I am attaching two versions - the first is what came out of an interview. The second is one that I began writing a few years later - it isn't completely done and has some holes but it gives the gist of the story.
THE FIRST VERSION:
I was at home, folding laundry, not feeling so great, when my bronchials started tightening up and knew I was getting into trouble. I took some of my usual inhaler, but it didn't work. My last resort, which I had never used before, was an Epi-Pen, a shot of epinephrine - a hormone sometimes called 'adrenaline'. That didn't kick in, either, so I called my dad who lived a few blocks away and told him I needed to go to the hospital. Prior to his arrival, I remember pacing my apartment like a caged animal. When he arrived, I insisted we go outside while we waited for a friend to drive us.
I remember going down the first five steps to the car, and that was it. I collapsed out in the street. Since it was a warm evening in September, neighbors were out and saw me go down. While people ran to get me out of the intersection (for some reason I had dragged my father out to the middle of the street!), someone called 911. Paramedics arrived and worked on me in the street for close to forty-five minutes. Since I was 'dead weight', I wasn't moved until they arrived and could slip a stretcher under me.
From what I was told, they checked me for drug tracks, took blood for a quick analysis, and immediately intubated me. I was breathing erratically, and my pupils were fixed. When they felt I was stabilized to be moved, I was placed in the ambulance for transport. It was then my heart stopped the first time. We had only driven to the corner of my street. Since my dad was with the driver, he could hear the monitors buzz and with that, the driver cursed, hit the sirens muttering we are losing her. My father never saw me again. Twice more my heart stopped briefly while in the emergency room. The final time, when I would guess my spirit joined my body, I came up off the table and in one fluid movement, punched a nurse in the jaw. It took four of the team to wrestle me to the table and administer a shot of something to calm me down. They thought I was going for the respirator tube.
It's very hard to explain what happened to me during that time, because it was like a dream, a beautiful dream that I had never dreamt before. Where it starts, I do not know.
I did move through a black, velvety tunnel, a color black I had never seen nor can I describe, toward a very distant pinpoint of light. I had spiritual guides who gave me what I call 'a tour of the universe', and that was a sense of the vastness of the universe, of being there at its creation, of being a part of the universe from its beginnings, and I was part of all that has occurred, and all that will occur. It was as if I had no sense of self, that I was everything and everything was me, including God. It was a very reassuring feeling and I felt very safe and protected. I felt unconditional love, joy and profound peacefulness. I had no sense of linear time and even now, have a problem sometimes operating within parameters of 'time'.
I was told everything that ever occurred and ever will occur. I was given reasons for 'was', 'what is', and 'what will be'. For instance, I was told that part of the reason for global changes, as they relate to weather, was occurring is that the planet is beginning to take back its original shape, to undo what man thought was right to harness her power. For instance, the rivers are taking back their beds. I remember questioning these beings: why does this occur, and why has that, and learned it is to be. I was also told, as a flip-side of the coin, that humans have free will and some of the things that occur are because of choice. I remember getting real deep into the cause and effect and ying and yang of things. Some of it I didn't like and while it's a struggle for me to sometimes understand, realize it happens because of choices. This was in the realm of good and evil. I heard sounds I never heard, and while I never saw a human form, knew there were 'vibrations' all around me, guiding and helping me along.
So as I drifted along, I suddenly came to a stop. I didn't want to go back into my body. I encountered a form, who I knew was God, who told me it was time to now go back. I started arguing with God in my own little obnoxious way and God said I needed to go back because my mission here wasn't complete. I think that is the point in the emergency room I started bucking up off the table and got violent. Up to the point there were no neurological signs and I had not responded to neurological stimuli (pinpricks, etc.).
I opened my eyes and as the room became clear, I felt the wonderfulness of my journey being drawn out my back. As I became more conscious, it became less of the reality. My family was gathered round and rushed me. Unfortunately, I could not talk (and at that point move since I had been restrained, couldn't move). I didn't know why but did get them to untie my hands so I could write. I had to prove there was no loss of oxygen, no brain damage, so when the nurse came in, I held up a paper with my name, birth date, address, social security number, work phone number, parent's names, nieces and nephews, etc. She insisted on asking more questions until I wrote for her to get the hell out of the room. She did.
