This is the first NDE of two NDEs that I have had. I was five years old and my family along with other relatives went for a picnic at a park alongside a creek. My only female cousin was closer in age to my sister and they would not let me play with them in the creek. The only other cousins there were boys and I did not want to play with them, so I went off by myself to play in the creek going away from the adults who were sitting in lawn chairs at the picnic site. I remember walking along in the creek going away from the adults and because it was hot, I walked further out into the water, up to my chin. The creek bed was angled and flowed into a pool where the water was over my head, but I did not know this. As I walked, I lost my footing and slipped into the pool. I struggled, trying to scream out for help. I remember hearing my parents, aunts and uncles talking and laughing. I was just trying to get air, but every time I opened my mouth to get air, I got water in my nose and choked. I kept trying repeatedly to scream but couldn't get anyone's attention. The next thing I remember was that I was on my back underneath the water. I was not struggling now and I could see the surface of the water from the underneath side. I remember thinking how there was only very small ripples on the surface of the water - how smooth and funny the water looked from that angle.
Next, I was in a dark tunnel. I did not like being in this dark place. I could see light at the end. I wanted to go to the end toward the light. I experienced moving very fast, not walking or running on foot but flying almost on a current of airhead first going toward the end of the tunnel. I got to the end and I could not see anyone but 'felt' people were there. I was not afraid but felt happy and secure. I felt that I somehow knew the people, they knew me and that they cared about me. I did not walk out of the tunnel because it was so bright that I could not see anything.
The next thing I remember, I was laying in the grass and coughing very hard, then vomiting water. My aunt had seen me, got me out of the water, and administered mouth to mouth to get me to breathe. All of my relatives were standing around and asking me what had happened. I was embarrassed that I had done such a foolish thing and everyone was looking at me. I was also scared that I had almost drowned.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1960
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning Other Drowning required CPR to revive
Drowning and required reviving.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Frightening
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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? Normal consciousness and alertness I don't because I was so young.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't because I was so young.
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
All this (from the struggle in the water, NDE to the reviving) seemed to happen over a long period but took place very quickly - matter of minutes.
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 was young and it was a long time ago.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was young and it was a long time ago.
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 See above.
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? No I felt the presence of people in the bright light but could not see them. I don't know who they were but I felt that they loved and cared about me. No one spoke and I don't understand how I knew they were there, but I just knew there were people there who loved and cared about me.
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 See above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First, uncertain and afraid in the darkness of the tunnel. As I got closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, I felt happy and secure. I felt like there were people in the light but the light was so bright I could not see them. I felt like these were people that I knew and that they knew me and cared and loved me.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I went from being in a dark tunnel to going to the end of the tunnel where the space opened up into a space of very bright light. I did not know what would happen if I walked out of the tunnel and into the bright light.
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? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain This happened to me when I was five years old. I chose not to process the information. However, when I was older eight to ten years old and was regularly attending Sunday school and church I heard about going to heaven after you die. I related my experience to heaven and the experience confirmed for me that what the Bible said about an afterlife was true. This experience therefore did not changed any religious beliefs but confirmed what I was being told.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain This happened to me when I was five years old. I chose not to process the information. However, when I was older eight to ten years old and was regularly attending Sunday school and church I heard about going to heaven after you die. I related my experience to heaven and the experience confirmed for me that what the Bible said about an afterlife was true. This experience therefore did not changed any religious beliefs but confirmed what I was being told.
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? Yes I felt like I knew something that no one else (in my family) knew and did not know what to do with the information. I told myself not to think about it or talk about it because no one would believe me. Because I was only five years old, this information was difficult for me to even process what had happened.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was a child at the time. I did not realize what had happened until I was in my late teens and heard about NDEs through the media.
It was an intense experience for a child. In a short period of time, I experience a broad range of emotions from being frightened while drowning to great joy when I got to the end of the tunnel. I did not think anyone would believe me so I didn't tell anyone or talk about it until after the second NDE that I experienced years later as an adult.
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? Even as a child, I experienced extreme happiness, love and inner peace as I got closer to the bright light at the end of the tunnel. As I thought about it, even as a child I was puzzled by the source of these feelings.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have had two NDE experiences. This one was the first one. Because I was only five years old at the time and did not understand what had happened I did not share this experience. It was twenty years after the second NDE and the death of my mother that I shared this experience with my father and my brother. I told them that I knew that there was life after death because I had been there and explained this to them. They believed me and were shocked that I had never told them this before. They found comfort in knowing that my mother is in another place. I told them that I am not afraid of death because of what I have experienced. They also found comfort in this.
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 Because I was a five year old, I had very mixed emotions. I was confused and afraid to talk to anyone. I did not know how to describe what had happened so that anyone could understand. I did not want to tell anyone because I knew it had happened, but I did not want someone to tell me that what I was saying was not true or was not real. I decided not to talk to anyone about it and to pretend in my own head that it had not happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know what happened was real because as an adult, I had another NDE during childbirth. There were similarities in the NDEs which to me confirmed that they were real events.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I had a second NDE after childbirth which I have also submitted to this website. The second experience happened when I was twenty-nine years old.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? As a child, I was overwhelmed. As an adult, I was also overwhelmed by the experience. After the first experience, as a child I tried not to think about it. After the second NDE as an adult, I tried to think about and examine every aspect of the experience. The intense feelings of love and happiness near the bright light were there and the same in both instances.
I would like to know why some people have NDEs and other people in similar situations do not.