My grandfather had been sick for quite some time before the event. He had been in the hospital every weekend for about three weeks prior as his lungs kept filling up with fluid and he would stop breathing. We had talked about whether or not he wanted to keep having his lungs pumped out repeatedly and he had told me that he was tired and wanted to go. The day this happened, my mother called me and said my grandmother had called her and said that my grandfather had again passed out from the fluid and she was hysterical. I went to my grandparents' home and realized that it was the same thing as before and what my grandfather had said. The ambulance had gotten there and I told them that they did not need to do anything to help my grandfather. I just wanted him to be taken to the hospital so that he did not die in the house as my grandmother could not have handled him dying there.
I went with him to the hospital in the ambulance and into the emergency room. We were put in a multi-bed room and the curtain was drawn. As I watched my grandfather struggle to breathe I realized that as a Catholic he could not say his final words to God and I started to pray asking God to let me be his voice so that my grandfather could tell God whatever he needed to. I wasn't really sure that this would work or what would happen but it just seemed to be the thing to do. As I started to pray, I asked God to allow my grandfather to use my voice to confess to him his sins and to ask God for his blessing. I began telling my grandfather that it was okay to let go and God would take care of him and to go toward God when I felt like I was being pulled toward a great bright light. Not a harsh light but a light filled with warmth and peace.
I remember feeling and seeing my grandfather's hand in mine. He was telling me he was scared and he needed me with him. It was bizarre as I was not dead or dying but I was having this feeling as if my spirit/body was being pulled toward the light at the same time as my grandfather was. The light got brighter and then enveloped us. We were standing in a place that was illuminated but not with regular light, lamps, or candles. There were other people there but I could not make out whom they were nor was I frightened or surprised to see them. My grandfather was on my left and we were still holding hands. I could sense/feel the presence of something/someone else coming toward us with a brighter light about them than where we were. There were no footsteps heard but I saw and felt this person/entity coming closer.
When he arrived next to us, I realized that this was Jesus and he was talking to my grandfather and I was answering him for my grandfather. I felt my grandfather's fear leave him and Jesus outstretched his hands to take my grandfather's hand in his. At the very moment God/Jesus took my grandfather's hand, I felt God touch my hand and I suddenly felt/knew this tremendous sense of peace and forgiveness and universality. I felt how all things were connected. There was no time as we think of it. It was as if I understood how each atom is connected with each other and how the trees, sky, people, and animals are all connected and how time is not linear in the sense that we see it but is like a continuous thing. This really doesn't describe it well. It is as if there was no yesterday, today or tomorrow. Everything was intertwined and flows forward and backward without moving. There was this sense of all knowing and such an overwhelming sense of peace and love and acceptance and I can't describe what. And this all happened in what seemed like forever but also in a nanosecond at the same time. I remember being thanked by my grandfather and God and realizing that I couldn't stay but not wanting to let this place go and it was okay. Then I was being whooshed backwards away from the light and found myself back in the room with my grandfather's body and I knew he was dead and in heaven.
During the time, this happened I had no sensation of being in the hospital nor did I hear the hospital noises, smells, or people. I remember feeling speechless and moments later my mother and grandmother walked in the room and I told them my grandfather was gone and I had to be alone. I was so overwhelmed, that is not even adequate, that I just walked outside.
Date NDE Occurred: 1990
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes I was with my grandfather who was dying from congestive heart failure. He had passed out from fluid in his lungs and had to be taken to the emergency room, as my grandmother could not let him die at home. We were in enclosed (draped) areas of the emerge Other I was healthy.
My grandfather was dying but I was very much alive and well.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I felt God's hand touch mine along with my grandfather's hand.
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
Time had/has no boundaries as we perceive it. It was all connected and there was no yesterday, today or tomorrow. It is if all was, is and will be is only a human perspective. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are all interchangeable.
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. When I and my grandfather were being pulled toward the light it was as if the rest of the world faded away and the only thing that was there was the light getting bigger and brighter and more encompassing. When we arrived?! Everything was soft and almost foggy but it did not matter.
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? Yes See main narrative.
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 They were all around the room/area. I could hear them calling/welcoming and comforting my grandfather and then there was God.
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? Yes See main narrative.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I went to heaven. I know it was heaven even though I can't describe it in regular words. I just know.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, contentment, love, joy, awe, wonder.
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
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 It's no because the future is now and before and it's all connected.
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? Liberal
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I feel certain that God loves me and cares for me and is always around me.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I feel certain that God loves me and cares for me and is always around me.
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 I know that all things are connected. The trees and the animals and people and the stars and space and that everything is dependent on the other and that this occurs on a beyond atomic level. I also have this continuing sense of calm and peace and joy that has never left.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I feel more compassionate with others. I am less likely to make judgments on others' behavior and find myself thinking only the best about others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was so incredible that words can hardly describe it. I didn't tell anyone for a very long time because I thought people would think I was crazy.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was the part when God touched me. It was then that I knew how all things were. I had this great understanding of everything. I knew that all was/is/would be okay. I still feel that.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my mother about eight months after. She had had the experience with my grandfather and said she had the same sense of connectedness and peace and joy. We both had trouble describing the experience. It is as if regular words just don't come close to what we saw and felt and experienced.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of it but was not really sure that I believed that such things happen.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was overwhelmed for months afterwards. I kept reliving the experience repeatedly in my dreams and waking moments trying to find words that fit. I still have trouble finding words that fit. It seems that words are too inadequate to properly describe the experience. It's only when I talk to someone or perhaps read someone's same experience that I know they understand.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real 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? I know that it may be hard to believe I could have experienced this without being dead or near death but I did do this. It was and is as real today as it was when it happened. I was just as surprised that it happened to me as I always thought this only happened when you were dying not if you were just there praying for someone else.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The only thing I can think of is that words are very difficult to come up with when trying to describe this experience. They seem inadequate and small for what happened.