeing. I tried to figure out where I had been taken. My spirit eyes felt the same as seeing through my body's eyes. My mind told me I was in a holy place. I was a visitor in a house of God.
The next moments were timeless, as I was gently informed about how I lived my life on earth. Completely non-judgmental, yet clear and precise was the voice inside my head. I learned why I was dying and how it would affect my loved ones. More information kept flooding my consciousness as I listened, learned, and understood profound life conditions of the past, present and future. I became my own proof of individual divinity, blessed with immortal life, by the infinite mercy of God's unconditional love. The revelations seemed to go on until I noticed a bubble of light, so to speak, to the right of where I was floating. Inviting and comforting, all my attention was eventually diverted to it. I knew without a doubt it was the entrance to heaven. I was happy to be going there, especially if what I was feeling is the norm. I forced myself to float towards it. When close, all of a sudden in an excruciating moment, I was rudely blasted back into my body!
The last wave had slammed me down hard as I began the descent into the dark, watery abyss to my drowning death. Then I felt a hand! Miraculously I was being rescued out of the last wave at the exact moment I was going to drown. Upon realizing I was being pulled to safety, I died and do not remember being pulled out of the water and laid on the beach. Upon resuscitation when I struggled to wake up, I was shocked to find out I was still alive and much to my chagrin, still in my body!
The only thing I could think about was my near-death experience and how much I wanted to go back to where I had just visited. Plus it made no sense I was on earth. The rest of the night and into the next morning became an extended fight to live. By the time the light of the new day dawned, I had actually lived through the first near-drowning, to almost die again from secondary drowning. Upon admittance to a hospital, I spent a long week in the Intensive Care Unit. Upon being discharged I went home a different person than whom I had been before that fateful night up the western Puerto Rican coast.
Date NDE Occurred: September 10, 1995
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes. Drowning. CPR given. Other: The moment I had NDE I was alive, a few moments later, I died, AFTER NDE.
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes The facts have been checked out.
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 It was so far out that to this day I have a hard time relating that experience into this reality, but usually, as a natural hypersensitive, that was normal to feel everything all the time. But when the highest level was so transcending that I still meditate to go there. I was most alive at the moment I was leaving my body and the most conscious when I was in space being shown the universe and my part in it, which was given; instead of it being an ego thing: very humbling.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The moment before I was taken into space and during and a few moments after I was blasted back into my body. Okay, the apex would have been while I was in space, but not by much because once I went to that higher emotional plane, it was constant until the moment I died.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
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 be the same, kind of; my thoughts in my head were the same tempo as when in my body. It seemed like I was up there for a long time but now I realize it must've been seconds. I didn't feel the time shifts until I was in space and then sent back so fast, that time didn't matter and there was no time in space, I knew I lived forever and so did where I was.
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. The vision of earthly realm exploded into a gazillion times more brilliance during the NDE. I was born ill and developed hypersensitivities and psychic abilities as a little girl but it harmed me in a family that condescends any kind of vision. The mental jargon on the other side was as natural as talking with my mouth: except it was in my head. Vision went on forever; it seemed to include past, present and future, simultaneously.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The moment before NDE was like the deafening roar of a washing machine, post-hurricane waves. During, there was no sound outside my spirit ears; it seemed to all be inside, of which I heard a voice and then voices the moment before being blasted into my body when the last wave descended on my head.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes An exact tunnel no, but the trip up to space and back was in traveling format of a tunnel. When I was taken, the stars began falling into the ocean, then I noticed rings of light falling down from the sky, they fell into the ocean where I was and glowed on their way down into the water, then I went up through a cornucopia like tunnel, on the way back, I felt like a the top of a pin head, a tiny little spark, hurdled back down into my body so fast it was a blur, as opposed to on the way up which was rather slow and psychedelic.
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: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 The direction of the voice lit up the whole firmament, whereas the rest of the view was brilliant space and stars and the cosmic colors we see in pictures, far off and bright. But the voice was a whole wall of universe, next to it, as the NDE went on, I noticed a bubble of light to the right of the voice. I tried to force myself into that entry to heaven but I was sent back before I reached it with my spirit body.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in space and knew it. I wasn't scared floating above the ocean and my body below.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was completely conscious of being alive without a body! As I began to comprehend where I found myself, my mental dialogue was the same as when I was in the physical realm. I noticed my mind was still thinking, hearing, and seeing. I tried to figure out where I had been taken. My spirit eyes felt the same as seeing through my body's eyes. My mind told me I was in a holy place. I was a visitor in a house of God. The next moments were timeless as I was gently informed about how I lived my life on earth. Completely non-judgmental, yet clear and precise was the voice inside my head. I learned why I was dying and how it would affect my loved ones. More information kept flooding my consciousness as I listened, learned, and understood profound life conditions of the past, present and future. I became God's unconditional love. I felt at home, at peace and the most fulfilled I've ever felt for simply being alive as a spirit. I didn't need my body and I didn't miss it while up there in space. I was shocked, of course, that I was feeling at home, for that's what I've been trying to find here on earth.
