My Grandfather was very important to myself, my two brothers, two closest cousins. Our fathers were not in the picture and for a few years as children we all lived in the same house together with our grandparents. I still say those few years were the best childhood memories I have, the other parts of childhood were chaos and moving all the time. On 11/3/2004, my grandfather's long battle with cancer took him out of his misery. That day I will forever remember. He had asked for me before passing. Because of his state, I couldn't bear to see my hero, the best man that I'd ever known, like how he was, so I didn't see him. I would carry regret with me for many, many years to come after that.
I've felt him and smelled him numerous times. Once was in my car when I was going through my messy divorce/child custody, I was drained emotionally and pulled my car over to cry. I felt a calm around me, then I smelled his cologne he always wore, followed by a gentle breeze. The auto windows were completely up. I've seen his name on an envelope out of the blue when I was missing him a lot. These are just two examples as there are many more. I battled my ex-husband for over six years in court. It was financially, emotionally, and physically draining beyond words.
I was a single mother working full-time with three children and paying for all my bills. My doctor gave me some prescriptions to help my state of mind at the time. Over time, I got dependent on the drug. Many times I would want to overdose just to stop the misery of what had been six years of hell. On 10/10/2013, I had hit my breaking point. My landlords hadn't been paying their mortgage and the house was foreclosing. I could not find any other place that I could afford. I was broken. The stresses and heartaches over the years finally took a toll. I was drinking, and slumped down the cupboards I was leaning against. I put my face in my hands, feeling utterly helpless. I wasn't thinking of how my children would react if something happened to me; I was drowning in sorrow. Somewhere while I was feeling this way, I texted my coworker. I have zero memory of this and when I checked my phone days later, there was no record of any such text on my phone. Apparently, I told him I didn't feel too good and I thought that my medications were having a bad reaction with the wine I was drinking.
He called back frantic but I didn't answer because I had passed out. He sped to my house in panic. When he got to my house, all he could see was me lying on the kitchen floor, not moving. Somehow, he managed to wake my 8 year old son at the time, and had him open the door as the cops and ambulance were came in the house. Thankfully, my son was too sleepy to see me. They worked on me for 21 minutes. My co-worker was sitting out on my porch; it was after 3 a.m. One of the paramedics came out and my co-worker asked how I was doing. The paramedic looked at my co-worker and said that I didn't have any vital signs in over 20 minutes, they didn't think I was going to survive.
I remember, all of a sudden, standing in a yard. The grass in certain areas was very well maintained. Beyond the small yard were fields of wheat: Everywhere I looked, it was never ending. I noticed the sun was shining so bright, at least it felt like sun at time. The sun was so bright. I remember instinctively squinting my eyes then, realized I didn't have to squint. I have never experienced that kind of bright-beyond-words, warm feeling. I looked in front of me to find an old house with a wrap-around porch. The house needed a paint job, I recall thinking to myself. As I was staring at the house, I felt a presence to my left. I looked over and it was my beloved grandfather. I couldn't believe it! Inside, I was screaming with excitement and joy. However, at the same time it seemed normal, as if he and I were suppose to be there together at the same time. I recall every detail of him, he was back to the kind of chubby belly he had, a white t-shirt, his red suspenders, and his hat that he always wore kind of lop-sided. He took my hand and without speaking we were communicating. He told me, 'Let's go in the house sweetheart. Come on let's see.' We walked down to the house and stepped up on the porch that needed to be painted as well. I recall that the screen door was old like the house and creaked as we opened it. Once inside, I was hit with familiar smell of my grandmother's homemade split pea soup! I hadn't smelled that in years. She was alive on earth but had been down with dementia for years at the point. I looked around and inside I was so excited! It was a feeling I've never felt before, I was 'home.'
I had no thought of my family as this was all oddly 'ok'. As I looked around, I saw my grandmother's big garden out the bay window in the kitchen. I was so thrilled and recall thinking that, 'Grandma is finally able to garden and cook again!' As I turned around and walked into the living room, I recall seeing my great aunt, whom I never met, there smiling at me. As I scanned the room, it was full of people in my family and loved ones who had passed but I couldn't make out anyone specifically. I just knew they were there. My Grandfather then took my hand and guided me to the back door and said without words, 'Let's go sit outside sweetheart. Do you want to? It's so beautiful out today.' I immediately followed his lead. As we opened the back door, I noticed that the screen door was rusty and noisy just as the front door was. Once outside, we both sat on the porch and just stared at each other and smiled. 'I had waited so long to see him again,' I thought to myself. Although in that moment I didn't associate him with being passed away, he was so alive! He started to tell me how I need to let go of the guilt I've had for not seeing him before he passed and that he's not mad because he understands why.
