I had a spinal anesthetic during a long and difficult labor. I was lying on the stretcher after delivery, when I began to feel a tight band around my chest. A nurse checked my blood pressure and said it was 70/30. She opened up the IV line. I felt so good that I wanted to reach up and close the line, but couldn't move. I wasn't worried at all and before I knew it, I was out of my body floating face down. I saw my body on the stretcher, but was completely unconcerned. A doctor ran up and yelled, 'What the hell happened? She was fine a few minutes ago! Get the cart!' (Crash cart.) Other doctors and nurses came running. I just didn't really care what was happening down there. I had participated in many codes, and it was pretty boring to watch my own.
I felt wonderful, no pain, no worries. I noted that the tops of the walls faded into blackness and I could see the stars above. I noticed a large window below me, and somehow received the thought that I could go home for a minute if I wished. My marriage was not very good at the time, and I decided not to visit my home before leaving.
Suddenly, I was lying with my head and shoulders slightly elevated, in some kind of ethereal tunnel, moving slowly toward a light. There were two beings in front of the light. I knew that soon I would begin to move very fast toward the light. I was ready to go. The beings seemed rather flustered, and they had thoughts like, 'It isn't time for her.' 'How did this happen?' etc. Finally, one of them settled down and began to communicate with me. They gently told me that it wasn't time, that I had many more years to live. I knew that the ultimate choice was up to me. I decided to go on. Then, they said, 'But, you will have to do this all over again. You will live a long life and you have lots of work to do.' That gave me pause, and as I was trying to decide, they said, 'Who will take care of the baby?' I looked to my left and saw my son lying in a crib in the nursery. He was battered and bruised from the long labor. He was sleeping, and I noticed that his head was misshapen. My resolve to go forward began to waver. I found myself fighting, sort of like swimming backwards, to get back in my body.
All of a sudden, I was back in my body. It felt cold, damp and painful. For a moment, I was sorry that I had returned. I was angry with the nurses and doctors for bringing me back. However, I knew that I had done the right thing.
Date NDE Occurred: Dec.1. 1970
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
See main narrative.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness The entire time that I was out of my body.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The entire time that I was out of my body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I can't describe this, but space and time were definitely different that our experience on earth.
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 cannot explain this. It was though I could see through things, around things, for miles, etc.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I think I experienced telepathy.
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 Semi-transparent, colorless, walls undulating slightly.
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 Two beings who appeared to be humanoid.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 Looked like a very bright, warm, welcoming, yellow light, an opening to another place.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I knew that I was in another level or dimension of existence
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, peace, no pain or discomfort whatsoever, no worries of any kind. I felt as though this was the way I was supposed to feel all along.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 Yes. My life would be long, and I had a lot of work to do ahead of me. Also, that I would have to start at the beginning later, if I decided to come ahead now.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I was told I had a lot of work to do, and I have worked hard as a nurse, nurse educator and nurse practitioner in the years since. I also felt that I had a lot of work to do on myself, and I am still in that process.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I knew that my life on earth would end if I crossed into the 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? Yes I am more spiritual and less religious. I have been a seeker during my life.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am more spiritual and less religious. I have been a seeker during my life.
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? Yes I had a purpose and a lot of work to do. I wasn't told what the purpose was.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain This is just too complicated to answer at this time.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Feelings of total peace, absence of worries, absence of any kind of physical pain, desire to go home.
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? The knowledge that I would have to live some type of life again if I came home prematurely. Knowing that there is a plan, that I had a lot of work to do and it would be meaningful work.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not share it for several years. I was afraid that people would think I was crazy. I still had a yearning to return to my real home. In 1977, I was working on a cardiac step down unit and patients began to tell me about their NDEs. I learned of Dr. Moody's book, and I realized that I had had a valid experience. After that, I began to share with others. Most people are very interested, some are skeptical. It doesn't matter to me, I know it happened.
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 I felt it was real. I wanted to re-experience it, and still do. I longed for home, but knew I had made the right decision. I kept it my secret for seven years. I thought others would scoff.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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 have worked in many areas of nursing, but never with the dying exclusively or hospice. Although I have an interest in this area, I was afraid that being around the dying would cause my longing to return home to become too strong, even though I would never commit suicide. I know that I need to live in the present and continue my work here on earth.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Can think of none at this time.