At that point a physician came in and tried to give me another shot since she thought I was getting violent again but I assured him I was ok. He left. It was then my sister told me why I was tied up. I laughed. Needless to say, I was very disappointed that the lightness of the other side faded so quickly after I woke up. After my family left, I had a vision of an uncle who died in the 1960's riding by on a motorcycle, looking James Dean handsome, telling me, kid, it just wasn't your time.
Weeks later, I had called IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies) in Seattle to see what this experience was and if it was real. The person on the other side listened intently, and after I stopped, was very emotional. I asked if he could tell me my mission since that was the real reason for my call. He instructed me to put the call on hold, sit back and ask the universe what my mission was. I have to admit I thought this was hokey but did as he said. I got back on the phone and told him I got the strangest response, that I hadn't loved enough. I asked what the heck could that mean? I haven't killed anyone, I always believed in God and all that stuff, heck, I won't even kill a fly. I'm just a regular female, not setting the world on fire, living day-to-day, doing what I have to do.
I think after I babbled enough, he stopped me and said congratulations, you have had a classic near death experience. He told me that mission is the reason why most people are sent back, and that there could be a zillion interpretations to what not loving enough is. I have to determine that for myself. But, he told me a secret - that part of that mission would be to let people know that death is not to be feared and the transition is a glorious one. I would find myself in situations where the topic would come up with complete strangers and never feel strange.
My sense now of 'heaven,' of the afterlife, is that what happens to you when you die is your choice. You can choose to exist in a state of unconditional love, or not, and it all comes from how you forgive yourself for the blunders you made in your life. You totally judge yourself. You feel the pain that you created during your life, and it all comes back to you as the creator. Sometimes people go through this during their NDE - a past life review - but I was spared.
Since that time I have had many, many encounters, some strange, some not. I've met angels, stumbled across people who have jetted me along my path, had problems with electromagnetic fields, shorted out appliances, popped light bulbs, been through three automobiles (one was a brand new car that turned out to be a lemon!), have visions of disasters including weather, transportation, etc., more lucid dreams and increased psychic awareness. The 'fallout' has been too numerous to mention.
And my awareness of my NDE is a constantly evolving thing. I may see a program on TV that triggers a further NDE memory. I was told that not all of the NDE would be manifested, that it would unfold as I need it during my life. I can't imagine what other incredible things occurred. I no longer rush to get in the next moment, and live right in the moment that is occurring. I try not to allow situations to impact negatively on me, although most of the time, being in the physical world, it's easier said than done. But my response to these situations has changed and that's where the profound change has occurred in me. I'm not as quick to judge as before, and let people be who they are without trying to shift their perception to agree with mine. I realize they are living out their karma by making their choice, whether I can see the outcome of good or bad for them. I understand it is something they need to go through, learn whatever lessons they need. And to take it a step further, if they choose to recognize the lesson.
THE SECOND VERSION:
This is something I've been promising to do for years. While my intentions were good, it's not the easiest thing to have to relive. Sure, it's a cakewalk to tell it, but to have the words look back at you and to feel the emotion attached to them, well, it's a little overwhelming. How many times I turned on the computer, and someplace I even have it started on a disk, but it never got finished. I would just stare and transport myself back in time, feeling the floodgates open and in the quiet of the written word, reconnect with just my little piece of heaven.
It really started before the actual event. It was the summer of 1994, and for a while I hadn't been feeling quite right. It had been a hard year for me, having trying to balance myself again from my first financial set back of having lost a job. That experience in and of itself was a nightmare but I definitely learned my lesson there. The grass definitely isn't greener on the other side. So having that lesson under my belt, I had a temporary job with my previous employer. I managed to make some good contacts in the human resources department and when the temporary job ended, it was just weeks before I landed what was at the time a perfect job. I remember starting at a time when I was probably on the verge of pneumonia, but I didn't have health insurance or too much money. I was way too proud to ask for help. I managed to get 'better' but for the next year or so I would constantly feel like a cold was coming on.