He then held up his hands and said, 'Look sweetheart, my fingers are clean isn't that just something?' He was a carpenter in life, and no matter how much he washed his hands they never appeared clean. When I visited him in his coffin before the service I commented on his hands to him as I buttoned his flannel shirt up. I also pointed to his ears. In life, he had what we as children called 'trees' (hair) coming out of his ears again, and his pot belly was back. We both laughed. He told me that he couldn't be prouder of me as a mother and he knows of his three great grandchildren that were very little at the time of his passing. I don't know how to explain it but we went through my whole life after his passing, he knew everything. He pointed out my mistakes that I have learned from and said to me, 'Sweetheart, peace and total happiness is in store for you, I promise. Don't give up.' Then we both turned to face the amazingly beautiful and indescribable field of wheat. He told me, 'You know sweetheart, it's breathtaking here. I have missed you tremendously sweetheart.' I looked at him and told him how much I've needed him and how much life has passed that he's missed out on.
As I took my fist and gently tapped his upper arm, he use to wind up his arms and then gently tap his fist on out upper arms growing up, while smiling and making the Popeye facial impression. He turned to me and said, 'Don't' ever think I'm not with you, I'm with you always. You feel my presence more so when you need me the most, but I am always with you.' He disapproved of my smoking and was not afraid to voice his concern. He told me, 'You know I know how you feel. I too smoked. But your children need you. You have to quit.' At that moment, he said to me as he stood up off of the porch facing me, 'Come on, let's go see if grandma has finished her amazing split pea soup.' As I opened the screen door to go in, he grabbed my right hand. As I turned to look at him, he just looked at me with his amazing blue eyes he had in life. His eyes were actually twinkling. It's hard to explain in words. He then said, 'I love you sweetheart, always remember that.' I looked at him too and said, 'I love you so much! I'm so happy to see you, It seems like it's been forever.' As I turned back to the door to open it and I walked in the door, I awoke in the emergency room.
I had a realization that it was my grandfather's birthday. I had no memory of what transpired at home, but clear as the day it happened, I can recall each and every detail of that experience. It's almost been 2 years and I can recall every single thing. There is no explanation medically of how I came back to life, all text books point to the fact I shouldn't have. I made a full recovery and I had such a different view on people in life that had wronged me, I no longer let my ex-husband's words penetrate my heart and hurt me. I chose to forgive and forget and be civil with him. It was so freeing! I had a new appreciation for life that I can't to this day explain. I knew things would be better for me and my children. I knew that my current struggles were soon to be no more, after all my grandfather told me that it would. I let go of the burden I'd carried for years about his death and me not being there. I didn't really put 2 and 2 together for some time as to why I was able to let go.
Date NDE Occurred: 10/10/13
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Suicide attempt. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 I cannot explain it, I smelled everything so clearly, my sight was crystal clear, the colors and sounds and feels and awareness were completely indescribable.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Towards 20 minutes
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. There are no words to adequately describe it. I guess I can say it was the clearest I've ever seen, as my eye sight is not good and hasn't been for years.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear everything, from each blade of grass moving in the wind to the grass growing: Definitely, profoundly different.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
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 My grandfather, grandmother (who is still alive but has dementia), great aunts, uncles
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It wasn't like a tiny light or a tunnel, it was my whole surroundings, and the sun and sky were so bright and comforting.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm There was the greenest grass one could ever see, the wheat fields went on forever, the sky and sun were the brightest of bright, and there was a white old house in the middle of the grass that was surrounded by the endless wheat fields. When I went in the house, I could see my grandmother, smell her cooking, see her smiling...other relatives I could feel their presence but couldn't make out their bodies.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Pure excitement and love, I had no thoughts of my children or loved ones...I wasn't stressed out or sad. Pure euphoria
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 myself or others I understood thru my grandfather's thoughts that everything I went thru, good and bad, there was a purpose, which I was not aware of until then. Basically every situation was getting me ready for my present and future, so as to make it so I truly can be happy.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No My grandfather brought me thru every experience I'd been thru since his passing.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I have always been very spiritual, I do not go to church however i don't believe you need someone else telling you how or what to believe, since my grandfathers passing and the signs he's given me over the years, i know there is life after this, what exactly it is, that's not known.
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? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Only the facts of why my struggles took place, and the feeling that I was going to be happy from then on
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes he took me thru the reasons certain events took place in my life, good and bad. i finally understood my struggles and why they needed to happen
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes my grandfather was there and he had passed almost 10 years prior, my deceased relatives some that i never met were in the house and i was aware of their presence. and my grandfather explained how gorgeous it was 'up there'
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes same as above
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes i cannot put into words the feeling of being loved i had. it radiated from every direction.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I realized just how important certain ones were in my life and how I was pushing them away prior. I changed.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Trying to explain how we understood each other, without 'speaking' per se, is hard to explain enough so that it's accurate; there's no words to describe the feelings, awareness, colors, smells...everything was nothing we could, on earth, experience. It was as if my brain had been ripped wide open and all my senses were finally free.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After I got home I shared my experience
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 It's been almost 2 years, I couldn't tell you what exactly went on in that month with anything else in my life, but I recall in great detail the experience
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No