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It's strange but I became the universe. I was told I was made at the same time and my life and spirit was the universe.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control My past flashed before me, out of my control. I was shown my life, like on a screen, all at once. It was as though I saw my whole life in a moment, not in flashes or a movie or even scenes, it was all at once. I saw everything and was detached from feelings of the life I lived. Instead I was filled with great compassion for how hard I had tried to attain perfection, to be kind and not be bitter but I still could not forgive myself for all the wrongs and mistakes; although through the voice, I did: but once I came back, I still hated myself, maybe more, because I couldn't take care of myself after the NDE.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I saw everything repeating itself through the arrow of time, on the earth and was told stuff that I don't even know how to translate. It's like everything happens all at once, all at the same time, even though we can feel one timeline.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I wasn't allowed to go to heaven and when I tried to float to the bubble of light, where there was a whole different universe, I was clearly not supposed to go into there.
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other faiths- New age At the time and even years after, I practiced spiritual disciplines. After being reared Southern Baptist and devout, I lost my religion at 18. Over time, I became spiritualist, Wiccan, tried Hinduism. When NDE, I believed in God but didn't feel worthy of forgiveness through Jesus, because I rebelled from the South and the only way to do that was to estrange from my family so I quit believing in the Southern Jesus of Fear and Punishment, went without for too many years.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My near-death experience impacted my life and my daily existence, in such a way that it took years, plus a chaotic journey, to find an eternal peace in living. Being at one with my body had become more elusive than the gifted peace I found in dying. I also, to this day, look at humans and living things as temporary visitors on the earth. It freaks people out when I put it that way but that is the truth.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant One day about 6 years ago, I felt Jesus and asked again for redemption and was given it. Now I am probably a mellow protestant with some white Wiccan ways, all energies come from and are given to God, Jesus directs me in my life.
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 knew God was real but I didn't welcome the responsibility to have to come back and keep making mistakes. It was shocking how level and balanced everything is on the cosmic level. I still am trying to plug my body self into the spirit self that wants to take over but I have to be able to take care of myself in my body.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My near-death experience impacted my life and my daily existence, in such a way that it took years, plus a chaotic journey, to find an eternal peace in living. Being at one with my body had become more elusive than the gifted peace I found in dying. I also, to this day, look at humans and living things as temporary visitors on the earth. It freaks people out when I put it that way but that is the truth.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 Definitely heard a voice with my spirit ears, very clear and the voice was creation itself. I had no doubts when the voice was speaking, which the whole time I was on the other side. When I tried to float to the bubble of light, the voice started receding then I was sent back.
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? Yes Yes, I saw many lifetimes I lived in my body and all of them like a visitor visiting earth and that whether or not I would be reborn into earth, I would still be constantly growing and experiencing, not held down by any one timeline or body.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Yes, I was told we are all one and that the universe breathes with the same breath as individual spirits.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes God is real and that was the realest thing I knew.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Kind of, I was shown how thin the veil between this world and the other side really is and it is quite shocking.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Yes, some of this is beginning to get fuzzy in my memory but I was told earth is a training camp so to speak.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Yes, I was told that we live again and again and the word for it as we know is reincarnation, but that is too limiting and not really the whole truth, so I don't go into that too much because it confuses Christians.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
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? Yes Kind of, I was shown how thin the veil between this world and the other side really is and it is quite shocking.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Yes, I was shown how life in the body is deemed by conditions as the way it is, kind of and almost but not really...deal with it was kind of the way I received this information but not in a bad way, just a way that means one thing begets the other in order to exist.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes God's unconditional love was and is the most definitive and real existence of all that lives and breathes and all this simply is, all of it is loved by God through understanding of our human plights.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I kind of wandered, as a pilgrim, proclaiming God's everlasting, eternal life. Mentally, I was still on 'the other side' and could not integrate back into my body. I flew as a leaf on the wind, to the places I wanted to visit, looking for my utopia on earth. I still couldn't function and wasn't able to blend back into society. I was enveloped in God's ways and all I needed was provided to me strangely for five years; until I returned, almost all the way back in my body, then I was happy to be alive. Whereas before I only wanted to go back to the other side. Where ever I went and the things I did, always included sharing my near-death experience. I knew I was mentally and physically struggling to keep may feet on the ground and felt as though I was living on the outskirts of the conditional reality, where I had to provide stable housing, clothing and food for my bodily necessities and survival. Add to that the need for a life of quality, which I didn't even know what that meant then, plus needing and wanting a home, seemed like an elusive dream, out