I had turned into a workaholic of sorts and for being a secretary, that's not such a smart thing. But I needed something to fill my time. I had lots of friends - I was in with one of the 'in' crowds at the club so we went out a lot and danced. Of course, something was missing. What the something was, I didn't know. I had done a lot of introspective meditation, but always came up short figuring I wasn't doing something right. Having done a program in holistic studies a few years before, I really thought I was one of the misfits of the planet since I just couldn't find my niche. Everyone else seemed to have gotten into something and be progressing nicely. Not me. I just kept reading, searching, and coming up blank.
I muddled along. One summer afternoon in work I suddenly couldn't breath and felt like I was going to black out. I managed to call another office but unfortunately, the nurse I wanted to talk to was busy. I hung up the phone and the feeling passed. I brushed it off as something crazy like momentary sick building syndrome figuring the lack of fresh air combined with my sensitivity to fumes probably overcame me. Labor Day weekend 1994 gave me a hint that something was amiss. I was at my family's annual block party and was feeling wheezy. Having been asthmatic all of my life, I lived on inhalers. So I puffed away. As the day went on and grew hotter, I started to lose my steam. I managed to put on a good face and as the evening went on, I managed to call it a day and go home. By this time, I was having difficulty breathing and decided I would contact my physician when I returned to work. I had gotten through these before and figured I was probably tired coupled with early fall allergies and a possible end of summer cold.
The weeks went by uneventfully. Of course, when I went to the doctor's I was fine so the event was indeed just an end of summer thing.
On September 20th, I had a pretty normal day at work. I was feeling a little tired and blamed this on the rigorous walk I took the night before. I was a pro at finding something to blame. It was a beautifully warm Tuesday evening, and I was preparing to do my Tuesday night thing. I would gather my laundry to take to my sister's, visit with my nieces and baby nephew, and meet the gang at the club for our line-dance night. I would never make my dance gig. I went to my sister's, did my laundry and played with the kids. I even took Maggie, their cocker, out for a walk. During this time, I started to tighten up so out came my trusty inhaler. It helped but not much so I decided I'd skip the smoky club (even though it wasn't crowded, there were a few chain smokers who managed to keep that cloud hovering). I went home and started undoing my laundry. While folding towels and sheets, I really started to tighten up. I took a pill along with a few more hits from the inhaler and waited for it to take. As the moments passed, I started to feel worse.
I called my doctor's office to tell them I was having problems and would come into the emergency room for treatment. I left a message if he would call with orders. I then called my dad to have his friend take me downtown. While waiting for him to walk the few blocks, I started to feel worse and panic. A few months prior my physician had given me a Epi-Pen in case I ever got in real trouble. I was pacing like a caged lion. I decided to use the injection. I got more agitated and paced even more. By this time my father had arrived and I insisted we wait outside. The time was approximately 8:35 pm.
I grabbed his arm and we started down the first set of steps. When we reached the landing, I started to lose my peripheral vision. All the while, however, I was gasping and chattering away. The rest of the physical story is as related to me by my dad. I continued to cling to him as we walked down the second set of steps. When we reached the pavement, he said I started mumbling and pulling him into the middle of the street. At this point, I was engulfed in total blackness and figured I was running on stored energy. He said I dragged him into the street and planted my feet. He couldn't drag me back to the safety of the pavement.
Suddenly, he felt my body go limp and I fainted to the street as he caught me. He tried to drag me out of harms way but I was deadweight. Since it was a balmy evening and some of the neighbors were sitting on their patios, they witnessed this scene and called 911. Screaming for help, some of them came down to help my dad get me out of the way. I wouldn't budge. He kept my head off the street and said I was heaving air and my eyes were rolling around. My muscles were limp and heavy and at this point, my body had shut down. I had completely evacuated my body contents. I was in trouble. At this point, a crowd had begun to gather.
