I was in my grandmother's kitchen. She was doing the dishes and I was sitting at the table eating a piece of cinnamon disk candy. Grandma left the room and somehow I began choking on the piece of candy. The candy became lodged in my throat and I couldn't breathe. My vision became blurry and I started to pass out, knocking a cup to the floor. Upon hearing the sound of the cup crashing to the floor, my grandmother rushed in and performed the Heimlich maneuver.
I remember passing out briefly, almost as if I were drifting off to sleep. Then I opened my eyes and somehow found myself looking at the scene unfold - as if I were a spectator at my own performance. I saw my grandmother rush in with a horrified look on her face and pick me up off the floor. I saw her attempts to get the candy out of my throat. I didn't feel alarm, just an overall sense of numb curiosity. I remember a feeling that I had - it was almost one of indecision.
On one hand, I felt that I could leave the house, and everything I knew behind me. On the other hand, I felt that I could somehow go back and that things would be okay. I remember a growing sense of warmth and comfort that enveloped my body. I felt light and free, almost as if I could float away. I didn't recall a tunnel, or an intense light - but the scene around me seemed almost a fuzzy, out of focus environment - almost as if it were a painting in dreamy, pastel hues.
I sensed that I needed to return to my body and I remember closing my eyes, then opening them to see the red disk of candy standing out against the cream linoleum tile. I looked up to see my grandmother sobbing with a sense of relief. She picked me up and held me for a long time. I'm not sure if I actually died or not, but judging by how frantic my grandma was, I'm sure that I was pretty close to it. For many years after that incident, grandmother didn't keep hard candy in the house.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer of 1991
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Young child choking.
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 felt a heightened sense of alertness, consciousness, after I had passed out and began to watch the scene unfold. Before and after I 'slipped away' it was a gradual loss, and after I came back I seemed almost normal again, as if nothing happened.
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 seemed to slow as I watched events unfold. The pace of my thoughts were normal, and I moved about the room in normal time, but the events around me seemed slow-motion-ish.
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. It was almost a more developed sense of sight. Everything seemed clearer, stark. Everything seemed normally solid, except that the edges of objects were less defined - I liken it to an oil painting, where things somewhat run together.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Sounds were somewhat muffled, and the scene almost seemed to be playing out in slow-motion.
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: 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? Uncertain I wouldn't say that I encountered the proverbial 'bright light' but the room seemed to be filled with a soft, warm light - as if a large candle were supplying the luminescence.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
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 I did not have a specific believe system in place given my young age.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal
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
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? Uncertain I was suddenly and acutely aware of a choice that I had to make.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain It was very difficult for me to describe being so young. I remember telling my grandmother that I felt 'very warm and happy' when I 'went to sleep.' I can articulate what I felt better now, because I feel I better understand the event.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain It seemed as if I had significantly more déjà-vu moments as I grew older. I seemed to know random things about people, their emotions, and random ideas flashed through my mind. Sometimes I'd instinctively grabbed the phone before it rang, could sing lyrics to songs I'd never heard before, etc.
Also (I don't know how paranormal this is) but I have never been able to keep a watch for very long. It seems as if they always die right away, or need batteries. I'm not sure if that's something with me or just my bad judgment in watch choice.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I think the most meaningful thing is that it was shared with my grandmother, and she was the one to bring me back. We were especially close after that incident.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately following with my grandmother, then she told my parents. My grandmother didn't really seem that surprised for some reason, almost as if she knew what was happening. My parents freaked out a bit, but I think that was more to do with my almost dying than my purported NDE.
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 Being so young I really didn't think much of it, other than being annoyed by the fact that I was denied candy for a long time afterwards. I knew something very real and very strange happened to me and it wasn't a dream.
I was adamant about the things I experienced when talking to family. They believed what I had to say, as I had no reason to lie about it, especially when I gave them details. I was a pretty trustworthy kid.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real But as I grew older and reflected on the experience I realized that I did have a paranormal encounter of some sort and that it was a meaningful moment in my life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No