of reach. Large changes in my life. I kind of wandered, as a pilgrim, proclaiming God's everlasting, eternal life. Mentally, I was still on 'the other side' and could not integrate back into my body. I flew as a leaf on the wind, to the places I wanted to visit, looking for my utopia on earth. I still couldn't function and wasn't able to blend back into society. I was enveloped in God's ways and all I needed was provided to me strangely for five years; until I returned, almost all the way back in my body, then I was happy to be alive. Whereas before I only wanted to go back to the other side. Where ever I went and the things I did, always included sharing my near-death experience. I knew I was mentally and physically struggling to keep may feet on the ground and felt as though I was living on the outskirts of the conditional reality, where I had to provide stable housing, clothing and food for my bodily necessities and survival. Add to that the need for a life of quality, which I didn't even know what that meant then, plus needing and wanting a home, seemed like an elusive dream, out of reach.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes After my NDE there was not a human alive that could assuage my grief for having to live in my body again. That meant all relationships changed and I didn't need anyone. I started traveling and couldn't stop, plus everyone became a blur in comparison to the light of the voice that spoke to me. It has taken years to develop the first healthy long term relationship of my life that I now have, by choice. There finally came a moment that I needed and wanted love from others and to share in my living existence and I want to care and love those I need. It has been tough being human.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Oh yes. The e-book I am working on right now has taken the twenty years to find a way to verbalize with all the emphasis on God's unconditional love. But most folks don't know what that is, so I have worked hard and in the process of writing this story, a work of art, and WOW, there are some feelings that don't belong to words.
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 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? Yes Even though I was naturally gifted with sight and hypersensitivity at an early age due to illness and going deaf for a while, but after the NDE everything was turned up and finally tuned. Since then I realized that I am an empath in all its uncomfortable glory. Also I can see energy and it turns into little dancing rainbow dots that make me smile when I focus on them. I see the life-light in plants. I also have the self-worth now to accept my spirit healing abilities through God's unconditional love. My art is a life of its own and sometimes I am shocked at what comes from my fingertips, so I think that is a gift as well.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The most important part is when I was on the other side. It is the source of all that I am now. The part of when I left my body was so terrifying. When I returned was terrible, but while I was floating in space, I was the happiest I've ever been in this life because existence with love was freely given. It was unconditional and without fear of it stopping or leaving me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it immediately. Everyone stepped back from me and to this day when folks see I am 'touched' they get strange. I get embarrassed or humiliated, so I finally wrote a book to be the experience r instead of being rocked back and forth by others reactions when I tell them in person.
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 Tough. I viewed the reality of my NDE as the only thing that mattered, ever. I was obsessed, consumed and couldn't relate to the physical reality going on around me. It took five years to touch the ground in this body and now my reality is that I want to live forever in my body! Big changes!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Why right now I view my NDE as real is because it still is the most real thing in my whole life. I became a totally different person after my experience and I am still that different. I never was able to recapture who I was before and I tried. Now I have more self-acceptance for the way I am right now, than I ever had for myself on the physical side: it was automatic on the other side.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I was dying when I was five years old; I was eighteen pounds, deaf and starving to death. Upon surgery I was mostly able to regain some strength but I knew at a very, very early age that I was different and I could hear 'voice images' in my head that would tell me things like when in the hospital, which other tiny little kid to go and comfort, even though I, myself, was as tiny. Also as I grew up I had a sense of being able to direct energy. I have always been able to see auras but I didn't know that's what it was until after NDE when things became brighter. I remember being told as a baby that I was made to keep enthusiasm for life and that I would always have a child-like wonder, but that it would also make me more vulnerable and that I would always be protected and loved. When I had NDE, it was the same voice.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Personally, I think it is the best news of this life to find out about life after death. Immortality is a given but there are certain things we humans can do for ourselves to help our bodies remain a spiritual conduit, and yet find a way to embrace the physical reality, without shame or sadness for being alive. It is a fact that spiritual choices matter the most and the words for living right have been spoken already. God doesn't make us make the choices we do: our influences and state of mind make our decisions. Based on that, I had a terrible life, but based on God's unconditional love, it turns out that all this is part of the big picture and I am supposed to obsess less, meditate and exercise more and eat right. None of these things are without choice and self-discipline. It is like, 'OK, you get to live so get with it', which is not always fun; as a matter of fact, very rarely fun, but this life is real, suffering and pain do exist, but ultimately, the feeling of spiritual fulfillment and understanding for all of creation, helps me accept and foster inspiration to want to live. Plus redemption through choosing the right path has been worth it all, because now I know what it means!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? At this time, my brain is amazed I finished this, for I've been looking at this form for about six months! Anymore questions would be too long but changing some of them, not necessary. I think you did a great job of the interview approach because NDE information gets too big on its own!