The first to arrive on the scene was a fire truck. The fireman intubated me on the street. The paramedics arrived, did whatever blood work they do to determine if drugs are involved and began life support. Calls were put into the hospital notifying them of our pending arrival. However, it took over forty minutes to get me stable to transport, not to mention to move me onto a stretcher and into the truck. In the meantime, my physician had been calling my house very concerned because I had not arrived at the hospital in town. Due to my unstable condition, the paramedics would take me to the closest hospital to my home, a Catholic hospital just a few miles away.
I met many angels that night, some in human form who stayed with me until medical help arrived. No one saw them come or where they went. They never saw their faces. But they coaxed me to hold on.
My journey begins. I was comfortably wafting along a black tunnel, no specific direction since I had no body to gauge and noticed it was a blackness like I had never seen. It was full of love and joy and peace and just nurtured me along. Waves just came over me and gently guided me along. I was overcome by the love that surrounded me and that I could return the feeling.
At some point, a being came along and took me on a tour of the universe. I had instilled in me, creation and how the galaxies were created. I got to visit places that were advanced beyond comprehension, and yet see places that are just starting out! I was met with such love and compassion that I could care what was going on to my human transporter. While the paramedics continued to work on me and get me ready for transport, I was too busy playing on a star and meeting my Maker! It never concerned me there were no bodies, and fear was not in my vocabulary. Things were assimilated instantly and within that instant, knowledge was completely consumed. These beings were not male or female. Since there is no way to measure time, I have no idea how long this went on. I was shown and told things unimaginable.
Each time the beings were through with me, I would be back in the tunnel, floating along, only to be met by other beings. At some point I noticed a shining pinpoint of light. I floated towards it. Suddenly, a large being, gray in color, blocked my path. I couldn't get over it, around it or through it. I remember trying and trying to no avail. Finally I asked it to let me pass. It very kindly said no. I again asked. It again said no. Being a little feisty on the earth plane, I ordered it to move and tried to shove it aside. No luck. The Being, who I called God, told me I had to go back to complete my mission.
Back on earth, doctors and nurses were feverishly working on me. My vital signs were dangerously low, it was unknown how much oxygen I had lost and if there was any brain damage. Since my pupils were fixed and they could not elicit any response, the doctor went into the room where my parents and sister were to tell them he didn't know how much longer I would hold on, and he would leave them alone to discuss funeral arrangements.
At the same time, I was completing my incredible journey, and my spirit returned to my body. At this moment, I came up off the table and slugged a nurse - so hard that they thought I either broke her jaw or gave her a concussion. I can't imagine my strength at that time! They actually thought I was trying to pull the tube out of my throat when I know it was my spirit re-entering my body. According to my medical record, this occurred at 1:05 am.
When I woke up, I had no idea where I was, what day it was, what time it was - nothing. My family was gathered around me, along with some friends, my boss and the doctors and nurses. At the same time I woke up, I could feel the 'knowledge' instilled in me being masked. I knew it was there, but I could not access it. My family members were hysterical to say the least. I tried to reach out to them but I was tied down due to my 'violent' behavior. My sister filled me in on what had occurred with my hitting a nurse and all I could do was shake with laughter.
Also at this time, I had no idea how small I was - I thought I filled the room! I thought I was floating!! We 'talked' with my giving sign language and I assured them I was fine. Shortly after this a nurse came in to ask me questions to see if there was brain damage. I grabbed the pen and paper and wrote the answers to her questions before she asked - like my name, address, social security number - heck I even wrote my computer password at work. My boss picked up that I was ok and delicately told the nurse to leave me alone, I was fine. (My boss at that time was a surgical oncologist.) Undaunted, she continued to ask, so I started to write nursery rhymes. She then left.
The doctors were in and out of the room to see how I was doing and amazed that I was alive, much less not brain damaged. I finally convinced my family to leave, that I was ok. The nurse who I slugged came to see me with an ice pack on her cheek. She was quite jovial considering what I had done. She indicated that this behavior was normal when someone comes back to their body. At this point I started to wonder what had occurred.
