I went for minor surgery on April 22, 1998. I had a cyst on one of my ovaries, due to endometriosis [med: Endometriosis: a disorder in which cells from the lining of the uterus attach to other areas inside the abdomen and at times grow and bleed, causing pain and other problems.] Because the operation (they were planning a laparoscopy) [med: laparoscopy: A surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly. It is used in diagnoses and surgical procedures.] I was planned for the end of the day, I had to stay overnight.
On the morning following the operation, I woke up in a lot of pain. 'My' doctor wasn't in, so it was an assistant who misdiagnosed a lung embolism. I questioned how that could possibly have happened during the last twenty-four hours. They gave me morphine. I became more ill with every passing hour. Only at the end of the day, when the results of the lung-scan came in and they found that it wasn't an embolism, and my belly was as swollen as if I were six months pregnant, they became alarmed. At a certain state (I could hardly speak anymore, I was in so much pain) I thought, 'If they don't do something about this, I'll die!' I was very calm and remarkably clear. I didn't want to die at all, with two children, one and two years old, at home. They discovered it was internal bleeding. I was rushed to the operating room. I remember I asked the anesthetist to pay extra attention and be especially careful.
Next morning as I came round, I noticed I was receiving a blood transfusion and there were a couple of doctors, standing by my bed. I could see the shock on their faces. They told me I had to be resuscitated, and they had to drain three to five liters of blood from my abdomen. But they were all relieved I was still around. I complained of continued pain, now in the left side of my abdomen. They said it was probably from 'the shock.' In two days, when they took me off the heavy painkillers, the pain was excruciating. I stayed for two weeks in hospital and I kept having this same pain. At home, I didn't get better.
After a week, I became so very ill, that I was thinking, 'Just let me go.'
In my mind, I kept going over this pleasant 'memory' of the time I had the emergency surgery on April 23 when I was under anesthesia (that's what I attributed the feelings to the anesthesia). 'Such soothing images!' I kept thinking. On May 8, I was rushed to hospital again; it turned out that during the emergency surgery on April 23, while they were repairing the site of the bleeding, they had stitched closed the urethra of my left kidney, too, and it was almost bursting. I can't remember much, but they put an external drain in the kidney and I was in the intensive care unit for four days. After that, I was hard at work getting better. My kidney had been saved, but just barely. I had a lot of operations after that, too, and it took me two years to recover.
I kept having this feeling of what I can best describe as 'homesickness.' Doctors thought I was depressed and they even diagnosed me with PTSD. Then I read an article about NDEsùand I cried because it described the images I still had, and the feeling of 'homesickness' that went with them. After three years, I finally knew what I had experienced. The following is what I experienced during my two NDEs.
The first NDE:
During the operation of April 23, I was aware of a hugely intense feeling of love and compassion. I traveled through a kind of tunnel. Time didn't exist, and I found myself at a 'gate,' together with three figures. One of them, I recognized as my grandmother, whom I knew was alive at the time. The other two were other kinds of beings, human-like, but I couldn't identify them. The feeling of harmony, love, and goodness was overwhelming. At one point, we were 'told' we weren't allowed to pass yet and had to 'go back.' It wasn't communicated in words, exactly, though. We were both reluctant. I 'went back,' but my grandmother stayed. The next day, my husband told me that my grandmother had a stroke and was unconscious and in very serious condition. 'I already knew', I said.
The Second NDE:
On the May 9, the doctors saved my life by inserting a drain in my kidney. When I woke up after four days, I had felt a kind of terrible sadness. It was horrible in the hospital, but whenever I closed my eyes and dozed off, I could bring back the overwhelming feeling of love and harmony. Indescribable! Again, I remember traveling through time and space, until I came to the gate. I vividly remember how intensely I was looking forward to it. My grandmother was still there. Words were not exactly spoken; it was more a communication of 'knowing.' It was in a totally different dimension. The two beings were there, too. The light was blindingly beautiful and all encompassing. It's difficult to find words, but, as I seek them in my memories, tears are in my eyes. Then suddenly they let me know 'It is not your turn yet.' I remember vividly how I reached out for my grandmother, and her 'energy' touched me and became a sort of lacy string of light. She went through the gate and, still with this tremendous feeling of love, the beings sent me back. When I came round after four days in the intensive care unit, my family told me that my grandmother had died May 9. But I already knew. I tried to tell them how I knew, but obviously, they thought I was hallucinating.
Date NDE Occurred: 'April 23, and May 9, 1998'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Due to post-operative abdominal bleeding, this was not diagnosed in time.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal That's difficult to describe. It was a sort of 'knowing.'
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the 'gate.'
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. Very clear, in the way of essentially 'seeing.'
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was not hearing as we hear 'in an earthly state.' It was like 'inner' hearing. No words were actually spoken, no sounds as we experience them. It was a sort of overall 'knowing.'
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I traveled through darkness to a 'gate.' I could see an unearthly light there.
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? Yes My grandmother. She had a severe stroke during my first experience, and actually died during my second one.
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The darkness in front of the gate wasn't disturbing. It was a kind of 'natural', logical, almost. Even in the darkness, the light mingled in. I can't find words for it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Overwhelming love and harmony, one-ness with everything (universe?)
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 myself or others I find it difficult to say if I actually understood 'everything.' It was more a sense of 'knowing.'
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Unknown
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Unknown
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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 It confirmed my beliefs in regarding the world and all that lives on it with love and compassion
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am convinced that being compassionate toward everybody and everything will make the change.
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 Two beings, no voice.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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 I am convinced that 'passing' (dying) can be a very beautiful experience. In a way becoming part of a whole.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain If there is a purpose, it must be love
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly 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? Are possibly 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? Uncertain Love
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes It was mainly love. That's what it was all about.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I feel protected. Moderate changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes There is more understanding and tolerance in them.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I can't find words for it.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It's part of my life
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain My intuition is more developed.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was mainly love. That's what it was all about. It confirmed my beliefs regarding the world, and all that lives in it, with love and compassion. The experience is part of my life now.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Three years after the experiences. It happened to be someone close-by. He was the first who was interested and had read about it. I do not talk about it, I just try to 'send' the feelings of harmony/love/understanding to everyone I meet. Sometimes it is 'picked-up' by them consciously, but I think it mingles in with their consciousness anyway, even if they are not aware of it.
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 has become a part of me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is still a part of me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes In times of difficulties, I can concentrate and bring back a 'dose' of the tremendously intense love I felt.
I sometimes have dreams that I am 'there,' which are very soothing.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? The knowledge that love is the answer to everything. I am convinced that 'passing' (dying) can be a very beautiful experience. It's a way of becoming part of a whole.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Perhaps a possibility of posting images, since I guess words can't describe exactly what we experience.