I fought with all my strength to stay conscious as I suffocated, because I thought if I passed out, he wouldn't stop and I would die. But then I did lose consciousness.
The moment I lost consciousness, I popped up out of my body. Immediately I heard a voice from the corner of the room saying, 'Your husband is waiting for you outside.' Something made me turn my head, and I saw a golden door in the wall of the room where there had been no door before. I went out this golden door, and immediately saw Christ, or so I believed Him to be. The world outside was still much the same as it was in normal life, but everything glowed with beautiful color, and I smelled flowers so sweet there is no describing it.
The most remarkable thing about this experience was the feeling of having passed straight from the most unimaginable horror, degradation of all that is good and holy, and into this scene of unimaginable peace and beauty, and a sense of the sacredness of me and my body. Standing back in the live oak trees were two or three large angels that glowed a soft white. But Christ, who was before me, glowed with a sort of cool, pure white brilliance that did not hurt my eyes. I could see His form in spite of it. He held out his arm to me and said, 'Do you want to go with me now?' I don't really remember much of our conversation. But I do know we were discussing whether I should stay or go. I know I decided to come back.
The next thing I knew I was back in my body, but it was short-lived. I discovered I could not stay in my body because there was a problem. The man was gone, but I still could not breathe. So I popped back out of my body and I saw three angels working on my body. They turned me over and pushed on my back, like a heavenly medical team. Then they turned me on my back again, and they passed their hands up and down my body, and my body glowed. Then they went straight up, through the ceiling, and were gone. I was left feeling very confused. I looked down on my body and though I looked very beautiful and peaceful, I was white as snow and looked dead to myself. I had agreed to come back, but I doubted I could go back into that body. I didn't know what to do. So I decided to try to follow the angels. I went up through the ceiling and up into the sky. I heard them talking to each other far ahead of me, but it was in music. Their language was music. I followed the sound of their music until I found myself inside a cloud. It was full of fine, misty rain, and I felt like I was being washed clean. I just floated in there. It was so peaceful, I could have stayed. But then suddenly I felt a big jolt, and I realized I had better go back now or it would be too late.
The next thing I knew I was back in my body. I was very out of it, but I remember my first feeling was one of peace and love and protection, which seems strange to me until I realized from where I had just come. I am not sure whether I was fully aware of what had happened to me. I don't remember much of anything afterward except my Dad watching me and watching me, and wondering what was wrong with me.
Date NDE Occurred: 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack Other I don't know for sure whether I was clinically dead. I think I probably was, but can't be sure.
I was sexually assaulted by the man who owned the cottages where my family stayed at the beach. He assaulted me in the shower first. After a long period of molesting me, he was frightened by something and ran out of the house. But then he realized there wasn't any threat, so he came back in and continued. He had tried to rape me anally before (I'm sure because he knew I was a virgin), but now was trying to rape me vaginally. I fought him with everything I had in me. In desperation, I threatened to tell my parents, and wasn't intimidated by his threats. I told him I would rather die than have him continue. That is what almost happened! He grew very angry and aroused at the same time and forced himself in my mouth, and I suffocated/drowned. I remember when I was dying, I wanted so badly to live, and wished I had not said I wanted to die.
A piece of this, you might want to know, is that I did not remember most of this until age 47, (after my first successful sexual intercourse with a good, kind man). I had remembered fragments of it for decades, but not the bulk of it. The recovery of the memories included the NDE. I was alone for this event, and my parents never knew what happened until I told them after the recovery of the memories. So there is no independent verification of my near death or the event. But after I recovered the memories, my whole life suddenly made sense, and I have no doubts, in my own mind, that this happened pretty much the way I now remember it. (For one thing, before this, in spite of my wide life experience, I had never heard of a man doing to a woman/girl what this man did to me. I also had heard of NDEs before, but had never read but a few accounts of them, and certainly had never heard of anyone seeing some of the things I saw.) There are still a few holes, but the recovery is pretty much complete now.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes But the facts have not been checked out
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 Well, everything was magnified. Colors were more brilliant, the scent of flowers otherworldly, and everything glowed. The sense of the fine misty rain in the cloud was the most exquisite.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness probably at the time I was trying to follow the angels. My perceptions were the keenest then, I think.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time seemed to go slower than usual, but it also kind of lost meaning. For example, I have NO idea how long I was out of my body, or how long this whole thing took. It could have been a few minutes, or it could have been much longer.
