All of a sudden I am climbing on a stage which is all black except for an old six panel white door with peeling and cracked paint and an old time big round black door knob. There is no door frame or other building structure. The door and mid-stage are bathed in a yellow stage light from above the stage but the light does not illuminate anything except to create a yellow glow. Just as I step on the stage, I am very calm and have an impulse to just walk over and open the door to see what's on the other side. But I remember that I am alone and that my wife of thirty-four years who helps me with all decisions isn't there. I remember saying or thinking to myself, 'I can't screw up because she isn't here to help me.' Just as I think that, from my right an old semi-friend ex-roommate from college walks on stage. I don't remember if we were speaking or mentally communicating, I feel it was mental. In any event, he looks great. (He was always a little overweight-puffy looking and had after I graduated burned through an inheritance to fuel a heroin habit telling everyone that when he got to his last dollar he would overdose and go out in style, which is exactly what he did.)
I cannot remember what we talked about but he did tell me how great it was. I first assumed he meant heaven but then started having doubts as I remembered that in life I could never believe anything he said, he lied and stole from me all the time. He really wanted me to open the door and go through it and I very much wanted to see what was on the other side but I didn't trust him. After a period of bantering back and forth, he became agitated and somehow slipped and I realized he wasn't from heaven, at which point he just walked off the stage. I don't think I even said anything to cause him to leave. I had the feeling the whole time that there was someone in the dark towards the back of the stage. My sense is that my 'knowledge' that everything is all right came from that presence.
The next thing I remember is waking up and saying 'I'm not afraid to die anymore,' which scared everyone in the room including my wife. I was subsequently transported to the Medical Center where I drifted in and out of consciousness and had 'normal' drug hallucinations and dreams until the next morning when I was discharged.
Date NDE Occurred: 2002
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Pain pump dumped 5 week supply of narcotics into my system all at once...in Doc's office during pump refill. They did not have any narcan on hand. The NDE occured prior to Parameds arrival and narcan delivery. Life threatening event, but not clinical death During the refilling of my pain pump with (I think) diluted the reservoir seal broke and the diluted fluid leaked into my abdomen. Fortunately, I am not thin and it took a while for the drug to get into my system so it didn't hit me all at once. I had left the doctor's office and headed towards my car when I told my wife that I felt weird. My chest felt hot and my shoulders tingled, my first thought was perhaps I was having a heart attack but there were no other symptoms. We decided to stay in the parking lot for a while and it got worse so went back into the doctor's office. I was thinking they must have some Narcan that will stop the narcotic effect and put me in withdrawal which is what I was most concerned about at that point in time. They laid me out in an examination room and then the drug hit pretty quick. I must have gone to sleep or passed out because all of a sudden the NDE started.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 It was like being really alert but very relaxed and peaceful at the same time. I am also a football coach and it was like the concentration I experience during a game but without the nerves or anxiety, I was really in the moment. Also I didn't have any pain which is often distracting, I climbed up the three or four feet onto the stage like I was a kid. I also didn't feel that my friend could manipulate me at all, I was very strong and calm.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time, perhaps when I realized I was alone, near the beginning, or when I saw my friend I do remember becoming wary because he was so untrustworthy, I thought of all the people that could come to meet me, why him?
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 how long I was there. It could have been five minutes or three hours.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Well I'm not used to being on stage under a bright yellow light.
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
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 Walked in, sat down on a stool in front of me. Now that I think about it, he seemed to keep a distance from me. Didn't come over to shake hands or anything. As described, he was a friend from college. I don't remember what was communicated.
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 As described a soft intense yellow stage light. Like putting a yellow gel over a standard flood that one would find hanging in a bank above the front of a stage.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm As described before...this weird stage and door...but I don't know where or what they are.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calmness, strength, peace, a gaining of 'knowledge' that the events in the world are as they should be. Strange as that seems and that most things we worry about don't matter except for taking care of each other sharing our love not hurting each other in any way - especially emotionally - and that almost all that we do is forgiven.
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
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
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I didn't really go anywhere except to climb on the stage, I wonder what the stage pointed to, never looked, but the edge of the stage was a boundary.
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 raised Lutheran currently Methodist...somewhat lapsed in terms of attendence but not belief or faith...if anything faith has been stronger since attendence has decreased. Attendence decreased due to health prior to NDE.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes More calm less concerned about church doctrine more concerned about real teaching of Bible.
What is your religion now? Moderate Less concerned about attendence. Feel more tuned in since experience. Trying to actually live teachings from deep in my soul instead of a surface Sunday morning type of thing. Pray more...feel closer. Also believe more in Satan-demons and evil which I
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes More calm less concerned about church doctrine more concerned about real teaching of Bible.
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 The world is as it should be; if God wanted it to be different he would make it so. We should stop getting lost in so many religious rules. The only rules are to help one another, love one another, try to lift each other's burdens, try to take away each other's burdens, 'My purpose is you', 'we are here to grow our souls' I think this is it. This is the first time I have written it down and am trying to filter out worldly influences.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I can't remember the conversation with my deceased friend or where the 'everything is okay' knowledge came from. I don't remember anyone else being there except my friend and myself. My experience was very similar to one I just read and now can't find from a lady who was in a coma from pneumonia, there are many similarities. Also it's four years old and I spent the next twenty-four hours asleep.
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? I wonder why I got a drug addict to meet me, am I in trouble spiritually?
OR was it really, really not my time so evil took a shot and the Lord shared some knowledge, I have been debating this with myself for four years now. I read afterwards that drug overdoses stay in a 'low plane' near earth. If that is true, maybe that is why my friend came instead of someone else. I feel the yellow light means something but I don't know what, same for the door. But the 'knowledge' is worth all the other questions by a hundred to one.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My wife and kids - wife and one kid found it 'interesting', other kid didn't believe it meant anything.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I knew what it was in a 'magazine article' sort of way.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I viewed it as absolutely real. A week later, we flew to Mexico. I am terribly afraid to fly. Normally need to sedate myself. I got on the plane fell asleep before we took off and awoke just before we landed with little sedation. Had no anxiety at all, felt totally at peace as I did on the return trip.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It was real, wasn't a drug dream. As a chronic pain patient, I have been on pain medications for years. I can tell the difference between a drug dream and this. I can't remember most dreams for more than a day, four years later I remember most of this as if it just happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No