I was visiting a friend with Muscular Dystrophy, in Lake Tahoe. Barney was in a wheelchair, accompanied by his brother and friends. I had met Barney a short time before at a camp where I had been living. Barney had called me and invited me up to visit with him and his brothers in Lake Tahoe. I said ‘yes’ and booked a flight. After a couple of days, things were getting a little boring and I needed some outside time. Barney was not able to get around, so the time was spent mostly inside.
His brothers had been playing outside and invited me to come join them. They had tied a rope around the bumper of a car and were pulling their friend in a snow saucer across the snow-covered road. Laughing and giggling, they were having a great time. All of a sudden, the young boy they were pulling went out of control. As I was watching, I was horrified and immediately made a declaration into the Universe: ‘Oh God, don't let that happen to him. I know he won't survive the accident!’ He was heading for a parked car and I knew it wasn't going to be good. At that moment, he rolled over, bruised his shoulder, got up and walked away.
The following day I found myself doing exactly the same thing. It was in the late afternoon and Barney’s brothers asked me if I wanted a go at it. Not thinking about what had almost happened the day before, I said ‘Sure.’ I sat down crossed legged in the snow saucer and held onto the rope. The boys piled in the car and began to pull me through the snow. As I was being towed I said ‘Go faster!’ and at that moment a voice came in my head and said, ‘We’ll show you where 'Go faster' gets you.’ The boys turned off to the right and I swung out to the left, towards a parked car! I was moving at a rate of approximately 30 mph. A voice came in my head and said ‘You better turn your head or you will hit the car face on.’ So I turned my head and took the impact to left side of my head. ‘Oh my God, we killed Barney’s girlfriend! What are we going to tell him?’
I left my body and went into an aura of all white light! It was totally warm and Peaceful, pure Love emanating through me and around me. At that moment, my Grandfather, who had passed away earlier that year, appeared to me and we embraced. ‘My darling, you have a decision to make.’ I knew the decision was to stay or to come back.
At that moment, I had an opportunity to view my life. Everything seemed whole and complete, I knew my dog and cat would be taken care of, and I was pretty much willing to go, but I had some questions to be answered. I asked if there would be anything wrong with me if I chose to come back. A voice answered ‘No. The only thing that would show would be the scar of the tracheotomy.’ ‘Would I remember this dream?’ The voice came back, ‘Yes and if anyone would ask you about the scar, it would be an opportunity to share your experience.’ ‘If I chose to stay, what would be the cause of death?’ ‘It will show that your spinal cord had been severed.’ ‘If I stay, what will become of me?’ ‘You become the Light.’
At that moment a Highway Patrol man showed up by my side. My brother was in the Highway Patrol so I immediately recognized the uniform and came back into my body. I told him ‘I am having this incredible dream!’ He said, ‘No, you hit the car.’ I wanted to tell him about this out of body experience I was having but he brought it back down to a physical level. With that, I wasn't interested and went back out of my body. Soon the ambulance showed up, rolled me over, put me inside the ambulance, and rushed me off to the hospital.
On the way, I remember sitting up, out of my body and looking out the ambulance window. I remember remarking to myself ‘Oh, there is Lake Tahoe, and I have a ticket to fly.’ So once again, I was out of my body looking over Lake Tahoe from above. The ambulance pulled into the hospital, wheeled my body into the emergency room and I remember them asking about emergency contact numbers. I came back into my body and tried to give them the phone number of my mom, but I then started throwing up. There was blood and yuck and grossness all over me and I didn't want to hang around for that. So once again, back out I went.
When I finally came back into my body, I was sitting up in my body on the operating table. I was looking over my left shoulder, watching the doctors do the tracheotomy. When they finished, I lay back down in my body and resumed my life.
Now getting back to the point as to when I made my decision to come back. In the beginning, I met my grandfather in the Light. When the voice in the Light was talking to me, it seemed like it was coming from above. The voice was neither female nor male. When I was having the question answer period, it was as if my Grandfather had left. I remember there was a period of time that I was left alone, in this beautiful white marble surrounding, which I later described as a Maxfield Parrish painting.
