My last conscious memory was waiting to be put on a respirator. All doctors and nurses had been letting me know how critical my status was but I only wanted to be able to breathe and I, honestly, wasn't concerned. I had no idea how sick I was. I naively thought with medicine and care I would bounce back. I had no idea of time passing or memories of time passing but eventually I found myself with a woman. At the time, it was natural, like meeting someone I had always known, however, I couldn't say who it was now. We were somewhere/ nowhere: no walls, floors, no ceiling, no up or down. It was just she and I in darkness, with a light partly behind her. While talking, she and I 'went,' it was like we were just 'there.' We watched my kids in class at school. One of my twins was telling her teacher about her new step-mom as of the up-coming weekend. I was happily watching, when it dawned on me what 'step mom' meant. Without speaking, the woman I was with said, 'Yes, I was dead.' At that point, all I felt was shock. Then we were watching the woman with my girls. She was very good with them, although still in shock at being dead, I was feeling sad at the loss of being a mom, very glad that their new mom loved them. I could feel her love for them and was jealous that she was getting to be the kind of mom I always wanted to be. I worked, whereas, she didn't. While still reeling from everything the woman I was with was saying and showing me, she had been talking although I was too stunned to comprehend. She asked if I wanted to see how New Mom met my husband. I said, 'Yes,' which turned out to be a mistake in retrospect! I watched her meet and fall in love with my husband. She loved him very much and was very good for him. Then I was taken to her home, with her family. My guide dropped me off, and these people could see me and talk to me. While they were all thrilled to have me in their home, they were getting ready for my husband's visit, and it was planned to culminate in intimacy. I had been trying to be accepting and magnanimous, but I was reeling inside. I kept my eyes on an iridescent rectangle thing on the wall in front of the couch, upon which I was sitting. By this time, I was distraught. I was communicating with my Guide in my mind, telling her I needed her to come to get me. I couldn't bear it any longer. I was willing to be dead and never see my family again but I couldn't take it anymore. She said she would try and I begged her to hurry. I couldn't bear to see my husband; I was invisible again. I sat and stared at the morphing iridescent rainbow box and began praying over and over saying, 'I can't bear it. Please Dear Lord come get me.' I remember asking my guide if she was able to come get me with her saying she was almost there. By this time, I refused to look anywhere other than the rectangle. I didn't want to see anything else; I was ready to be blissfully, ignorantly dead than have to see any more of my life without me. I kept up my litany of prayer. I do not have any memories of being rescued. I don't remember anything else until I awakened from the coma. I was told it was three weeks from my last conscious memory. I was very befuddled by the fact that I was alive. What happened while unconscious stayed with me for the duration of my hospital stay and even after. I don't know why I lived. I don't remember being given a choice. I think if I had been given a choice I wouldn't have come back though. I was okay with being dead. I thought life had already moved on and that my family was better off with the way things turned out than with what I could give them. All I could give was love and they were getting that in spades from New Mom. It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't dead after all.
Date NDE Occurred: Jan 2014
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I had gone to hospital for an illness that seemed to be getting worse. I was admitted with a diagnosis of sepsis. After x-rays, I was diagnosed with 'acute atypical bilateral pneumonia'. On day three, x-rays showed worsening lungs and my oxygen levels were too low. I was put on a respirator. When I came out of a coma 3 weeks later, I was told I suffered from H1N1 flu (bird flu) and went into Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. People were surprised I lived.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain At some time, before I learned I was dead or sometime after? I remember visiting a lot of places although I don't know why and I don't think it was my choice of locations. But consciousness was very hard because of all the places I visited while in the coma, I couldn't believe I wasn't someplace else when I woke from the coma.
