I had suffered pain for months and was trying to make it through the holidays before going to the doctor. When I finally went, he had me go through ultrasounds and testing, determining that I was experiencing the passing of gall stones, and scheduled me for surgery for removal. Before surgery, I was in the hall on a gurney, waiting to be wheeled into the surgery suite. I was extremely cold, and a warmed blanket was placed on me.
I do not remember anything else until I woke up in the recovery room. My eyes had goop in them to keep them from drying out during surgery and I couldn't open them. I had cottonmouth and I had a nasal tube delivering oxygen. My arms were tucked under my body. I tried to speak but was unable to do so.
I then left my body and 'floated' to the ceiling at the opposite side of the room. I remember the very large clock, which was white with black numbers and hands. I have since forgotten the time, but for years, I could remember the exact second hand placement. I sat next to the clock. I didn't sit on anything; I was just floating.
I was enveloped in a warm happy wonderful glow of unconditional love and total peace. I felt the glow of the light surrounding me and could see a pinpoint of light off to my side. It was like this is where the source was. I felt it more than anything, knowing it was a glow of love and acceptance more than anything else. I knew that I was either close to death, or on my way. I knew that dying was indeed something not to fear, and that I would be at peace when I did die. I was so happy. Having been depressed most of my life; I couldn't believe the bath of unconditional love. I looked down at myself lying in the bed and I could still feel the oxygen on my nostrils, the goop in my eyes, and the cottonmouth.
I saw the nurse come over to me, and gently rub my shoulder, moving it a bit, and saying, 'it is time to wake up, Kathi.' She struggled to wake me up, and after several attempts, realized that she could not do so. I was feeling unsure as to whether I would be brought back or not. The peace I was experiencing was so comfortable, but knowing I may not go back brought an uncomfortable sense I am unable to describe.
I then watched as she paged for the Doctor and called a code. I do not recall what the code was. I was too focused on watching the medical staff in a flurry of activity, trying to revive me. The nurses were washing my eyes and placing ice chips in my mouth, and undoing my arms from the swaddling they had placed me in. They spoke in hushed tones, but I could sense the urgency and concern.
The doctor then came in, and pushed me back and forth by the shoulders. In a very large voice, he said, 'Kathi, it is time to come back. We need you to wake up now.' He said that a couple of times, and then said, 'Kathi, you have to come back, you have 2 little girls that need their mommy and would be heartbroken if you were to leave now.' I then jolted awake, back in the bed. I feel that doctor had a sense of the life that lie before me, knew my girls would need me, and brought me back.
Date NDE Occurred: Jan 1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related. I had undergone gall bladder removal surgery.
I was 'brought' back in the recovery room. I had left my body and watched from above, and the medical staff had a difficult time reviving me.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I watched what was happening in the recovery room; every detail. When I asked about it later, it was dismissed as a dream by the medical staff. I could tell by their expressions they were shocked by my account. I doubted it at first, but the memory was too vivid, and my entire being had changed from within.
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 I always questioned why humans are born, why they endure their lives, just to die. I felt there had to be more, and was never settled with what religion had given me. During my experience, I knew not to fear death. I became filled with a sense of calm and no worry, unconditional love, total and complete, and no judgment.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was totally aware the whole time. I believe that when I noticed the clock and the warmth of the glow, I was at the highest level.
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
I saw the time on the clock, but lost all sense of time. It appeared that the medical staff was concerned, like it had been too long, but I had no sense of time 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, everything was very vivid, sharp and precise. I only remember the very warm blanket beforehand. With the passing of time, some of the details (like the placement of the hands of the clock) have diminished, but the feeling will remain forever.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember too much about my hearing differentiated. I remember the doctors voice, and the strength and control of it. I remember the hushed voices of the nurses. But my sense of what was happening was the most vivid sense I had.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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? Yes I felt it and felt as though I were basking in it. It was indescribable.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt complete and utter bliss, unconditional love and acceptance, no judgment towards me, or me towards anything. I just was. I felt incredibly happy, until I saw my body. Then I was totally confused and bewildered as to what was going to happen next.
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 I knew I was one with everything and every being on the planet, and of the universe, and of those who had passed away before me.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? 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 I feel like I made the decision to return, with the prompting of the doctor. I wasn't asked to return, the doctor 'jarred' me back to life.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths I had always searched out religion, going to any church that would accept me. I was a reborn Christian in high school, and after marriage, joined the Lutheran church and was baptized with my first daughter. My daughters and I stayed with the Lutheran church until I had the experience. I then attended every church in Casper, searching for answers.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I know there is a higher power whether it is a 'God' or not, I do not know. I know the higher power is one with us all, and that is where my spirituality lies.
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 I firmly believe in one universe, and that the holy spirit is presented to each of us in a manner that we are able to comprehend.
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 I always struggled with the question of there has to be more, and I was unsure, but now know, that unconditional love and acceptance is mine. I was enlightened to the universe and the oneness of us all - I was not aware of this possibility until my experience
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? No
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 The universe is one, and we all make up the supreme being.
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? Uncertain The universe is one, and we all make up the supreme being.
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 not meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
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 definitely exists Yes I knew/felt that we all continue on, and to trust that. I was not given details as to what that will be, but that I will be basked in unconditional love and all judgments will cease to exist.
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? Are not meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes I was enveloped with unconditional love, and knew from the experience on, that that was to be how I should live. It is our essence. Also, to strive to be non judgmental in everyday life.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I was enveloped with unconditional love, and knew from the experience on, that that was to be how I should live. It is our essence.
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 I have vivid dreams/visions (both when I am awake and asleep) of events; both future and current time.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I do not worry like I used to, as I know all will develop and happen as it needs to. I try to love unconditionally and in a state of truth.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I don't feel that words could ever explain the depth and completeness of what I experienced. I have told people in my life, and each time I struggle to reach the right height.
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 suffered terribly with depression before the surgery, so was in a fog. My memory was day to day. After the experience, I could remember it vividly. I then sunk into a deep depression and was medicated for a year. It was a full year, and I knew I needed to get well, as being medicated, I could not remember anything, and I so desperately needed to be present in my life and remember my experience.
I weened myself off the meds (trazadone) and read every self help book I could get my hands on. I began dabbling with yoga, and going to every church/religious experience I could to affirm what had happened to me during my experience.
I did not find anyone who accepted my story (people thought I was loony) so I stopped telling my story. A few select people have heard it over the years.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I had visions/dreams before the event, so I am unsure as to whether I have them more now, or if I am just more aware of them, and accepting of them.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The whole event is tremendously meaningful. It brought peace to my soul.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I immediately said something to the medical staff. They dismissed it just as quickly, leaving me wondering. I shared it with a few people, and was thought to be loony. After many years, I share it now with those who accept it. If I share, and they don't believe or think I am 'loony', I know that they are not ready for the knowledge, and pray to the universe that they be allowed to gain this awareness.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I just knew what I saw in the media. I was doubtful, but open. I don't know how it affected or if it affected my experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it was real. Others tried to discourage and discount. I always knew it was real, and tried to convince others, but realized most often that I couldn't. I held it within and now try to live in the truth.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I try to live in the truth. I have had too many visions, and too many people cross my path that proved to me it is true; proven by actions and love, not with words.
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? No