At the age of 15, I had been physically, psychologically and emotionally abused by my chronic alcoholic father. We didn't know it at the time, but he had PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries. I took an overdose of my grandmother's sleeping pills. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital and spent three days in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
While in the emergency room, I had a Near-Death Experience (NDE). I remember floating above my hospital bed as the nurses tried to wake me up. While floating over the bed, I saw a tunnel and a light. I heard a non-auditory voice telling me I had to choose between life or going to the light. I feel I was there for some time trying to make up my mind. The light was comforting, full of unconditional love and peace. I'd look down and see the IV hook-up. I heard the nurses talking about 'ICU' and knew without ever having heard the term before that it meant Intensive Care Unit. I made the choice to stay in this life.
I have never forgotten the warmth and love I felt and look forward to it when it's my time to go. I have felt it once since in 2004; in that time between sleeping and waking. At the time, my father-in-law was in his last days with a heart condition. I thought the feeling was him passing to the other side. So, I had my husband call the hospital to check on him. It wasn't him. I now believe I had briefly entered another dimension where that unconditional love exists.
After the experience, I spent over a month on the psychiatric ward. Back in those days, basically nothing was done except to house me. When I returned home, the social workers insisted my grandparents and dad get me a new mattress. I was sleeping on one that was 40 years old.
I vowed that I would never follow a permanent solution for a temporary problem. I'm still here and a cancer survivor of 10 years.
Date NDE Occurred: June 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Suicide attempt. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I could see and hear the nurses treating me and talking to each other. They talked about ICU and I 'knew' what they meant. When I did wake up, I asked what ICU meant and they told me. But, I already knew from my experience.
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 Ironically, I had never felt so alive! It was the first time in my memory that I felt loved and cared about. It was the first time in years that I felt I was a person with feelings who deserved to be loved. To that point, I was told that I was a burden, a girl who would never amount to anything, and a girl who would probably get pregnant before marriage. I set out to prove them wrong. It was a wake-up call. I took it, went on to get a Master's degree, and have three highly successful companies and a rock solid marriage now at 38 years and counting.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While floating over the bed, I could also see in the hallway that my father had gone out while they were trying to resuscitate me. He came back drunk and they wouldn't let him in the room.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Before the experience, I was what would now be considered Clinically Depressed. There was no light in my world. I existed. I made it through the day and didn't even bother to wonder when I would next be hit, slapped, grounded, yelled at, put down, and denied any freedom. I didn't feel like a person. During and after the experience I felt validated as a worthy human being. It didn't change anything at home but it changed how I viewed myself internally.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It's hard to say. I vividly remember the voice calling from the light. I really, really felt I wanted the peace it promised but I came back.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
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
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? Yes It was lovely. I felt loved.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt loved and warm with an unconditional all-enveloping love. There was no judgment or censure. There was just LOVE.
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? Everything about the universe I felt a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself that has persisted to this day. I tried traditional religion/church and it hasn't worked for me without forcing it. I feel at one with nature and now live in the country by a lake and have eschewed all glitz and glamour.
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? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life To this day, I don't know why I decided to go back to the hell that was my life at that time. My father died a year later at age 49. My paternal grandmother died just eight weeks earlier. My two nemeses passed on, and I was left to live with my paternal grandfather, the only person who really loved and cared about me even though it was a bit hard for him to show it. He had never physically or emotionally abused me. After a very rough year of transition in which I moved out for four months and experienced real life with the bills, bills, and bills. We became best buddies until he died in 1981 at age 90; in the same month, I learned I was pregnant with my daughter. The cycle of life.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant Regular Presbyterian church goer.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I no longer adhere to any specific religious philosophy or dogma.
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 Spiritual
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was raised in a family and religion that was based on fear-based Old Testament God-fearing wrath of sinners. My minister told me, when I told him about my physical and emotional abuse, that 'If you were a better daughter he wouldn't hit you. He is trying to make you a better person.' After my NDE, I told the hospital my minister was NOT allowed to visit me. When my grandmother and father died eight weeks apart, I told my grandfather I would not be present whenever the minister visited. He had no interest in me as a person and was a petty dictator. I left the church at 15 and went back only sporadically and each time I learned that self-named Christians were anything but.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My life was worth more than I was led to believe. The universe told me that and I survived and thrived.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 It was a non-auditory voice; something like what Spock would call a 'mind meld'. We were communicating without words or sound.
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
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 had no experience of a deity. It was very much a universal kind of feeling. I would say a 'collective consciousness' rather than a supreme being. God definitely exists.
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? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
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 experienced some of the existence of life after earthly life. I was there. It was real. I have no doubt.
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? Greatly 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 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? Uncertain I recall having to consider what I could face vs. what was at the end of the tunnel with the peace and the light. This is why it seemed I took a long time to decide. I was at death's door. I was clearly told I came 'this close.' Being the stubborn bugger I am, I chose life.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Unconditional, warm, enveloping love. I've only experienced it twice in that other world and look forward to it when my time comes.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? When I was 15, I felt at the mercy of the adults around me. After, I decided to take charge of MY Life and not let others dictate my future. I wasn't mature. I made many mistakes. But, I carved out a life that has served my family, my community and me well. I am a survivor.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes My husband and I both strongly believe in serendipity and the response of the universe. We see it almost every day in our philanthropic/volunteer work. To the tune of dozens of hospital beds for Syria.
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 more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I remember the experience more accurately than ANY OTHER life events in my entire 62 years. To this day, it is vivid in every detail. I have never forgotten it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes When my beloved aunt was on her deathbed, she 'inhabited' my body one night. I was in Ottawa and she was in Toronto, Ontario. We had a 'discussion' about her dying. It was totally real. When my mother was dying in Vancouver in 1986, we had a 'talk' about going to the light. Two hours later, the hospital called to say she died. I am told I have the Irish 'sight'.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It would have been 1978-1979 with my husband. He's pretty cool.
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 It was real. Doesn't get more complicated than that.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I have had many, many, many experiences of our universe, in this dimension and others. It's real. Period.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes My aunt's out of body experience when she inhabited my body and mind. It's above somewhere.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Oh my... no. I think this is truly comprehensive. It's the first time I've ever been asked or participated. Thank you SO MUCH!!! It's been 47 years. I've been waiting.