I had been bleeding occasionally all through my fifth pregnancy. At four an half months my water broke and, a week later, I started bleeding and went into labor. I was rushed to the hospital and started hemorrhaging. They did an emergency cesarean section, but that didn't stop the bleeding. I awoke to pain that was similar to, but worse than, labor pains. The pain was continual. I was so weak that I couldn't scream. I just kept repeating, 'Please let me go to sleep,' and 'Please give me something to stop the pain.' Every now and then, my doctor would tell me that they couldn't give me anything to put me to sleep or stop the pain because I was too weak. I had twenty-two pints of blood pumped into me in a couple of hours and I knew that I was in danger of dying because the priest had given me the last rites of the church. At that time, the sacrament was only administered to the dying or newly dead. Shortly after that, I had my near-death experience.
I seemed to be sitting up or standing and I was surrounded by a brilliant white fog. I felt a gentle breeze blowing on me. At that time, I felt the most wonderful peace that I have ever felt and I didn't have any fear. There wasn't any tunnel and I wasn't aware of my deceased relatives or anyone else, just the peace and euphoria. Then, suddenly, I was back in my body and the pain and low light of the hospital room came back as before.
At the time, 1965, I had never heard of a 'near death experience' but I was sure that that was what I had experienced. I told everyone about what had happened, but, of course, not having had the experience, they didn't really understand what I was talking about. Years later, I came across Dr. Moody's book 'Life After Life.' I discovered that there were other people that had had similar-but-different experiences than what I had. My experience wasn't as elaborate as theirs was. I wonder if it was because I was 'dead' for a shorter time. I might not have been clinically dead. There were no hook-ups for measuring heartbeat, blood pressure, etc. at that time. Even though it happened forty-five years ago, I will never forget this experience. The closest I've come to the feeling of peace that I had at that time, was when my father died in 1986. I was by his side holding his hand and it was as if he had just gone to sleep and wasn't feeling the pain anymore. After a while, I felt a similar kind of pervasive peace that I had felt before and I believe that happened as he was dying. The peace seemed to fill the room and I didn't want to leave but eventually I had to. My father seemed to be seeing my brother who had died previously and also my grandfather, my father's father-in-law who was deceased. Around that time, I had gone to the top of the Sears Building in Chicago. Even though there was a sign saying there was zero visibility, my son and I decided to go up anyway. We got out at a few floors on the way up and were able to get a good view of the city through the hallway windows. When we got to the top of the building and got out of the elevator, outside the windows on all sides was a white fog, part of the cloud that covered the top of the building. The fog wasn't as bright and it didn't fill the viewing room, but it was somewhat similar to the bright, white fog that I had seen during my NDE. Of course the peaceful feeling was also missing, but it helped me remember that scary night back in 1965.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December 19, 1965'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Hemorrhaging after cesarean section in childbirth.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was totally conscious for the whole time of the NDE. The consciousness didn't have different levels. The experience was totally different from dreaming or fainting. It was similar to being awake.
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
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. I couldn't see anything but the enveloping bright white fog.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't hear anything.
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? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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? Uncertain I was enveloped by a bright white fog but not a particular light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt like I was in the same place, but not lying down.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Incredible, over-powering peace and lack of fear.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
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
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? Moderate Roman Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate Roman Catholic
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Within a few weeks. Most didn't really seem to be affected by it. There was one person that I told thirty years later, and she seemed to be comforted by my experience.
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 as real as anything I ever experienced while awake.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The experience is still definitely real to me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes When my father died, I felt some of the same peace that I had experienced during my NDE.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The questionnaire is fine just the way it is.