I was in childbirth with my second child, a girl as it turned out. During labor, towards the end, I had the urge to push and the nurse asked me what was I doing? It was as if she was very upset at me. I said 'I'm having a baby, what do you think I'm doing?' She said I was not ready, and then checked me, and my baby was already on the way out! She called the doctor to get there as soon as possible while she did things to get ready. I was really dizzy and thought it was due to childbirth, while in actuality it was due to the bleeding that was happening inside of me from my cervix tearing in half. Later I realized that this was the reason for so much pain, more than I had ever had in my life, and much more than with my first child. The doctor arrived within about five minutes. He got ready and, with urgency, I said to him, 'I'm fading out Doctor, I'm fading out!'
I had the sensation of floating backwards, like my body was being laid down in some water. I was very warm and comfortable. Then I would be having another contraction and would feel pulled back up. The doctor had to use a vacuum extractor to pull the baby out, not because she was too big, but because I was passing out and I could not push her out on my own. All the while, I kept letting the doctor know that I was fading out. Then she was born and I looked at her with joy and happiness beyond belief! She was so beautiful! They took her away from me to take care of her in the little room next door, and everyone, including my husband, left me to go with them.
At this point, I went out of my body. I felt so warm and surrounded by total love, compassion and a pureness that is hard to put into words. It was unconditional love, but it was more than that. I felt loved and warm and like I was being held and told that I was loved no matter what. When my husband came back into the room, my body was ice-cold and white as a sheet. I could sense him there and I could hear everything. He thought I was dead and I was trying to communicate with him, 'I'm fine! There is nothing wrong!' I thought he could hear me. He squeezed my hand and said, 'Squeeze my hand, Julia, just squeeze my hand!' He was very upset, and I did not understand why, as I thought I WAS squeezing his hand. But he told me later that I had not moved or said anything, and he had truly thought I was dead.
He ran to get the doctor, and told him, 'There is something wrong with my wife!' The doctor came into the room, and at the mere sight of me, all cold and white, he started yelling at the nurses. 'Fluids, fluids, wide open. Get blood, get blood, get a pressure, get a pulse, is there a pulse!!!' I could see them from a place a bit distant from my body, like I was floating in the room. I had a sense of everything that was happening. It did not occur to me that I was dying, as at this point I was not yet a nurse. If I had already been a nurse, I would have known that this was an emergency. I just felt so good and did not want to go back into that body that was cold, white, and dead. It didn't seem to belong to me.
Yet I knew it did, and it WAS ME they were working on so hard to bring back. I heard someone else talking to me, though I could not see them. I knew it was the presence of, or the feeling of, God. God was telling me that it was not my time to come to this beautiful, loving place that I was sensing. God was letting me know that I had two young children to take care of and that I needed to go back to my body. I didn't want to go and was so very saddened by this. I wanted to stay in the presence of this all-encompassing love, yet I knew that I loved my children and that they needed a mother to take care of them. I was so torn, I did not want to go back, but I felt pushed back down or nudged. 'Go, little one, go back, it's not time!'
I was so sad and I woke up a day later in this painful, cold and tired body, barely aware of the fact that I had even had a baby. I asked my husband what had happened to me. He recounted the facts just as I had heard them and then he was so amazed when he found out that I had seen, heard and felt everything.
I told him of my experience and we both continued to be very amazed. Ever since, I have been searching for people like me. I felt sad and alone afterward. I thought that if I told anyone, people would not believe me or they would think I was crazy. I started searching for information on death and returning from death. I wanted to know if this had happened to other people, too. At that time there was not very much information available, however, now there is. I used to think about maybe being able to go back there if my children could come too, like if we were all in an accident or something. It was the most beautiful experience I had ever had in my life. But at the same time, I also had learned that life is sacred and something not to be taken for granted. I knew to love other people unconditionally and other life, too. I could feel the trees moving in the breeze and the sun on the flowers, and knew that everything had its place here; even the ants that I used to hate so much have a place in the circle of life. Yet my yearning for the other place has never stopped. It will be twenty-six years on the 26th of this month, and I am still here.
Date NDE Occurred: 12/26/1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was given too much medicine to help bring on labor, as my baby was late. I eventually did stop bleeding after four days and did not need more surgery.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes It was as I described above, I could see everyone working on me, my husband holding my hand, then standing back as they worked. This was all verified by my husband, and the doctor, too, after I talked with him later.
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 Everything was clear, really clear. Here things are blurred or blocked somehow. Like looking through murky water.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was watching everyone work on my body and the feeling of all-encompassing love and warmth!
