My childhood home was heated by a coal furnace which my mother and father would tend. As a very young child, my crib and bed were situated beside the chimney wall. Almost on a daily basis, the room would have the odor of what the family called 'coal gas'. Of course, today, with the knowledge of how gas fumes can cause illness or often death, I wonder if my bed would have been placed there, since it is highly toxic to humans and animals.
I was constantly plagued with headaches, nausea, and body aches. I was considered an ill child since I had headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fatigue on a daily basis. I have since learned they are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
One particular night, shortly before my parents converted to gas heat, I was again sick in the bed. I could smell the coal gas permeating the brick wall. I remember kneeling on the bed and going close to the wall to smell the odor, I do not know why.
Then the strangest thing happened. Though I had never heard a choir singing or known of a near death experience, I remember hearing the most beautiful singing I had ever heard. I wanted to hear more of it, I could hear people talking and calling my name. This was very inviting to me, even as a child. I knew I wanted to be where the music and singing was, and felt no fear whatsoever. My name was said many times 'Lynn, Lynn, Lynn.' Then I heard another voice. It was firm and authoritative. 'Now is not the time, she must go back, she has work to do.'
I remember waking up, being ill, and never had that experience again. Shortly after that incident, the coal furnace was replaced by gas heat and the headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue left.
This memory has stayed in my mind for over fifty years; I am sixty-three now. I have no doubt it happened and it was not a dream.
Immediately after, I became very spiritual, even at that early age. I would go under my covers with a transistor radio and listen to Christian broadcasts. Today I am a Born Again Christian in a Baptist Church.
I've shared this incident only a few times in my lifetime. After it was over I considered the experience slightly foreboding at times, while at other times quite positive and enlightening.
Date NDE Occurred: approx. 1955
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction. Gas fumes from coal furnace 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Fumes from coal furnace.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 When I heard the choir singing and chanting my name.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I heard the choir singing and chanting my name.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The singing was incredibly clear and enlightening, as was the chanting of my name. I wasn't sensing it in my ears; it was similar to what I'd now call 'another dimension'.
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
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 I don't know who the people were.
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? Uncertain I remember seeing a choir and a quite a few people. Since my bedroom was dark, I imagine there was light surrounding them.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I remember "seeing" a choir of people. The color was pink, I think. The choir sang more beautifully than I've ever heard even till today. I knew they were far away, but I wanted to be where they were.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intrigue, love, enchantment, peace.
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 It made me more aware of God. Till today I hunger for the spiritual.
The experience included: Vision of the future
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 knew they (the choir and people) were 'there'. I was 'here'. In order to be 'there' all I had to do was agree. It was very tempting.
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 None - though mother was Episcopalian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have pursued religion since with a hunger. Not a fanatic, but deep respect and love for God.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Baptist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have pursued religion since with a hunger. Not a fanatic, but deep respect and love for God.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
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? Yes Heightened awareness, call it ESP, I at times can sense things that will happen to the amazement of friends and family. I never tried to hide that ability, only the NDE connected to it.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? No, the entire experience was meaningful and significant. I have never been able to shake the memory.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Forty years.
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 probably real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Since being a child I have read about others having a similar experience. Reviewing the past, my illnesses and living conditions, I feel the fumes may have overcome me if I did not hear the voice saying 'Now is not the time, she must go back, she has work to do.'
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No