In 1992 I had lung surgery. During the surgery, I was anesthetized but never fully seemed to lose consciousness. I remember lying there, watching the monitors as the surgeon began to cut on me. I remember tubes passing through my chest wall and thinking how odd it felt. Then I remember watching the numbers on the blood pressure monitor begin to decrease rapidly as I heard a nurse say, 'My God, we're losing BP.' I thought, 'I'm going to die.' Oddly, it all seemed very calm and slow motion. I could hear the alarm on the blood pressure monitor and watched as the heart monitor went to a flat-line. I remember one of the nurses saying I was dead and my attempt to tell her I was not. As I attempted to convince them I was not dead, it seemed that I suddenly realized, I was not looking up at them. I was above them, behind their heads, as if I was on the ceiling. I could see everything they were doing and I could see my body lying there. Then it seemed like I was floating, not walking but just moving away through a tube or a very narrow passageway. I don't recall moving 'towards' a light, but being IN a light, a very bright, white light that just seemed to get brighter the farther I moved away.
I remember parts of my life, not like seeing pictures, but living them over again in a very fast short way. It seemed like I was living the experiences of other people I had known or met in my life. It was as if I knew exactly how they thought and felt at those very moments. It seems as though I just knew all kinds of things and feelings that I had never been taught or experienced in my life. I just KNEW. It was warm, calm, peaceful, and just felt like happiness. There just are not words to describe it. I just wanted to keep floating away as it just seemed to feel better the farther I went. Then all of a sudden, it was as if I knew I couldn't stay. I had to go back. I had things to do. I didn't know exactly what they were but I knew my daughter was waiting for me and I had things I had to do. Then I felt guilty and confused because I wanted to stay in that warm peaceful place and I wanted to go back and finish what I needed to do. I felt pulled back and then all of a sudden I felt shocked and could see everyone's faces looking down at me and saying my name and I felt angry at them all.
My whole life changed after that day. Sometimes in little, subtle ways, sometimes in big ways, but it definitely has never been the same since. Everything that I think and feel about things, the way I see and hear things has changed in some way or another.
The first year after the surgery, and the experience, I felt confused, frustrated, and sometimes afraid. I felt ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone what had happened in that room. I was afraid that they wouldn't believe me or would make fun of me, ridicule me or think I had just lost my mind.
I also felt guilty. If I had died, and I was even close to 'God' or 'Heaven', then I should not have wanted to come back. I felt as though I had turned my back on what I was taught was supposed to be 'God' and 'Heaven'. But I saw no 'God' and I did not 'know' the experience to be 'Heaven'. What I did know was that it was absolute peace, love, harmony, oneness, and calm. But in my experience and in my words I would not have called it a 'God' or a 'Heaven'. I do know that I was not afraid, I wanted to be there, wanted to stay and I am not afraid of going back. In fact, I look forward to the day that I have fulfilled my purpose, can go back, and keep going to what is next for me. There IS something better for us in this life that most of us don't seem to realize or allow ourselves to reach, but I now know, there is something even better after this life.
In the years since my experience, I have had a strong desire to LIVE life and have continued to try to pursue that goal. I have learned how to truly love people, so much so that at times it physically hurts. I have always been extremely sensitive to people and their feelings, internally, but even more so now I seem to 'feel' people. I love to touch and hug people, but now sometimes touching people is painful, confusing, frustrating, frightening or extremely warm and happy. The risk of the physical discomfort though, has been more than I could stand emotionally and I have found that rather than facing these feelings and learning how to deal with them, I have instead tried to shut myself off from feeling them. It seems as if I just 'know' things about people that I touch that can be happy, sad, good, bad, absolutely wonderful and at times absolutely frightening.
It has become an ultimately sad, and at the same time, ultimately happy secret to carry around. I want to tell people. I want to tell them what happened to me and how wonderful it was. Sometimes, I just want to tell people what I know, but can't tell them why or how I just know it. So, I don't say anything. I question myself and how and why I think, feel, and know these things. There must be a logical, reasonable explanation for how I know, and why I feel these things. Maybe I just haven't found the answers yet. How could I possibly expect anyone else to believe me?
It is so frustrating not to be able to talk to anyone about these things. It is so frustrating to not be able to tell people things that I know could help them or make them feel better or reassure them because I couldn't possibly tell them how I know.
I wish I could tell people -- it isn't about believing in 'God' or 'Heaven' or 'Buddha' or UFO's. It's about believing in peace, love and human compassion. It is about valuing life and living it, meeting your potential and following your heart and soul. To try to tell these things, with no fact, would make me sound like some kind of hippie, flower-child on an LSD trip. How, could I possibly begin to tell you?
Date NDE Occurred: november 1992
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related Clinical death during surgery
Surgery complications. See the account.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw my body, could see what was being done to my body, as if watching from the outside looking in.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Uncertain.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I think so, but have never had the nerve to ask them for fear they would think I was kooky or wouldn't believe me.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Kind of a 'whooshing' sound like air rushing by.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Like a tube or narrow passage.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Actually, it was more like sensing it, a very strong bright white light with ultimate warmth but not heat.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? A multitude!
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It would be difficult to give specifics to this question. I knew things about people, I knew things about myself and I just seemed to have knowledge and answers that I had never had before.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control But it was not like 'seeing' them, no TV or movie screen or pictures. It was more like reliving them in encapsulated version.
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 It was as if I was having to decide, confusion, wanting to and not wanting to and then all of a sudden, having no final decision but being 'pulled' back into my body.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate family was Christian, and I had been raised in Catholic schools/church
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My whole life changed, the way I look at things, my perception and my belief system.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Feelings and thoughts that I just can not find appropriate words to describe.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Heightened sensitivity to peoples' thoughts and feelings, hard to explain, knowing things that I don't understand how I know them and wondering if they are really real or HOW I could possibly know them.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best, no fear, absolute love and warmth and acceptance. The worst, lack of logical fact and reason that would give me the freedom and comfort to tell people about the experience and possibly help them, make their lives better or give them hope.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes In the first year, my husband who ridiculed me, and a minister in the hopes of resolving my religious guilt feelings. Since then, no one until recently, a good friend who is open minded and non-judgmental and has allowed me the freedom to try to explain it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Meditation, dreams in sleep and momentary 'flashbacks' of a sort, as if I am there again and can feel all those same feelings. I do not drink or take drugs for fear of altering these events or recreating them in a false nature.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Was it real or a trick of the mind caused by pain, anesthesia, fear or some other chemical reaction that took place in the body? Is there logical, scientific proof that this happens to us? Is there anyone, other than someone who has experienced this that truly believes in us?