I was traveling through Nebraska when my appendix ruptured. I was taken to hospital and surgery. All was supposed to go well. As preparation for surgery, I was given a muscle relaxant that stopped my heart. During surgery, when tubes were taken from throat, I did not breathe. Somewhere I knew this. I know they attempted resuscitation. I know somehow that a nurse had told my husband that I had stopped breathing.
As all of these things occurred, I also felt and saw a bright light. In the light was my daughter-in-law who had passed two years before. She was waiting for me. She seemed in the light and part of the light. I felt wonderful, happy and moved into the light. I knew I was leaving my husband and family behind but wanted to go into the light. It was happiness a thousand times over. Utopian. Angela was smiling and getting closer. I heard my name being called and did not want to answer. Then just like that, I was looking at a doctor. I was confused and unbelievably angry to still be here.
The doctors said my heart stopped. I did speak with a priest but never could explain what I was feeling - I just wanted to go back. In the years since I have never shaken that feeling. I do not have dreams about it, but I have a surreal sense most of the time, and a sense of peace. I feel no fear about death. I simply know where I am going. I know it was real although I cannot prove it so. And as for people who say it was just my brain shutting down, I know it was more.
Date NDE Occurred: April 2003
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'appendix rupture, given medication reaction' Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
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? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I saw Angela (daughter-in-law) I was focused on her yet knew what was happening to me.
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
To me there was no time I know I stopped breathing during surgery, tubes kept pushing air in. I was already in the light when I saw them remove tubes from my throat or had a sense they were removing them. I saw, felt, and sensed that resuscitation was being done. And felt disconnected to it all.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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? No
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 Daughter-in-law, Angela. She was waiting in the light. She wanted me to come through to her, not words, but I felt her emotions.
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 It was soft, not smooth, not textured, it was bright to the point it was all around me, almost as I was enclosed in it. The further I went in the more I felt wrapped in it. I do not know why, when I think about it I think of roses.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm i am not sure what this means,i felt light,i seen light, i am not sure if i went to light,or if light came and surrounded me.i mean i did not see mountains/i love/or such
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, warmth, love, happiness, utopia, contentment, no remorse about leaving my family - like this is where I belong, this is what all of wait for.
Question 11: I did not feel separated from my body but I knew I was not in it. I knew throughout I was dead.
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 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 There is another world, place, and people I loved are waiting for me. I think my life has been harder since because I feel I am out of step with the world.
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? Moderate 'I was not before, spiritual/now I am'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes More spiritual. Feel a connection to God.
What is your religion now? Moderate
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes More spiritual. Feel a connection to God.
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? Uncertain I felt while in the light a sense of good, belonging, home, safe that and something more - have no words for the whole sense, the universe I do not think so. I would say I felt totally connected to God and goodness.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I find I want to do more for everyone. I was not a spiritual person before. Now, I am deeply so. The world seems better now. Or I notice it more now.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Emotionally upsetting. Hard to explain to family, I was angry I had to come back.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain After, yes, I get a sense of things before they happen but the most profound is my sense of life and death.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I was close to Angela. I felt rather than heard her, she assured me she was happy and all was okay.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not share this for a long time. When I did, my husband said that he and my one son felt I had some life altering experience. I shared this in small amounts at a time. Some thought I was crazy. Some understood. Some pretended to understand.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I always thought people who said this were crazy.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Confused why I had to come back. Angry feeling like I did not belong here.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real My anger has changed. I feel still as if I should not be here - like my time here is limited and I have no problem with passing over. As I said no fear of death at all - almost like death is the beginning.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I feel Angela with me all the time. I find myself trying to recreate that feeling I had in the light.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Some of the questions are hard to answer because yes/no answers do not apply to what happened to me, is not tangible. It's not just one thing happening at a time. It's a sense, a feeling, a knowing, all at once. The light is not so much a light but a surrounding of brightness, not smooth, not textured. I remember and still think of the light like a rose, Angela in the middle, but it was not a rose, it was just a sense. How I feel now is a disconnection to life but a need to fulfill something. I am predestined to do.
Question 30: No feeling of understanding, just completeness.