Experience Description

I was lying on my bed in my bedroom at my grandmother's house. I inhaled some throat spray since I had a cold at the time, but I pointed the spray towards my respiratory tract and inhaled it. I didn't understand what was happening to me, but suddenly everything was blocked, I couldn't breathe, and a great rattle came out of my throat instead of air, the way one would normally exhale. I panicked. After two giant rattles, I lost control of my body, total panic, my hands are looking for some kind of help. I looked all around to find a solution, all the while suffocating to death. I am at my grandmother's house, I could ask her for help, but I have the presence of mind to not wake her (it's 1:00 am) because if she sees me in this condition, she could have a heart attack, she's old. My panic increases then I feel the vise around my throat constricting even more, as though someone is trying to strangle me, and I begin to spasm, as though I'm going to vomit but nothing can come out, everything is still blocked. I am fighting both the spasms of my stomach and the loud rattles.

After a moment (maybe a few seconds, but they seemed to me like an eternity) I see my body getting up, I no longer have any control over it, while my consciousness attempts in vain to find a solution. My body begins to run in all directions, exits my room, goes into the living room, circles the table and my arms try to grab onto to something, anything, so that I won't faint or die. Then my body (without the control of my brain) instinctively returns to my room and I collapse, overtaken by an enormous fatigue, so tired from having fought so hard. I am still suffocating, but my consciousness distances itself from this suffering and this fight in order to make an assessment of my life.

I see images flash very quickly sort of the way dreams work one scene to another without any logical relationship, but here my brain understands because it doesn't have to know all the details in order to understand the relationships, and only a few images are needed. I relive all the emotions from my childhood at an incredible speed, in about a minute I have completely suffocated. At that point, I realize that I am under the control of a superior being, a divine-like presence has my life in its hands, and therefore I am going to die. I know this and am not afraid. My first thought upon realizing I am going to die is regret:

The regret at not having said goodbye to my family, the regret that I had not really lived yet (I was nineteen years old at the time), a sense of injustice about that, as though I resented the superior entity for taking away my life. My life was just beginning. I was knowing that I never would have imagined that my life would end so early and without a trace. The regret at having never loved and at never being loved by a boy the way I dreamed, at never having children, and then, another feeling. Bashful shame: I saw myself lying dead in my room; my face disfigured in pain, and then imagined the person who would discover my body. I told myself that being dead is really a very intimate experience, it's as though I were naked and anyone could see me without my being able to hide. And then the last feeling I had was a sudden fullness. I forgot that I suffered, I no longer heard the rattles, my consciousness was drawn by something else: I will explain it by the word 'light' but it really wasn't that, I know it was something above me, superior, reassuring, welcoming, like a proposition to kindly put to rest my suffering and without regret on my part.

I already had one foot in that world: my consciousness was already there, all that was left was for me to put in the other foot, and my whole being would be there. After a moment, the question was moot because my body was without life. I am no longer afraid, I accept, and the word is strong, because that is what saved my life: I ACCEPT MY DYING. And it is at this moment of acceptance, which calmed me and gave me peace that my edema suddenly deflated, and that air goes back into my lungs. At this moment I am propelled out of the feeling of completeness, my consciousness rejoins my body immediately and I become myself again. For a few seconds I know that I have flirted with death and death is nice, I am not afraid of it. Then the human takes over and the fear of death returns. Since then I am a lot less afraid of death, I am most afraid of how one suffers beforehand. I see things more intensely since this episode, I know it was a message that life can be taken away at any moment and that one must work so as not to have any regrets at the time of death. I matured very quickly after that, now I'm twenty-five years old but people often think I am older, morally speaking, I have acquired a sort of wisdom and an extreme sensitivity towards others. Like a capability of being able to analyze others off the bat.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 2002

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction Other 'Oedème de Quincke suite à une réaction allergique violente, étouffement total mais pas le temps d'une hospitalisation car trop brutal'

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 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 My brain (or my consciousness) worked very rapidly, like the unconscious in the dreams. Suddenly, I had like a higher intelligence than usually, and also a wisdom worthy of old people, that I have improved three years later, and that helped me to get me out of a depression.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was about to die, I knew everything: my physical and psychological condition, what was going to happen to the others, my life as it had been lived, the fullness of what was being offered 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 Time is slower because I had time to think about everything I described above, but also time is faster because I was able to think all these thoughts and space is not perceived by the body, everything is from within.

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 remember my internal thoughts more than what I was seeing, I had the impression that I was seeing things differently, it was as if I were in a bubble.

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 I became conscious before that could happen.

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 But the term light is incorrect, it's just there to describe the ineffable, it was more like a divine presence, a more powerful presence. Our culture uses the word 'light' to describe it.

The experience included: A landscape or city

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm comme un tapis de feuilles morte, et des arbres illuminés par des rayons de soleil

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Panic at first, then when I knew I would be dying shortly, it was drawing me towards it, no fear, calm, total wellbeing - panique au début.

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

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe

The experience included: Life review

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I don't remember having learned anything new, as much as I would have liked to hide my experience from myself. I did learn to live life to the fullest and to take risks in life. This way I would never have anything to regret. I appreciate and love those close to me and forgive more readily. I recognize my mistakes, I matured much faster than normal, I became interested in the other person, acquired a desire to help people in need, like on a mission to 'save' was born within me. What I saw of my life was charged with emotion and also went by too fast, I guess because I had only lived nineteen years at the time, and therefore I know that life is a gift and one must make something beautiful of it.

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

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Always the same, I don't know if there is a link but today I am drawn towards Buddhism even though I am Jewish (non-practicing).

What is your religion now? Moderate

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Always the same, I don't know if there is a link but today I am drawn towards Buddhism even though I am Jewish (non-practicing).

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 tell myself that this experience was not random, it came so that I could learn to LIVE, because at that time I was going through a depression, I was stubborn, I wasted my time - I was a recluse. Since then I like to be with others, and I aspire to profit from the life I was given, I feel connected to the universe, I have taken an interest in Buddhism, and I have been told that I am an old soul and was nearing Nirvana, because I acquired a certain philosophical wisdom.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I am not sure whether it was that experience or the others that followed it, but my relationships with others have become more interesting, profound, intellectual, sensible, sincere and I have developed a capability of finding good people.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I waited ONE YEAR to speak to my mother, who was upset I had not told her sooner. Then I told my father who said it was just an allergic reaction and I could have died (said without emotion), then I told my grandmother who thought I was stupid to not have alerted her. And then I told friends who were moved by the experience, some were afraid, others said it wasn't the first time they'd heard of a person flirting with death. Others found it reassuring.

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 definately not real I knew deep down it had happened, but I DIDN'T WANT TO ACCEPT IT, I was in denial, I was traumatized and wanted to forget it all. I kept it secret for a year.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I got over the trauma and can now speak about it with peace and even with interest; I have the impression that I was privileged.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No