Sometime during the operation, I became conscious and was freezing cold. I could smell a strong antiseptic odor, could hear a continual beep (which I guess was the heart monitor) and could hear conversation above me as people worked, and was aware of a tight clamping feeling over my abdomen. I tried desperately to let the staff know I'd awoken, but could not open my eyes or even move. So I just lay there hoping I'd sleep again when very suddenly the beeping sound started to quicken then leveled out - I knew what was happening and very calmly and clearly thought 'I'm dying' and felt no fear, which was surprising as up until then I'd always been terrified of death. Just as this happened I felt the most incredible feeling of everything just coming together inside me. It was the most beautiful feeling of warmth and joy. I felt myself rising upwards and was surprised that I could hear that level ringing sound so clearly, though I was not in my body. I didn't see anything or go through the tunnel, but do believe this will happen next time.
This was all very strange, because at that time I had just become involved with my current partner. I was deeply in love and ecstatically happy, with dying being nowhere my desire, but that happiness does not compare with the very deep feeling of joy and totality I felt during this experience and I would give anything and everything to feel this way again.
Date NDE Occurred: March 1983
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening' I came awake during a cholecystectomy operation
It happened during my gallbladder removal.
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 When I was rising upwards.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was rising upwards.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I was not aware of time at all during this.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Just pure joy.
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
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
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 nil
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Moderate none
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? Uncertain Things went very badly for a while years ago, but now I realize where I am wrong, and try to make the attempt to rectify what I can.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No It is difficult to explain the feeling of totality and wholeness.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Sometimes I feel acutely aware of other people's pain.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? As I said at the time I wasn't ready to go, so the joy I felt when it was happening was a surprise and that is what I've never forgotten and want back so badly.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately I came awake in recovery I told a close friend who was there. I also tried to tell staff nurses, surgeon etc.
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 Please see above answer.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Lately I've been having such a strong desire to go that I'm close to doing something about it to experience more of what might have continued. However I'm aware that maybe it would be different if I did this, but the memory I have of it is like no other.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I came awake during another operation in 1992, and was actually in the middle of sharing an old joke with an eleven year old girlfriend that only we knew about. I can't really work that out.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I truly do believe that life after death is true and real, and I'm looking forward to more experiences when my time does come, I pray that I will be understood, and I look forward and slightly fear the review, so at least I too will discover things about myself that I am unsure about now.