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. I had never had a vision before this. But I had many visions after this, starting at age 22. It always has seemed like I could see things that most people don't see, hear, and experience, and only after recovering the memory of this NDE did all that make sense. It was almost like the veil between the conscious mind and the unconscious mind was torn and I could see through it often. Or maybe I could see through the veil between the worlds. It's about the same, I think, maybe.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing was strange. It was distant sounding physically, but it was clearer, in the sense that I was hearing with much more than my ears. I felt it inside my body, for one thing. Christ's voice particularly was both inside and outside me, but more inside.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not 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: Unearthly 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 See above description of Christ and the light coming from the landscape and the angels.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm For part of this I was in a familiar landscape, but it was altered. For part of it I was definitely in some other realm, inside a cloud, hearing angels talking to each other by way of musical interaction.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt a range of emotions during the experience. It was mostly awe in the presence of Christ and the angels, but then I felt very confused when I couldn't immediately re-enter my body. I felt bliss inside the rainy cloud. But in a way, my emotions seemed secondary to reality of what I was witnessing which was somewhat beyond human emotion.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I did not understand everything. But I did realize that the horrible thing that happened to me, that caused my death or near-death, meant absolutely nothing and had no power once I died. It was as if it did not happen, or maybe it did, but it had an entirely different meaning than it later did. I knew I was loved greatly by someone so vast, beautiful and wise that I could only vaguely perceive it. I also knew, somehow, that the fact angels witnessed what happened to me changed the nature of it entirely, and that there is nothing that does not have an angelic or otherworldly witness.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 Truthfully, though I had decided to come back to life, after I went up into the cloud, I almost forgot about coming back. It took the big jolt to remind me I needed to come back. I don't remember much about the decision, except that I knew I had more to do, and that my parents and brother needed me.
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- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See above
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant I am a Christian, but am a mystic, and respect, appreciate, and learn from other religions and ways of being. In my view, nobody possesses all the pieces of the puzzle, and we have to learn from each other.
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 had never seen or heard of anything like the golden door I saw, or angels doing rescue work, or following angels with musical voices into the clouds, etc. That all seemed pretty bizarre to me. But Christ was at least something like I would have expected in terms of being very loving and wise and powerful.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became much more certain of the existence of God and Christ, and more sure that there was more to this world than can be experienced with the physical senses. I became more determined to live fully, and would do most anything to overcome any barriers to living fully. I also lived 'by faith' and took risks most people wouldn't, just to follow what I believed I was being led to do.
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 See above description of my encounter with Christ.
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.)? Yes See above description of my encounter with Christ.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I can only say that there was a feeling that I had existed before this life, and that I knew Christ from ages and ages.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Particularly the further I got away from my physical body, the more "blended" I felt with the air, the cloud I was in. I didn't exactly turn into mist, but I was very much a part of it somehow. And this sort of "disintegration" was not scary! It was actually very pleasant, and I had no concern that I would cease to exist.
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? Yes There was no question that God existed. I was in God's presence. I don't know what else to say about it.
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? Uncertain I did not know what my purpose was at that time. But I knew I had one, and that it was important for me to stay and complete my life.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes I only knew that I had more to do. I didn't really know anything more about it, though.
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 There was no question in my mind during this experience that there was continued existence after life. Mostly because I had died and separated from my body and still "lived", but also because Christ invited me to go with Him, and I knew there was much more waiting for me if I went with Him. I had a feeling of great trust. I KNEW Him already.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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 prior to your experience? Are probably 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
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Just that I was surrounded by love during the experience, and that it was more real than anything else I had ever encountered or experienced.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I have always been spiritual from the time I was a small child, but I became much more so after this experience.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I now treasure the people in my life greatly. When I was younger, and before I recalled this event, I valued people but not like I do now.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words for most of it, and the understandings that came from it are also beyond words. The memory of this event changed my life, really. I never saw things the same way afterward.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events at time I do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events at time
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have had a large number of dreams, visions, and experiences that do not fit in the range of this physical world. I have had a large number of contacts with those who are deceased; including people I never met, and have had their messages verified by loved ones. I have a very close, mystical awareness of the divine that makes life much more fascinating, and helps me through difficulties and trauma. I also often have heightened perceptions, such as seeing things with such clarity it's almost like I can see the molecules in them. Also I have often had the experience of 'hearing' or 'smelling' colors, 'seeing' sounds.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The near-death experience has made it possible for me to survive what happened to me at the hands of that man. It gave the whole thing meaning it would not have otherwise had. If not for this, it would have seemed like senseless cruelty or a malevolent spirit behind some events in life. But because of the NDE, I see what happened to me differently. It's an opportunity to overcome those barriers and become more fully human and more fulfilled; and maybe even to become MORE fully sexual in a healthy way. I am not there yet, but I have come so far, and there has been so much beauty in my life that I don't think I would have otherwise known.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was 30 years before I even remembered the NDE, and even longer before I shared it. I knew it was real, but felt like people might think me crazy. But when I did share it, people tended to be amazed and moved.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No Not prior to my experience, but I did prior to remembering my experience, if that makes sense. However, my knowledge was limited, and I had never heard anything like what I experienced.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I really can't answer that because I'm not sure I remembered it immediately afterward. The trauma I had been through involved lack of oxygen to the brain and near death, and it may have affected my memory. I really don't know for sure, though. I do know I had no recollection of it for decades afterward.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I am 100% sure it was real. I am aware my perceptions and recollections may not be perfect, but that has no bearing on the basic reality of the experience.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Not exactly reproduced, but I have seen Christ again on a couple of occasions, and He was very much like He was when I saw him the first time. I have also smelled those flowers on occasion.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No, this questionnaire is pretty exhaustive!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Give 'none of the above' as an option on some questions, and then give a box so the person can explain.