I was 9 1/2 years old and it was mid-winter in Northern Ontario. My mom had sent me to the store. I went to cross the road and fell through the ice that covered a ditch. I slid through the snow-covered hole in the ice and ended up on my back, under thick ice. I flailed and tried to find the hole I'd fallen through but was unable to do so. I had a panic when I first breathed in water and then a total and complete calm.
I went from being frozen, quivering, silently screaming, to feeling incredible warmth and happiness. I was bathed in light and no longer felt wet, weighed down by ice, water, clothes or worries. I was perfectly warm, joyous, loved and peaceful. The light surrounded me but also seemed to direct me forward. I felt the same kind of perfect and overwhelming love I felt when I first held each of my sons.
Suddenly, I was feeling a cold dark pulling that I fought to resist. My next memory is of throwing up as a stranger held me. I was freezing and so sad. She wrapped me in a stinky and hairy dog blanket and put me in her car. After a few minutes, I was able to point out my house. While my mom rushed me into a hot bath, she told my dad what had happened. She was driving and out of the corner of her eye, saw me go down. She thought I had just fallen and continued to drive but had a bad feeling and after a minute, she turned her car. She found the spot where I went down and saw the hole in the ice but couldn't get me back up the hole as I was on my back and the hole was quite small. She ran to the car for her ice scraper and used it to open the hole. She estimated I was in the water 4 or 5 minutes. She had to give me mouth to mouth to get me breathing again.
I told my dad what happened when I was in the ice and he told me the light would still be there for me when I was an old lady but I had a lot to do with my life and it wasn't my time.
Date NDE Occurred: Mid-winter 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Other: Drowning...had breathed in water
I was drowning in ice water under the ice. I had stopped struggling and breathed in water.
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 It was an inside and out awareness. I felt in the light but also part of the light. The love I felt was so deep and overwhelming it took 17 years more to feel it again; on the day, my son was born. The wonderful love I have for my husband, parents and siblings doesn't come close.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The moment the panic stopped, I felt extremely aware of everything
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I remember being surprised it was only 4 or 5 minutes that I was under water.
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. It was dark when I went through the ice and darker under the ice. My eyes were likely closed in the water but I was bathed in light. I don't remember seeing anything but the light.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Under the water, there was a roaring in my ears. During the experience, I don't remember any kind of sound.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
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? No The light surrounded me and although I don't think it was coming from any particular point, I felt guided and directed through it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt as though I were home. It was unearthly but so familiar.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt love, love, love, love. I felt joyous, blissful, happy, calm, radiant, and peaceful.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No I didn't understand everything but even at 9, I understood that I was part of something bigger.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I went from organized religion to personal spirituality.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I'm spiritual but unaffiliated and unaligned with any faith or spiritual discipline. I believe in leading a good and charitable life. I believe that regardless of religion, all good people will have an afterlife full of love and light.
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 My mom was Catholic, dad was Protestant and we were raised to go to church but not directed to any particular faith. After my experience, I felt sure that Jesus' teachings (along with Buddah, Allah and other spiritual leaders) were on the right track but that churches or defined religion wasn't for me. I've always led a spiritual life. I believe the light I was in was one of unity and I wasn't in it because I was Protestant and went to church every week.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I felt a much greater responsibility to be a good and kind person.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? Yes This actually describes what I felt very well... Unity/oneness ... I felt a part of a whole
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? Uncertain I felt part of a whole.
I know there's something but I don't know if it's a god or just more and bigger than the individual.
Since then, I've felt a happy obligation to live a life of love and light.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No The knowledge that there's so much more for us than we know on earth but not any directions or purpose other than knowing I should live a good life.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain I came away feeling a responsibility to lead a good life.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I felt part of a wonderful oneness of love and light. I've never had any fear of dying since that day and I feel like this life is a visit in a journey.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly 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 possibly 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love was the overwhelming feeling that surrounded me. I've been blessed with a life full of love but it wasn't until I held my two sons in my arms that I felt that same unbelievable, overwhelming, incredible love that seems to fill you up completely. The
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 Prior to the experience, organized religion guided me. Afterwards, I stopped believing in religion and became more personally spiritual.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No Because I was young when it happened, it guided my later relationships. I feel it's been an extremely positive force in my life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember it well. We moved off that street a year later but I can clearly see every aspect of the street and the ditch where it happened.
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? Knowing that when I die, I'll still be surrounded by love was especially meaningful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I spoke to my dad about it the same night. My sisters were younger than I was but they've always known about it though I'm not sure if I told them or my parents did. I tried to tell my mom about it but I remember being frustrated because she kept trying to ascribe Catholicism to the experience and she was frustrated that I suddenly didn't want to go to church when she thought I should be more religious.
I told my two best friends. One of them was killed in a drunk driving accident that summer and the other was abused by her stepfather and was sent away to live with relatives that summer. I've always hoped that I was able to give them some kind of peace with what I told them. I know my experience made it easier for me to deal with losing my best friend because I knew he was going to a wonderful place and I'd also be there one day.
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've just always accepted it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Many years after it happened, I spoke with a friend about it and she said the light could have been the car lights and the warmth was just hypothermia. I can accept that but both of those things paled in comparison to the love I was enveloped in and part of so I have no doubt it was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes When my dad died, we were blessed that he had a wonderful Doctor. She prescribed morphine in high doses when he decided he was ready to go. She said it would take about 8 hours at the highest dose and me and my sisters administered it. He went into chaynestoke breathing for about 6 hours and then, at a time he should have been deeply in a morphine fog, he sat up, looked beyond us and looked so joyous, he said, 'haw Minnie, haw John.' His mom's name was Minnie and he always called her that instead of mom, John was his brother and both had passed. Then he appeared to listen for a minute. He then lay back with a smile, the labored breathing stopped, and he slipped away about an hour later. The joy and love I saw in his face was so similar to what I felt. When he died, I thought I'd be inconsolable but amazingly, my sisters and I hugged and all four of us laughed with joy. We all could feel the peace and love. None of us saw or felt my gran or uncle in the room, just the peace, joy and love on dad's face and we all heard him greet them.