Experience Description

I had minor ENT surgery to create two holes in my sinuses due to a long-term problem. The operation was satisfactory and I returned home after a one-night stay in hospital.

That night I slept satisfactorily, but awoke the following morning with a terrible headache. The pain throughout the day became unbearable, and my left eye and cheek became very swollen and black through internal bleeding.

I was readmitted into the hospital, where I had a brain scan to determine whether the ENT surgeon had accidentally pierced the brain lining. The scan was negative, however, as I showed all the symptoms of meningitis - intense neck pain, headache and photophobia. I was treated with intravenous antibiotics and painkillers.

Three days later, I hadn't really improved much at all. As I stood to get into a wheelchair to see an ophthalmic doctor about my eye, after walking a short way, I started to feel very ill indeed. Sweat started to pour from my head and forehead as if water taps had been turned on, and I felt very sick. The nurses tried to put me back into bed, when I passed out.

The next thing I remember is brightness, very similar to somebody sitting in the clouds, and there was my old friend Stuart. He had died some 24 years ago at the age of 21 from cancer. He looked his old self, the healthy version of him that was quite chubby, not the gaunt skinny person he had become during his illness. His hair had greyed around the temples exactly how he probably would have looked now if he had lived. I said to him, ‘You've gone grey’.

He held out his hand and said to me, ‘Come on Linds, take my hand’.

I looked at him and said, ‘I can't, you’re dead’

It was very peaceful and I didn't feel fearful at all.

He held out his hand again and said, ‘Come on’.

I looked at him and said, ‘No, I can't, you’re dead’.

The next thing I remember is being sick and being attached to various medical machines.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: May 5, 2002

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain IllnessSurgery-related Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening I was very ill with an infection due to surgery and collapsed after several days on antibiotics. My experience happened at that time, although my husband questioned the medical team and they stated that at no time was my life in any threat. I am not so sure about that.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Disturbing

Did you feel separated from your body? No

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During this time, I was unconscious but appeared to be alert and knew exactly what I was saying to my dead friend.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Complete and utter silence.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes As mentioned above.

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain There was a very bright light surrounding my late friend Stuart, but it wasn't a tunneled light. It was as if he was sitting on top of a cloud on a very bright sunny day.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt as if I was sitting in the clouds speaking with my friend.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt very peaceful and very surprised to speak to my dead friend. There was no panic whatsoever.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No

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 When my friend asked me to take his hand and go with him, I refused, twice.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Church of England

What is your religion now? Liberal Church of England

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I feel quite frightened. It took me two weeks to tell my husband about my experience. I know it was real, but I wasn't sure if sharing the experience with anyone else was a good idea. It made me think a lot about my experience. I do not know if it was an NDE, and I feel frightened that I do not understand it. It has made me think more about death and the fact that there is life after death.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

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? There was no good part of the experience. I wished it hadn't happened. The worst part is the thousands of unanswered questions that I now have.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes When I told my husband about my experience, and I said that my late friend Stuart had aged and looked like what he probably would have looked like if he had aged and gone grey, my husband said that he thought people remained the same age in heaven. He suggested that Stuart may not have gone to heaven at all. This completely freaked me out, as it wasn't something that had ever crossed my mind. I had great difficulty sleeping after his comments. (Which he later apologized for!)

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 would like to know if there is any way I will ever be able to come to terms with knowing whether this experience was real?

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I would be very grateful if the answers to some of my questions asked in the questionnaire be answered.