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 The experience from that point until I must have prayed myself to sleep was very heightened. It seemed as though I knew everything or could access knowledge just by thinking something.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As soon as she told me I was dead it was like an electric shock. I became much more acutely aware of myself at that time.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Zero meaning to time except for the eternity when I was waiting to be taken away from the New Mom's parents' house. I traveled instantaneously.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was not 'unusual', nothing seemed strange, even though it had many elements that aren't 'normal'. I was seeing the future, apparently seeing things without physically being there, and seeing a morphing iridescent rectangle that I completely accepted. It made perfect sense, even though, I am not sure anyone else would have or could have seen it too. I could zoom in or out without moving. Just thinking could give me different angles. But again this seemed more normal than what we have while alive.
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 my guide no matter where she was. I could hear her answer from wherever she was a far way away from me. She seemed to hear my thoughts and I think I 'heard' New Mom by thinking/wondering and I am not sure if she was talking to answer me.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 Although it seemed perfectly normal at the time I have no idea what the beautiful morphing iridescent rectangle was.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The original meeting spot was not 'unfamiliar'. But the best way to describe it would be middle of a deep space, but it wasn't.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Overwhelming shock was the first emotion I remember. That emotion stayed but then became sadness, a bit of pleasure that they would be fine without me, a touch of anger, it really wanted to be rage though, but I tried suppressing it because I didn't think it mattered and I wanted to be at peace and accept the finality/futility of it, and finally overwhelming grief.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others In life I am curious but in death I seemed to know, accept and understand. My 'curiosity' was instantly satisfied: just by thinking about or at something, I would just 'know' and it always made perfect sense, no further curiosity was needed. But I only remember curiosity about the rectangle, everything else like communications and travel, just seemed normal.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I already described, they were not scenes from my future but of my family's. Kind of 'It's a Wonderful Life' except the future I saw was good, and even better than what it would have been with me, had I lived.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I expect this will be or is changing. I want to be much more spiritual and religiously involved. I think religion is less important than I did before, but at the same time I want to cultivate some of what I experienced.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I believe in God, heaven, hell, angels. But nothing was at all what I would have expected. No winged people, pearly gates, choirs...
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I am still struggling to understand what happened and put it in context with my beliefs.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 I think my guide was an angel.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? Uncertain Knowledge without direct communications, instant travel, "knowing" my guide
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? Uncertain It was "known" but no specific discussions occurred to make me aware, at least none I remember.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain I understood what I can only describe as technology.
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? No
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 I was dead, but I persisted along with my guide. I was "visiting" earth and "the living"
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt New Mom's love for my husband and kids, and her love of ME (that was kind of surprising). My guide loved me and I her.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am different now, although, I am not yet sure of all the ways I have or am changing. Now I am more focused on letting myself be loved than just loving. This is also hard to explain.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes So much of the experience just cannot be put into words, from beginning to end. Words to describe the guide, even that is not the right word, the place we met, who she was, the iridescent rectangle, our communications. It's very hard to put into words although the imagery is clear as day, even now. I am not aware of a tunnel or meeting people I would have expected to, or some of the other things you would expect. But I KNOW I was dead or in an afterlife. I just wish I knew why I didn't STAY dead, why I came back.
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 My memories before hospitalization are very vague, almost as though covered by a fog or veil. Somehow I feel very different but also very much the same. This side is almost more surprising or astonishing than what I experienced near death.
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 When I came out of the coma I believed everything 'happened', that my husband was marrying someone else. I remember telling him, when he asked how I knew, that I was THERE and I felt vindicated because I was a 'ghost' at the time. But when I realized I was alive to stay I couldn't share the deeply, deeply personal experience with anyone else. As much as I want to, it is not meant to be gossiped about or speculated about. Only someone who has had a similar experience could even begin to understand. Sometime after my discharge, my husband asked if I ever thought I traveled while I was in the coma. I told him, 'yes I traveled a lot' He said there was a time he could have sworn I was standing behind him with my hand on his arm (I don't remember this, if it happened).
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of it, seen some life after death TV shows. But mine was nothing like I had ever heard.
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
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