The summer I was eight years old, I was wading in a nearby creek at a family outing, as was done on a fairly regular basis. I could not swim but moved along the edge of the bank into deeper water, using the bank to hold on to, occasionally checking to see how deep the water was. At one point, I was aware of choosing to hold on with one hand to see how deep the water was.
My next awareness was of being submerged and cradled in a warm, wavy wafting motion at the opening of a tunnel. The tunnel had billowy soft sides and was well lit, with the tunnel dimensions decreasing and brightness increasing as it got closer to a single bright light. I heard this wonderful soft music. There was no sense of fright or anxiety. I was very curious as to where the music was coming from, but the end of the tunnel was opaque and I could not see. The light seemed to be just out of arm's length, and I was aware that I just had to reach beyond the opaqueness to get to the light. The source of the music was at the light as well and seemed to be approaching more clarity at the light source.
The next awareness I had was of lying on the rocks on the shore of the creek, in extreme pain as I was resuscitated. My sister had seen me and pulled me out of the water.
I was aware of being very cold, with water totally filling my nostrils and lungs, and hurting as I tried to cough it up. I longed to be back in the water in the warmth, hearing the music and going to the light.
I could never express my experience, be taken seriously or be understood as a child. It wasn't until I was an adult and heard of other experiences of NDE did I realize what I had experienced.
Date NDE Occurred: August, 1949
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning Other Drowning. While swimming I drowned.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain 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 There was a feeling of euphoria and extreme well-being in that experience. Never any feeling of anxiety or struggling in the water.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As I was reaching out of the opaqueness at the end of the tunnel to the light and music of the other side.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning I seemed to be in the tunnel for a longer time, and knew the light and clearness was very close.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? The tunnel experience was bright and warm. The area of the end of the tunnel and bright light and music was semi-opaque. The light appeared close, like an arm's length away. I felt I could reach it.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? There was the unrecognizable music and source. The music was soft and soothing but the volume seemed to be increasing at the light source.
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? Yes I was very close to the end of the tunnel about to reach through.
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: 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 The tunnel had a white brightness or rays leading to the end of the tunnel and to a warm more yellow light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Euphoria, sense of wellbeing, nurtured.
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
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Ukranian Orthodox
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I believe scientific explanation continues to narrow the disparity between conservative science, ancient myth and religion in the understanding of life's process, and examination of life and after life. Religion alone cannot explain many of the profound human mysteries or the existence of the collective unconscious.
What is your religion now? Liberal United Church
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe scientific explanation continues to narrow the disparity between conservative science, ancient myth and religion in the understanding of life's process, and examination of life and after life. Religion alone cannot explain many of the profound human mysteries or the existence of the collective unconscious.
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 My personal belief and physical vulnerability has in most cases changed in my interaction with others. I feel more in tune to the influence of the psychic and paranormal experiences in today's world with personal and family interactions.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes As a child, I could not express experience with any degree of exactness for understanding to significant adults (older sister, parents).
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 several experiences with the paranormal. I have psychic experiences with premonition, and knowing who is calling when the phone rings. Recently, I have experienced the presence of my mother who passed a year ago, in my house and in her room. I had a very continued psychic connection and a previous life experience with a friend who recently passed. I experienced astral travel, and very recently encountered the voice of this friend during this astral travel experience.
My mother was always helpful but also a practical joker. On two occasions since her passing, there have been physical objects moved by my mother. One a magnifying glass that I had been looking for moments before, to suddenly drop on the floor in the doorway to my office. As I was sitting back down at my desk, I heard a clatter behind me, and turned to see the magnifying class rocking back and forth on the floor where it had just been dropped.
I physically saw the magnifying glass drop to the floor and settle not five feet away from me. I cannot yet explain it as I am not sure how spirit entities can move physical objects.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I have had two recent conclusive experiences with my departed mother and friend which cannot be consciously disputed.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I do not discuss much of this with people who do not appear to be psychic or researched in this area. The interchange with those who have, has been very enlightening and encouraging. The daughter of my recently departed friend had some experiences with her mother at the time of her death.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I was a child at the time of my NDE. It did not have much meaning until I was an adult and took the time to research, and now having had previous experiences with my mother, my friend and some acquaintances.
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
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? In the three possible answer question response, (17, 19. 20, 22, 27. 29, 30) 'Uncertain' would be a more appropriate and less finite response.