Later I came to learn that my mother had a dream that night. My grandfather had come to her in a dream. He told her ‘Lauren is dead.’ My mother then said ‘No, you will not have her. She was only your granddaughter and you will not take her from me.’ She then became physically violent with him and then he left. That was her dream she shared with me, later on in the hospital. Simultaneously to my mother’s dream I remembered being in the Light and acknowledging the space, saying ‘that the gift I am being given is to stay, but I can't accept the gift right now, because my mother will grieve greatly for my loss.’ I saw that every time she fell into depression, she would sink deeper, because of my death. The voice came back and said, ‘So shall it be and what you shall receive is a blessing.’ At that moment, I knew I was going to survive the accident. Nobody else knew I was going to live, but I did.
I think that is why I was having so much fun coming in and out of my body. I was in the intensive care unit for several days in order to stabilize my body. I then had 9 hours of reconstructive surgery to wire my face back together. I remained in the hospital for several days after surgery, I was then able to fly back home. Six weeks later I was on vacation, in Mexico, with my mom. I was known in the hospital as a miracle case. I came back, full of Joy, making people laugh doing the IV Disco down the halls and making obscene calls to respiratory therapy, holding the phone up to my tracheotomy and breathing heavily!
Date NDE Occurred: 'November 15, 1978'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I hit a parked car with the left side of my face. I had 5 skull fractures, broke both orbits of my eyes, destroyed my left cheek bone and broke my jaw in 3 places.
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 I think the answer to that is in my previous statement.
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was out of my body! Everything was so clear. I had no control over my physical nor did I want it, but my spiritual body could come and go as it pleased: and boy, did I have fun with it!
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
There was no time.
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. Prior to the accident I was a ‘wild child’ taking chances, saying things like ‘This joke will kill you.’ Afterwards, I realized these bodies are a gift and to take life more seriously. I also found meditation which helps me to reconnect to my higher self.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was as if ‘hearing’ was not through my ears but all encompassing, even though I described the voice coming from above, it seemed as if it was all around.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I sure went fast! The bright light at the end certainly brought me through quickly.
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.
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 Everything was in the bright light, no form but an all-knowingness.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm My favorite way of describing it was like a Maxfield Parrish Painting.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Oh my, it was like pure love flowing around me and through me!
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I knew what would happen to my mom and her feeling of depression. I didn't want to be responsible for her sadness.
The experience included: Life review
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? 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 It’s all listed above.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Big time!!! Check out the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. [Editor’s Note: Paramahansa Yogananda a yogi and guru who introduced Westerners to teachings of meditation, spirituality, and living a balanced spiritual life.]
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Hindu SRF Self-realization Fellowship The teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda
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 My experience gave me a realization that there is a life after this one. I would say "You don't really dye, you just move to Santa Cruz."
My grand father was as real to me just as he had been when he lived in Santa Cruz.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am a better person for it. I am more compassionate and understanding of others.
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 Yes, see my previous answer.
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? Yes I now know I am not the body that changes and passed away. I am the soul with in it.
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 probably existsÂ
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Well sure... there was my decease grand father and a supreme voice answering all my questions
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 There was a sense of all-knowingness.
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 probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It came when I asked the voice "What becomes of me" and the answer was "You become the Light"
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 Sorry.
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 There is only LOVE, it the essences of all things when we let go of our ego. I believe it is our ego that gives us form. When we let go the ego we all melt into the Light and out of the light becomes our form or the ego-self.
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 Large changes in my life. I found teachings that reconnected me with my out of body experience. I love and need my meditations.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I have a greater respect for myself and others and a greater Love that unites us all.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 This "dream" is as clear to me to this day as the day it happened. After all these years it has never faded. I remember more about that event than trips I have take in the past.
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? The whole thing. I never experienced any pain in the accident.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The first time was immediately after when I saw my mom. I share my experience when it seems appropriate and it has always been well received.
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 It was as real as I am sitting here typing this.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was as real as explaining a trip to Europe.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Only in meditation: the peace and love I experience when I let go of my restlessness.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? God speed and remember: You don't die, you just move to Santa Cruz!