My father was stationed at Camp Lejune, North Carolina and we were living on the base in the military housing. I was three years old towards the end of October 1973. I remember the time because some of the neighborhood children came to visit me at the hospital wearing their Halloween costumes and gave me some of their candy since I was too ill to go trick or treating. I was ill with croup and pneumonia. I was very sick, had difficulty breathing and was in so much pain.
I remember seeing my parents, nurses, doctors walking around my crib and they were distorted due to the plastic oxygen tent I was in. Oh, the pain! Then it quickly drew dark and I was in the darkness, which had a bright gold center. I did not enter it; it quickly entered and engulfed me. The light was so pretty, lovely. There was a figure sitting under an enormous tree and other small figures, children, were gathered around. The figure (male) - (funny I don't remember a race or hair color just illuminating light) had a pure white robe on. It was not the man Jesus, but He was God/Creator. Others would probably have thought of Him as Jesus. He told me without words to come to Him.
I went to Him, He was familiar, and He held me and comforted me. I have never felt so safe, loved unconditionally and the pain - it was gone!! Oh, and that lovely sweet scent - roses, lily of the valley - like every flower in the world surrendered one note of its being to create the perfect scent. I buried myself into the white robe taking in this scent. I do not remember the robe feeling like fabric or having a weight like fabric. I did feel His strength; I was safe. He told me I was not to stay and that I would bring comfort to other children just like the ones gathered around Him at that moment. I understood although I wanted to be in that moment forever and still do.
Then, I was back in the tent and saw the crib bars around me. I wanted out! My Mom opened the plastic because I was crying. I kept saying 'HOME' and for some reason I kept saying 'water'. My Mom told me I would be going home. However, when I recovered and was sent to my house I continued to tell my Mom that I wanted to go HOME. My Mom would say, 'Baby, you are home.' I would tell her no, I want to go HOME like I did at the hospital. Throughout my whole life, if I become frustrated or scared, I will want to go HOME (not suicidal ideation) but go HOME to the moment being comforted by the man in the white robe.
Date NDE Occurred: October 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
In oxygen tent due to croup, pneumonia.
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time. I knew something special was happening and it was real. I was conscious and alert. I know it was not a dream - too vivid, intense, the experience is a part of me and not vague like a dream.
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 don't know, I was three years old and did not have a sense of exact time. But, I knew I was not in the hospital anymore. When I was held and comforted by the man. It lasted a split second and eternity all at once. Meaning. I was there, it lasted a long time but I when I came back, it was instant and the pain was there but not as intense. The feeling of comfort will last eternity. I was grateful.
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. My senses were more alive or the colors, scents, feelings which these 'senses' were experienced with my sixth (true) sense.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear with my ears. What was said to me I heard with my being and the warm tones I 'heard' were felt and understood.
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 did not go to it, the light came to me taking the darkness away.
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 The smaller children I did not know but I knew they were there for me. However, the children knew me. The smaller children were gathered around the man. Now that I am thinking about it, I think these were children I was to help later in my life. I was more familiar with the man than anything I have ever been familiar with before. He communicated with my being.
The experience included: Darkness
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 The light was bright but could see and feel it without squinting or wanting to shade my eyes. That is another thing; the light did not cast shadows. Like the man in the robe was sitting under the tree but there was no shade.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The tree and meadow area was beautiful. Although I was aware of the surroundings, I was drawn to the man in the white robe. The colors, tones, scent was not of earth.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, love and more love. Comfort. Joy. Peace. Trust. Relief from pain. Wisdom. Awe. Happiness.
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 I was told I would help the children like those that were gathered around Him. I did not know how I was going to help. Ironically, I 'fell' into becoming a Child Abuse Investigator/Social Worker. I graduated college in 1991 - during the last great recession - and could not find a job ANYWHERE. I applied to every job in the newspaper - everything from pharmacy sales to postal worker and even football coach - don't know a thing about football. The only place I received an interview for was to be a Child Welfare Worker. I beat out 252 other applicants and the woman who hired me nineteen years ago is still my mentor. When I was given that job and accepted, I knew at that moment what the man in the white robe meant.
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 'None really, I was only 3 years old. My family is Christian.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My parents raised me Christian. I believe the fundamentals and some of the philosophies of the Christian religion. I do not believe Jesus was the sole Son of God because we are ALL children of God. Jesus did exist and was chosen to share the Wisdom of God's plan and the wisdom, ideas, are there to help us reach our true path of learning. But, this is true in ANY religion with ANY religious figure. They all were chosen by God for this purpose.
