It was my first time at the ocean at age seven and a day after a hurricane had been out at sea, warnings posted to swim at own risk and warnings also on radio. I was with my best friend and her family on the beach and they said we could go swimming. I was sucked out by the undertow and pulled under. I swam for my life, but my body was hitting hard against the sandy bottom. Even my face pounded into it, I couldn't make it to the top and I couldn't hold my breath any longer and I remember the terror as I inhaled the cold salt water into my lungs, the pain, and I was still being thrown against the sandy bottom, beaten until I gave up. I just gave up, it hurt too much to live another second and suddenly, and I simply left my body. No one could have been more surprised than me. Instant pain relief is the first thing I felt.
Then I began soaring very fast and I was filled with joy and relief to be free of my body, never realized what a pain in the neck our bodies really were, so frail, so confining, so limiting. I knew I would never go back to it now that I had experienced this freedom. I knew all these things suddenly - what life was all about, how humans were living with all the wrong ideals. I was filled with pity for them, that they fought so hard for things and survival, they suffered so, out of ignorance and greed and it was really so simple to be happy (except for the body confinement issue) and that their time on earth was a millisecond compared to eternity.
However, I worried about my mother also and suddenly I was thinking to others and they were thinking back at me. They said I had to go back and I cried and said no, I wouldn't. That they had to make my mom understand somehow that I was much better off now and she shouldn't worry but they insisted I go back, that my mother needed me, others needed me, I had to heal others. Again, I said no (seven year olds are very selfish) and I meant it. I said I would go to my mother myself and tell her I was okay, that they had a way I could do that right? I began traveling towards my mother and suddenly I couldn't move anymore, they stopped me and they said no, there was no way to do that, I couldn't do that, that I had to go back. I began moving backwards, back to my body. When I hit it, I hit it like a ton of bricks, I hurt so badly, and people were yelling in panic, a life guard was forcing water out of my lungs, I was all beat up from the ocean floor. I don't remember being pulled from the water or how I got on shore I just knew it was very unpleasant. I was soooo sorry to be back. And I will never forget this experience so long as I live.
Also, I neglected to explain every conversation was via telepathy of some kind. We were all souls. And though they were very firm about my going back, they were loving, concerned, wonderful souls and I felt a sense of pity from one of them that I must go back (my grandmother?). I asked them if I would remember this upon my return and they assured me I would. That I must. There was also no sense of time where I was, for eternity was all we knew. I was very angry when I was revived.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1970
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other drowned. I drowned.
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 Immediately after I left my body, soaring very fast through some cloudy corridor or tunnel.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Immediately after I left my body, soaring very fast through some cloudy corridor or tunnel.
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 I was definitely not here anymore, time was irrelevant and I was definitely in a different space, certainly not on earth anymore and was moving very fast through, possibly a tunnel, a big tunnel with clouds in it.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? It was neither light nor dark, almost like no vision at all but a feeling of soaring very fast, incredibly fast, toward something - safe and wonderful, tunnel possibly (uncertain) but clouds all around me.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I heard nothing; I sensed sayings or thoughts from others.
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 moving very fast, soaring but I couldn't see where I was going, just knew I was going somewhere wonderful, seeing was not relevant to me during this experience, I didn't care. I knew I was safe. Possibly I was in a tunnel with clouds all around or heavy fog.
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? Uncertain Things were conveyed to me and there was a brief struggle which I lost, they (I sensed more than one) told me I must go back and I cried and said I didn't want to, I wanted to stay with them but they gently conveyed to me my mother would never survive without me, I must go back.
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? Uncertain Grey and white clouds soaring around me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was not of this earth, possibly a different level or dimension, at age seven, I was certain I was in route to heaven, nearing heaven and in a big hurray
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Elation, joy, pity for humankind for their ignorance, their senseless struggles, relief, calmness, peace.
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
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future They told me I had a purpose still to be fulfilled. That people needed me and I had no choice, I had to go back but I did not understand what my future responsibilities were other than they said my mother could never survive without me and that many would not make it to heaven if I didn't go back.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes They stopped me. They told me that I had to go back, it wasn't my time yet, people needed me, I hadn't finished and I cried and said no, I want to stay here - I even asked if I could just go back to my mother and tell her not to cry, that I was much better off here but they said no.
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 Lutheran
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was a Christian then and I am now. However, it is easier to keep the faith since that incident and know God is with me, even when I don't understand stuff. Nothing could convince me there is no God as a result of that incident.
What is your religion now? Moderate Lutheran
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was a Christian then and I am now. However, it is easier to keep the faith since that incident and know God is with me, even when I don't understand stuff. Nothing could convince me there is no God as a result of that incident.
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
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 That was the most amazing part of all. There was a feeling of all knowingness and purpose. It was as if I finally understood everything and wanted to share it with all humans, how wonderful death was, that humans were struggling for all the wrong things, that love was all that mattered, possessions meant nothing, remember Jesus' example and they could all be happy on earth as I was in heaven.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I serve instead of expecting to be served. I forgive, love, and don't think the effort would have been made were it not for that experience and the knowledge that that's all that really matters. I look after others wellbeing at least as much as my own and I actually love doing it.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was only seven years old and it was very difficult for me to explain the experience, I told no one of it until I was much older.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes No longer afraid of death. Feel closer to God. My faith is much stronger as a result of dying that day.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The joy, the peace, the knowledge, things a seven year old could never conceive of.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I was too young to understand or explain what had happened so I said only 'I drowned, it was wild.' I was much older when I first attempted to explain it to others. Only religious people were interested. Now, in my profession, I share it all the time with my patients and their families to help them find peace and overcome their fears. Perhaps that is why they made me come back? To be a nurse and tend to others and take care of my mother who has had a stroke.
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. Again, these are the kinds of things, especially the knowledge and understanding, a seven year old could never conceive of. I knew God's angels that day and have never forgotten.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Same as above though I'm still a little peeved they didn't let me stay. (Still selfish after all these years.)
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? It was wonderful, I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I would like people to stop telling people like me that it was the result of oxygen deficiency to the brain, etc., giving me some kind of high. Oxygen deficiency doesn't give a seven year old the understandings of a forty year old.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think you did just fine.