I had many visits that evening from deceased relatives telling me I was going to be ok.
Over the course of the next few weeks it came back to me that I was here on a mission - but what was it? I went to the bookstore and stood in front of the new age section and asked to please show me a book that will help me realize what I had been through. Immediately a book jumped off the shelves and fell to my feet - an NDE book by Barbara Harris. Thus begins my journey.
My mission, I later found out, was to come back and love, to help people not fear death. I was told 'you haven't loved enough'. This came through the guidance of a wonderful Seattle FOI (Friends of IANDS) support group member who counseled me over the phone. He told me to ask the universe what my mission was - my answer was stated above. I thought that was the coolest thing! Since that time I haven't stopped. It isn't easy most days carrying this miracle, wishing to be 'home'. But I know I'm here for a reason, as we all are. And the pains of humanity can be unbearable sometimes. There is so much more to tell!
Date NDE Occurred: 9/20/1994
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness respiratory failure Life threatening event, but not clinical death Respiratory failure.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I knew I was total love - spirit form. I could not relate to a physical form.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Unconscious.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Actually I had no sense of time!
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Kind of a whoosh/buzz.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes It was velvety black and I slowly floated along. Hands along either side went from side to side and this motion moved me along.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No I remember meeting two sets of maybe three. I didn't know them and all communication was infused. The first group took me on a tour of the universe - past, present and future. The second group gave me universal knowledge. The third being was God who sent me back.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Very faint pinprick of light at the end of a vast tunnel.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm From what I remember, and it's very selective, I remember visiting what I thought was Atlantis/Crystal City. It was incredible. I remember it having a pink hue and being far ahead of us in its technology. I remember visiting places that were just coming into existence, and some that were on various planes of evolution. I remember being 'told' that some things scientists believe, like black holes and some physics laws are not quite correct.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe See parts of responses above. When I awoke I could actually feel the knowledge 'drain' out of me. I remember pushing into the bed to keep that feeling but it just flowed away. I remember strange stuff, like things related to weather - that what is considered weird weather patterns is just the planet trying to 'right' itself. I remember having religious questions answered, and knowing why I always felt uncomfortable in catholic school. Not that what I learned is wrong, it just isn't quite right. I remember being told things would be ok, that things have to occur. I always remember what I felt was an in-depth 'conversation' about free will and learning that we all have choices and things that happen, both positive and negative, come out of those choices and they have to be.
Sometimes the universal knowledge pops into my head as things occur in the world. For instance, I remember SOME physics data, and when the info about a black hole in our galaxy hit the papers last week, I remember blurting out spontaneously it's about time they figured that one out. Of course everyone looked at me like I was nuts and I just shrugged my shoulders and said 'old news'. Stuff like that happens a lot.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I didn't remember this part upon awakening. The flashes and feelings/symbolism sometimes 'come back to me' hours, days or weeks before the event.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Jeez - lots. For instance, and I'll keep things short, I know that God isn't some meanie that sits on a throne with a big book and when we die checks off our names and sends us to either the heaven or hell line. I know that 'judgment day' is our life review. I've become a softer person, go more with the flow (although some days it just ain't real easy!). I could go on and on.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes For me, words don't express the depth of feeling.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes They were more amplified.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? There are a lot of bests. Realizing we all have a purpose in life and what we do with it is up to us. Realizing there really, really is a God and spirit beings that are with us all the time. Realizing there is more to life way beyond the physical.
Worst part is that they saved me. Worst part is that I had no choice and had to come back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Usually if I'm with someone for some strange and unforeseen reason (at least on a physical plane) the conversation gets around to death and dying, what it's like, etc. It's usually at this time I feel a nudge to share whatever is needed at the time. Sometimes people are spooked by it yet most times people are so thirsty for information they want more. Most feel comfort in knowing there is something more.
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? There is so much to say yet I find myself repeating a lot, grasping for words to express the feelings.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? This is a great questionnaire and a great exercise for an experiencer to go through. I really am thankful that someone let me know about it - it's like a mini-retreat!