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
There was no time. Time did not exist at all.
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. During the experience, I was seeing very clearly, though my eyes were closed, so it is hard to call it 'vision.'
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Extremely sensitive. I could hear everything! And I could hear more than one conversation at the same time.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain There was a short time of some darkness, then I was seeing everything that was happening to me. It did not seem like a tunnel, though. It was bright after that.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain Not sure. I was concentrating on the feelings more.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place I'm not sure where I was. I was aware of everything all at once and the all-encompassing feeling of love, pure love. More of a sensing, not a seeing. I was not in my body though, but I thought I was in the room, however, I am not sure.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Extreme bliss and also sadness at having to return, even though I knew I needed to.
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 Everything made sense. There is a God, God is love, we are love and love creates all that is.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I used to think there was a heaven and a hell. I don't think that anymore. I just know there is God and that God is pure love and that we are a part of that.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age There is now no faith that encompasses how I feel regarding life after death or what God is to me since my experience, so I have my own faith that comes from within myself. I talk to God, God talks to me, that is all I need.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes No death penalty. Do not cause harm. Be compassionate and loving towards all people, even murderers or child molesters, for they are made from pure love as well.
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 I heard what I felt was the presence of pure love. This is very hard to describe. I have always thought it was God.
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? Yes Yes, because I was connected to the people in the room who were working on me, that my baby needed me, that my husband was worried and upset.
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 Yes, because this pure love was speaking to me.
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 To love, to express myself from a place of pure love, as God was with me, a part of me and I am part of God. To remember to treat everyone as God would.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
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 Definately an afterlife and that it was not my time to go there. It consists of pure unconditional love and pure bliss or pure love.
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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Yes My body did not look like a fun place to be, however, I knew I needed to go back to it for the sake of my children. I came back out of pure love.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Yes, yes, yes! It was all pure love, God is love and everything exists because of the pure unconditional love. I was surrounded by pure love, when I was so cold and in pain, then I was so warm and comforted.
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 To respect all forms of life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am much more compassionate towards others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I tried above to explain, though there are really not words to describe the feelings of bliss? Nirvana? Very hard to put words to those feelings.
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 this event better than any other thing that has ever happened to me. It's like it was just yesterday.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I feel people's emotions and sometimes more. Through various forms of reading, for example, reading a person's palm or tealeaf reading, coffee reading, or sometimes just a feeling that I will get if I am concentrating on them, I can see people's pasts and what is to come for them in the future.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? That one day it will be my time to go back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Besides my husband, I did not share this with anyone for many years. Yes, when I shared it, people were influenced, as they had a better understanding of what happens when we die. It was my total lack of fear, I believe, that helped some of the people I have taken care of to have less fear, themselves, of the dying process.
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 It felt more like reality than this does.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Same as above.
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 husband died on July 21st, 2006. He had cancer and came to me in a dream to tell me it was his time. Before he died, we talked a lot about how he had saved my life and now I could be here for him at the end of his. We also talked about what it will be like where he is going, and I would explain again and again to him of the beauty and the all-encompassing love that he will soon feel and that he is only passing to another dimension and will still be right here. He knew deep inside that it was true and told me that he was not afraid. With all this information I had been given, I was ok with his going, however, I did ask him many times not to go, knowing I would miss him greatly. Also, I wished I could change places with him and I had envy that he was getting to go and I was to stay here. My belief system has been greatly changed since my own experience and then the loss of my husband. I now understand that there is no set religion which is the 'right' way to see things. There is only the truth of God, with many a path to get there. My path is within me. I tried to go to church again right afterwards and found everything to seem wrong, so I stopped going. I am still waiting to go back to that place where I was at the time of my death. I look forward to it each and every day. 'So it was for my children that I returned here,' I think to myself, as I reflect about what was told to me while I was there. Also, I had a new purpose in life after my experience and that was to become a nurse so that I could help other people to see that there is no reason to be afraid of death. I would show them that it is just a door that we pass through into another dimension that is full of love that surrounds you and becomes you. I feel that in my twenty years of nursing, I have helped many people. I have shared my experience with some of my patients who were dying and saw the relief on their faces as they 'got' it. This makes me happy for what I have gone through in this life. I don't know when it will be my turn, but I am forever grateful for the experience and have no fear of death whatsoever, for I know what awaits us. I feel now that God is everywhere and in everything, though I am still waiting to go home. Yes, I felt I was at home there.