What is your religion now? Moderate 'I never completely accepted Christianity as the one true religion. Ever since I can remember, I felt that the reason there are so many religions in the world is that God comes to us in an individual way for us to learn the lessons He wishes for us to learn. The various philosophies and religions are needed so we can take what we need for our individual learning plans. We are ALL serving the same GOD and we are ONE. I rarely attend Church.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My parents raised me Christian. I believe the fundamentals and some of the philosophies of the Christian religion. I do not believe Jesus was the sole Son of God because we are ALL children of God. Jesus did exist and was chosen to share the Wisdom of God's plan and the wisdom, ideas, are there to help us reach our true path of learning. But, this is true in ANY religion with ANY religious figure. They all were chosen by God for this purpose.
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 understood why there are so many religions and the importance of experiencing and learning life's lessons. We have the free will to take as much from life lessons as we want and then free will to make changes or not. We are the ones that have to live with ourselves ultimately. I have an understanding of people - the good, the bad and the ugly. I realize we all have good and evil within us and it is up to us to figure out our path of individual learning. I had other knowledge and wisdom that I do not remember. I knew I had a specific purpose. However, some things are set lessons that we have to learn so if we are at some point about to get off the main path, there will be intervention to ensure we stay on our individual learning paths and learn particular lessons.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I never really connected to other children after that. That longing of being at Home has never left me. Other people do not have that knowledge so cannot relate as easily with me.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The depth of the experience and understanding of my place in the world while only being three years old.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I am very sensitive to death and to other people. I am very good at my job and children trust me even shy ones. I know I have saved and improved children's lives. I ALWAYS follow my gut when doing an investigation or providing social work services. Even though I left Child Welfare, I am helping the incarcerated women now, which will impact their future children once they are released from prison.
I had other odd experiences. I was ten years old watching TV with my Dad and playing with my hamster Harry. My Dad told me to put him away which I did in his cage in the garage. The show was nearly over and I started to cry. My Dad is like why are you crying? I said Harry died. My Dad said, 'No he is not dead you put him in his cage.' I said, 'I know and he just died.' We went out there and poor Harry was dead.
I also knew when our horse Big Boy died last year. I came home from work, pulled the car in the garage. My husband came into the garage and as I got out of my car I told him, 'We need to go the barn because Big Boy died,' and my husband was stunned and said 'Yes he died, I just now found him when I went out to feed him.' My husband was shocked I knew this info out of the blue.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The comfort.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No Not the experience of age three year old. The other things like Big Boy and Harry dying, I have.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I did not learn of NDE until I was in High School and it dawned on me what had happened.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I know it was real because I continually asked - even years afterward - to go HOME.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know it was real. I wish I did not accept it as easily as I did with the naïveté of a three year old. I have many more questions about the experience and my chosen destiny now as an adult. I am not opposed to exploring a scientific (psychological or medical) reason for the experience; however, science is too early in its infancy to completely understand the life and death process. The consciousness that is energy (per Einstein) never disappears just changes. This fundamental is already understood.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes When I was eighteen years old, I left a graduation party and drove to my house. I had drank two beers. I drove at a high rate of speed down a curvy country back road. It had rained earlier and I hit a puddle and hydroplaned. My car headlights would illuminate everything in circles - cornfield, telephone pole, road, field, road, telephone pole, field - around and around I went in the air completely out of control. The golden light I saw that day I was comforted when I was three years old suddenly but softly lit up the interior of my car. Giant hands 'caught my car' - like how one would catch an egg or water balloon - and gently set it down and lightly rolled it backwards into a ditch. The car then completely shut off. I could not believe I was alive and unhurt. I had to pat myself all over to truly believe I was okay. I got out to the car and not a scratch on the car except some mud/grass on the back bumper. I got into the car, it started right up, and I drove out of that ditch. I SLOWLY drove back to the party and told them what happened. They thought I was drunk. One of the boys drove my parents' car to my house while my boyfriend followed and drove me to the house.
In October 1988, I was in an Eastern 747 when the hydrological system failed. We had to fly around Atlanta to burn the fuel out of our wings so we would not blow up during the emergency crash landing. While I was hunched over in crash position, I felt the same comfort that I did when I was three years old by the man in the white robe. When we landed hard on only two tires, skidded off the runway somewhat but we were safe.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I do have a fear of death though but not like other people. Most people fear they will not continue on. I fear I will not learn the life lessons properly or I will fail to meet the expectations of my calling before I die. Like I may be laid off, although I am worried how we will afford to meet our bills, I am more worried I will fall off my path of learning through being a social worker.