I was lying in the dentist chair. I could hear the Christmas music playing and it sounded like it was stuck on one note. I could feel the dentist's hand in my mouth and I was so anxious. He asked if I was okay. I think I shrugged and then nodded. I think he turned up the gas because then I felt relaxed. I quit hearing music at all and I couldn't open my eyes. I started thinking about the kids in my life. Elijah is my fifteen-year-old son with special needs, my classroom of children and their holiday, and my principal and her children. I just kept relaxing deeper and I thought, 'I can't remember my mother's face anymore.' I tried and I couldn't and I wondered when that happened.
I noticed a very dark corner on the upper left-hand side of my 'view'. In the center of it was a vivid white light, really not more than a pupil-sized light. It was so brilliant and whiter than any white I'd ever noticed. I knew what it was so I didn't want to look. But I did look because it was beautiful and pure white and lovely. I could feel my body in the chair and I started to recite the people that anchored me to my life: Mackenzie, Elijah, kids and principal at school, my sons, my partner, my parents, my friends. But, that light was calling me and I was moving toward it. I felt me moving out of the chair at the same time I felt my body in the chair. I was in two places. I knew 'it' was happening and I thought, 'Elijah'. I moved back into the chair but then the light was still there and I saw it and I wondered about my mother's face and I saw the light move closer to me and it wasn't a pinpoint anymore. It was big and squarer. It was coming to me and it was okay. I had this sudden thought 'He'll be okay.' Some sense of him being cared for and I could just let go. I thought, 'I go alone.' and I relaxed. I felt myself move forward and meld into light. My shoulders moved back. I had a last second of choice and I thought NO.
I pulled back away, turned completely away, the dentist hit my hand, called my name, and said we would have to stop. He said he was turning off the gas and up the oxygen because I was passing out.
Date NDE Occurred: 12/22/2009
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Having a root canal. The dentist could not get me comfortable. He kept increasing my nitrous oxide. 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' dentist gave me nitrous oxide and I stopped breathing
The dentist said I was 'too far under' nitrous oxide and my chest hurt when I became cognizant of my body again. However, I didn't know any details. I know that the assistant said I'd passed out. Another assistant said, 'I'd tried to stop breathing.'
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think when the white square was moving toward me. I was fully aware of everything that was happening to me. I just couldn't move.
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 was definitely altered and space was different in that I felt very much out of my own body.
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. White seemed whiter. It seemed more brilliant and clearer. Plus, I was seeing and my eyes were closed. I mean that in and of itself is noteworthy.
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? 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 Brilliantly white. Shades of brilliant white and it grew from pinpoint to larger and then square. It was becoming a square, a rectangle. I think it would have surrounded me when I backed up. I backed out.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peaceful but also a sense of responsibility to my son, my students. I knew my children; these children required my presence. I needed to be here. My son has no other parent but me. I wanted him to have me. I wasn't afraid at all to leave and I wasn't at all afraid to return.
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
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? Liberal None.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Meditation, something I've long attempted but struggled with, is so easy the past two days. How is that?
What is your religion now? Liberal None.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Meditation, something I've long attempted but struggled with, is so easy the past two days. How is that?
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 am aware with certainty that we are okay. My son would have been cared for and has his own place in the universe and I've chosen to be with him longer. I have chosen to teach longer. My life is fully my choice now. I could have walked away from it all and I would have been fully at peace. It was beautiful and painless. I love new vistas and that will be a lovely trip. I choose to continue where I am at this time and I was granted that opportunity.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am more relaxed with my son. I am fully aware of my choice to be his mother again. It is easier to parent a teenager with special needs when you are aware of your desire to do that very thing.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain Lack of words for depth of feeling or clarity of white.
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 light moving toward me and the feeling of moving into it. Choosing to meld with it and knowing it would be okay. It was also meaningful to know I chose to turn away and return to this life, this ridiculous life I live with my fifteen-year-old son with special needs. It is powerful. When my mother died, I said I felt her spirit leave her about ten to fifteen minutes before she died. It felt like it was off and to the left. All of the light was to the left of my vision until it was the whole of my visual range.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Two days. I told an old friend and at first, she sort of laughed. But, after I told her the details, she listened carefully. She's a nurse and she's heard it before. She believed me and that helped me make sense of it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I never believed it before. I have heard people talk about it but I don't believe in Judeo-Christian tradition and associated it with that. This is convincing beyond words. It was experiential.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real When I talk about it, I question more through the listener's experience of hearing it. When I'm still, alone with myself, I know. I simply know. My instincts are good and valid. I've never had any experience like it before. I've had surgeries. Frankly, I've used drugs recreationally before becoming clean and sober ten years ago. I know hallucinations and I know the experience of passing out. I know the experience of being sedated. This experience was outside of those. This is definitely not anything I've known.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Since it is only a few days old it is still the same as above. It is real to me and I believe real. Is it a real validation of an afterlife? Who knows and surely not me. I just know that I believe I was dying and I was not afraid. It wasn't painful and it was, to the contrary, peaceful and beautiful. When the time comes, I am not fearful. I have a son to raise, a granddaughter to delight in and children to teach about learning. I'm not finished here. I believe what I experienced was real and my body was dying. I have no idea what would have happened if I kept on with the process. I will someday and I'm sure I will be just fine.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Meditation is so simple now to slip into and when I do it feels like reconnecting to the relaxation and sense of being 'okay'. Okay meaning completely at peace. It is new. I've attempted meditation for ten years. Daily attempts for ten years have not been terribly successful but now I'm able to do it for about fifteen minutes. Now, I know that's not great but for this attention deficit hyperactivity disorder woman, it is pretty fantastic.