Experience Description

I was swimming in the river, under the watch of my older sister. We were not supposed to be there without an adult but I went along with my sister and her friends. I was bouncing around in the river. I was not a good swimmer, I think I could float and doggy paddle. The river bottom changes constantly, so in playing on what had previously been a sandbar, I stepped off and was over my head in water. I struggled to gain my footing but began to sink. Eventually I stopped struggling and a feeling of calm came over me. I saw my life (as brief as it was) flash before me. I experienced feeling very peaceful, and happy to go toward the bright light ahead. The next thing I recall was someone grabbing me. My sister says she looked over and saw my hair floating on top of the water (my hair was waist length at the time). She rushed over and pulled me out by it. I do not recall anything that happened next. This experience was something we did not talk about because we were afraid we would get in trouble for being where we should not have been. Only many years later did it come up.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: Summer of 1968

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death I nearly drowned.

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

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When the sense of calm took over.

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 It was as if time was gone. There was no sense of time.

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. In one sense it was faster, in another it was as clear as if you were in the moment.

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 recall hearing anything.

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? No

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

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 It was a bright, streaming light.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, peace and happiness.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness

Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness

Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe

The experience included: Life review

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control My life was passing by me and I felt happy about what I was seeing.

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future

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? Conservative/fundamentalist

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Not changed, but reinforced.

What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Not changed, but reinforced.

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? No

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was young at the time, so articulating what had happened was difficult.

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? The sense of peace and calm. It makes me less fearful of dying.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Not in detail. I have told close family or friends, in brief, that I nearly drowned as a child, and it is true that your life passes before you.

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

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No