We were celebrating a birthday, the whole family, and at the end we drank Queimada Gallega, which is a hot drink, from Galicia originally, which is prepared by heating up whiskey from grape liquor with lemon and sugar. When the drink was steaming hot my brother asked that we add more whiskey, even though there was already enough. A ball of fire formed, and due to the air current, the fire came towards me. I was wearing a cotton dress. The fire didn’t latch onto my clothing but did begin to burn my long hair. I was conscious of this happening. I protected my face with my arms and tried to instinctively move away from the area and the fire. I headed to the window and the air from outside fanned the fire even more so that I appeared, according to what my family told me afterwards, to be a human torch. Almost instantly, I had three consecutive experiences, one after the other.
In the first (more physical) I was aware that the fire was engulfing me and that I was burning. I remembered scenes from movies where people are burning and I knew that I looked just like them. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me - to me! And it wasn’t a movie. It was reality. I was paralyzed with fear. I felt the fire tearing at my skin. I heard it.
Then I felt as though someone (because it was a person) pulled me into myself, as though I was falling into a bottomless pit. I didn’t feel that I left my body, rather that I was entering into the deepest part of me. You could call it a tunnel and there was a light at the end. Or more accurately, there was someone who was full of love and radiating light. I was at the bottom of the pit, and unlimited peace and love enveloped me. The fire disappeared, along with the room, my family and the fear. What was left was this presence that loved me. I understood the importance of love. In this place, I saw two images, like two photographs, inside of me. The first was the convent where I was planning to become a nun and the second of the boy who liked me and with whom I was falling in love. I saw the two pictures and knew I had to make a decision. I decided on the convent, and the image of the boy disappeared.
During all of this I was slightly aware that someone was trying to get me to the floor and I understood the message, 'Let yourself fall.' I went unconscious. Soon enough I knew it was my father trying to put out the fire with his hands, without success, and I decided to get down to the floor where there wouldn’t be so much wind and currents of air, and where it would be easier to stop the fire. I softly fell to the ground.
I continued to 'descend' and get closer to the light, forgetting again everything around me. Then (and this was the third experience) I heard my sister screaming 'Oh my God! I burned my sister!' At that, I felt a violent shaking and returned to consciousness, to reality - the room, my family and the fire. The fear did not return, neither did the pain. All I felt was love, love surrounding me. I felt the need to transmit this love. So I said in a clear loud voice, 'I love you! I love you all! I love you!' I don’t know how much time passed while I was being burned or if anybody could stop the flames, and it didn’t matter. Nothing except LOVE was important.
Finally a married couple who had been invited to the dinner put out the fire with a cushion.
Date NDE Occurred: 27 agosto 1991
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident Other: Envuelta en fuego varios minutos.
I didn’t know how long I would burn, and I didn’t know if I would survive this.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don’t know, although I think that as the fire kept burning I became more alert.
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
Everything went very fast and slow at the same time, or maybe I should say very fast but with intensity and with each instant in extreme detail.
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 don’t remember anything special about my vision.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. At the beginning I heard the crackling of the fire on my skin and in my hair, but afterwards I lost consciousness of all that until I heard my sister, who sounded far away.
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 An abyss inside of me.
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: 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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At the beginning fear and confusion, soon turning to love.
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
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 The two images of the convent and the boy.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Sometimes. Years later, but I don’t think that has anything to do with this experience.
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 No change, but it did deepen them.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes No change, but it did deepen them.
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 Love.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No It took me a long time to talk about it, however.
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? I already explained this.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes 16 months afterwards I told my sister because she felt guilt about the whole thing. She answered that she knew I had the near death experience. I didn’t ask her how she knew. I had never talked about it except with a nun, in secret.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My grandmother had an operation. She was clinically dead and saw a tunnel. I was 6 years old at the time. I don’t think that had any influence on me.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I never doubted it. I was a very private person and didn’t want to talk about it to anybody. However, I did reconsider my decision about the convent over the boy. I didn’t know what to do. I decided to become a nun.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real With peace and hope.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No