I was sitting in the dentist chair. I had received some ether to relax me so that the dentist could remove the bits of bone in my jaw. I had some headphones on and was listening to soft music. It was so relaxing that after a few minutes, I began to breathe very heavily. Then suddenly I found myself floating through a dark tunnel, but yet it was light enough and starry enough that I could see myself floating around in the tunnel. I looked at my arms and legs but did not actually see them. I became very frightened because I knew what was happening to me. I knew that I was dying. My children and family came to mind and I became indescribably sad. I knew my family would not understand what had happened to me. I had not really been worried about what I thought would be just a routine dental surgery/visit. I had not realized that something might happen to me.
On my journey, I saw the brightest light I had ever seen far, far away. The closer I came to the light, the less sad I was. Finally, at one point, I was not thinking about my children anymore. I was thinking about how happy I was. I had never experienced such human happiness in my life. I had been happy before. I had three wonderful girls, a wonderful family, and a wonderful husband. I was in my second year of going to college to get my teaching degree. When I reached the light or went as far as I could go, it was so bright it blinded me and I had to cover my eyes. God called my name and told me that it was not my time.
I then, suddenly, was back in the dentist and hearing a faint calling of my name and realized they were calling my name and it grew louder the closer I came to consciousness. I could see their faces and their concern and finally opened my eyes. They were relieved and asked me if everything was all right. I said yes and they finished. I left without saying anything. I was angry with God for not letting me stay with him and I was afraid that what had happened was not real and I just imagined it somehow. I was very, very, very angry for a long time.
Date NDE Occurred: October 1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was having, what I thought was, minor dental surgery. I had to have some broken bits of bone removed from my jaw due to a tooth that was pulled when I was 13 years old. I needed to get braces and the dentist wanted to remove the bits of bone in my jaw before he put braces on me.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No I never experienced any pain during the surgery or anything like that.
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? From the time I entered the tunnel until I returned to consciousness: I was aware of everything around me even though I did not actually see my physical body. I was aware of such emotion of both extreme sadness and extreme happiness. When I returned I was angry with God for not letting me stay with him.
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 am not really sure how much time transpired during this experience. I am sure I was in the dentist chair at least an hour or more. It felt like I was only gone a few minutes. When I returned, the nurse and doctor were just finishing-up everything. I sat in the chair probably another 20 to 30 minutes before he was actually finished.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. As I said, I could not actually 'see' my body, but I knew I was turning from side to side floating around in the airy, starry tunnel. I saw the tiny bright light and the longer I was floating, the closer I came to the light. It finally almost blinded me and I had to cover my eyes with my hands.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. When I arrived close enough to the light, I heard God's voice. He said, 'Maggie, it is not your time.' It was then I immediately returned and could tell I was in the dentist chair. The nurse and doctor were calling my name so faintly I could barely hear it at first. Then it became louder and louder the more I was returning to consciousness. I could see the faces of the nurse and the doctor and I knew from their faces that they thought something was wrong and I heard their worried tone when calling my name. They called my name three times and it got louder with each call. Finally, I opened my eyes and they asked me if everything was all right. I just said yes, very matter-of-factly, and nothing else to them. I was very scared and angry.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes The tunnel was dark but a million stars were twinkling as I went through it.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I saw the bright light about midway through the tunnel. It was tiny at first and became larger as I became closer to it. Finally it was so bright I had to cover my eyes because it was blinding me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Mostly, extreme sadness at first that I was leaving my family and they would not know what had happened to me. Then it changed to extreme happiness, the closer I came to the light. After God called my name and said it was not my time, I only remember being in the dentist chair and being very frightened. I was not sure what had happened to me. I could not really understand any of it. Nothing like that had ever happened to me, nor had I any knowledge of anything like this happening to anyone else. I was angered that God would not let me stay with him and enter the light.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have a stronger faith. I have more love of Jesus/God. I have more of an understanding of what He went through and how much he loved me.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was raised in a Baptist church. I was saved when I was eight years old. I have loved and trusted God all my life. I read the Bible and know God's plan. I don't understand everything but I know that God does exist for sure now because he actually talked to me. I did not say anything to him though and I was a little upset about that.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My values, beliefs, and faith have become stronger. Today they are even stronger.
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 I heard God's voice. I knew it was Him. He knew who I was because he called me by my name Maggie. It was a loud voice but a very loving tone.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? Yes As I said, I was aware that God was talking to me. We "knew" each other.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes God talked to me. I heard his voice.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes He called my name and said it was not my time.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Well, I know about God and I was saved when I was eight years old. So whether consciously or unconsciously, I was aware that there is continued existence after earthly life.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Just the awareness that my children would not have their mother to care for them anymore.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I experienced God's love through his voice and the fact that he called my name.I felt his love.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life. I have more faith now. I know that God is in control of my life and watching out for my family and me. I have been able to share this experience with some of my students at school when I was teaching. As my children have gotten older, I have shared my near death experience with them. I did not tell my husband what happened to me for about a year and a half later. I saw a TV show about a person who had experienced a near death experience and I said, 'That happened to me.'
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I'm closer to my family and friends. I am more helpful and more compassionate.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I did not tell my dentist anything about my experience because I was so frightened and scared that they would not believe me. The main emotion I felt was complete anger with God.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It seems as if it was yesterday. I have only lost "some" of the emotion but I still cry when telling others about it. It has affected me tremendously.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I believe I have the special gift of counseling others. I am not an educated counselor as such, but the experience did help me understand and be more compassionate to my students, my children, my husband, my family and others around me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? ALL OF IT.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It took me a year and a half before I told anyone and then I only told my husband after we happened to watch a TV show about a near death experience. I then shared with him what happened to me. He said he believed me and I think he did, but I was skeptical. I have since become secure in his understanding of my experience. He may not understand it totally but we do believe. When my girls became old enough to understand (adults) I finally shared my experience with them. I did not want to scare them. After many years, I finally shared with a couple of students, then a classroom, then another classroom. I have shared it with my Sunday school class, my sister, and a colleague at school. I did tell my current dentist and my doctor about it but I did not go into any details about the experience. They just listened and did tell me to share with other doctors my concerns.
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 I knew what happened to me really happened, but I did not understand it or how it could have happened. After a while I figured that it was the ether that I was given, probably too much and I breathed it in too much. I was afraid I was crazy at first and that is why I didn't tell my husband about until a year and a half later. Then when I saw the show on the television, I thought, 'Well if that kind of thing is happening to other people, then I didn't just imagine it. It really happened to me, too.'
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I knew nothing about this type of experience when it happened to me. I had never read about it or anything. After it happened, I tried to reconcile what happened on my own, without talking about it to anyone. Then after the show I started reading about it and realizing how many other people had experienced even more detailed happenings. I was very jealous because I read they had gotten to actually talk to God and their family members. I was hurt that I was not given the opportunity.
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 think I have shared everything that happened to me.