I dove into the deep end of the swimming pool when I was age 10 or 11. I wanted to see how long I could hold my breath underwater. When I held it for as long as I thought I could, I was ready to surface. But just then, someone dove in on top of me and I got stuck. I was tangled up underwater. I was terrified and felt as if I was flailing about. Then I realized I was dying and accepted it. I felt this incredible sense of peace, safety, calm. I did have a kid's version of a life review as I remembered to say the prayer the nuns had taught us to say at death. My life review was of only happy memories, but I watched them play out. The one in particular I remember seeing was of being four and in the kitchen while my Mom baked cookies. All the details were very clear including the smell of the cookies and the joy in the kitchen. All of this happened in time speeded up. It was light underwater when I surrendered to dying. My body stopped struggling and somehow I was able to float up to the top of the surface and crawl out of the pool.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer of 1962 or 1963
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning Other: Don't know if clinical death or not. I definitely couldn't breath will drowning, but didn't need to be resuscitated
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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. No fear nor worries. I was an anxious child.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I knew I was dying and surrendered to it. I felt the most amazing sense of peace, warmth, serenity
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could see but my eyes didn't sting from chlorine.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear in my life review, but it was different then hearing underwater.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain There was light that was different than the lighted up swimming pool. But I didn't think much of it at the time
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No I sort of did. It is hard to explain
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I went from terror to the most exquisite peace I have ever felt.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic I remembered to say the Act of Contrition
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I knew I would be ok with God because i said the prayer the nuns taught me. I
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin. I don't know how to answer this. I did not see a being or hear a voice. I knew I was going to be with God and had nothing to fear.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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? No
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? Unknown
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 No
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? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown I knew I would be ok with God because I said the prayer the nuns taught me. I was always a spiritual kid. But after that experience, I didn't enjoy going swimming.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I didn't tell anyone until a religious studies professor asked the class if anyone had ever almost died.
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
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? Life review is not scary nor condemning. No shame. Death is not scary. Death feels peaceful, warm, and happy once you let it happen.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Yes. Twelve years later, I responded to a question in my theology class, simply saying I had almost drowned as a kid. No one said anything.
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 Experience was definitely real. I knew it was all real. But when I got out of the pool I was upset and went home. I didn't tell anyone.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real 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? It would have helped me to talk to someone right away about the experience.
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