Experience Description

MY NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE Mary B (Licensed Practical Nurse)

The accident was the worst thing that had ever happened to me, and it is also the best thing that has ever happened to me. I will share this experience because it is the basis for what I learned and how I learned it. The accident (my hug from God):

It was a gorgeous summer day, July 1994, in Cleveland, Ohio, and traffic was heavy on the freeway. I was driving our mini-van. I was pretty stressed. My husband and I had just returned the night before with his mom, dad and their three dogs. His dad had a stroke the week before and they were going to stay with us while he recovered. (It ended up being a whole year.) I should probably tell you we had six children living at home (between the ages of seventeen through to five) and a dog of our own at the time. Life had thrown us all a curve but we were handling things as they came along. We have always taught our children that family is important.

I had to pick up my paycheck so I could go food shopping before going to work at 3:00 pm I was on a tight but do-able schedule. God had a different plan and a wonderful sense of humor...

A car was in the median strip (on the left) with a flat tire and a group of Boy Scouts was sitting on the grass. I had been going with the flow of traffic in the high-speed lane when the car in front of me slowed to go into the grassy median to help them. As I put my foot on the brake to slow down I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the grille of a semi. Not the semi - the grille of the semi.

It was literally, my worst nightmare. I was horrified and panicked. I remember saying aloud, 'I cannot believe I'm going to die today!' It was about three seconds from the time I saw him until I was hit but those three seconds changed my life and me completely.

Immediately time stopped - it became eternal. I was alert, oriented and still driving throughout the entire process. I was in my body but was taken out of Earth's time frame. There was no sound, all was quiet and calm. I spoke aloud throughout the entire conversation while His replies were in the form of thoughts placed in my head. With time stopping came a huge feeling of enormous love that just kept growing stronger and stronger. The panic was replaced with love that gave me such a calm feeling and I was no longer afraid. I was being hugged, big time! I had never felt love like this before. Instinctively, I knew this was God. Think of someone who loves you dearly - now multiply that feeling by about a million and maybe you will come close to how loved I felt. I could feel that there were also two others with me. I can't explain how I know this but one was my grandmother. It took seven years to figure out whom the other was. I really wanted to cry but there was no time.

Most of us go through our lives being taught to believe in God. I was brought up in a very strict Roman Catholic household by parents who taught us what they learned from their parents. Okay - I did believe, but I was very angry with him because of things that had happened to me in my childhood and life in general. Now I had been given proof (enough for me) that there really is a God. A loving God - not a hell, fire and damnation God. The next words out of my mouth were, 'Oh, shit! I screwed this up! There really is a God!' I was mortified at my language and this knowledge. I quickly said 'Oh - sorry!' His reply to me was even greater love and a feeling of 'My child, calm down, everything is just fine.' I actually felt like His child and it was a very safe and warm place. He has very loving and gentle hands.

With that, placed in front of me to see and feel was a review of my life - in color. I had to see and feel all the good I had done (and the good I didn't even know I did). I actually could feel the joy each person felt when I touched their life in a loving way. I was getting 'caught' doing something right for once in my life. During the good, He was telling me 'I am so proud of you!' I felt such joy for making Him so proud because I never realized what that felt like because I always felt like I couldn't do anything right. Reviewing my random acts of kindness gave me the most joy because I was able to feel the difference I made in someone's life that I hadn't realized at the time - and I didn't even know them. I was shown it is not the big things we do in life that make the difference. All the little things we do each day make the difference. Little acts of kindness mean so much to God.

Also, I had to see and feel all the hurtful things I had done (even the hurtful things I didn't know I did). I had to feel the persons' hurt I caused. But - you know how we are taught that we will stand before God and be judged one day. - God was not judging me. I was looking at my actions, with God at my side loving me while I was judging myself - and believe me, no one can judge me any harsher than I already judge myself. It was like getting 'caught' by my parents when doing something wrong, only worse. During the hurtful review, I was so ashamed and there was no hiding. My immediate thought and I said it aloud, was, 'I'm ready - I belong in Hell - I don't deserve to go to Heaven!' But it felt like He took hold of my arm as I was making my way to Hell and said 'Wait a minute young lady you get back here! You don't understand and I'm going to explain this to you.' He was asking me 'What different choices could you have made? What are you learning from this?' Not yelling at me and saying 'How could you do that!?' or, 'You're going to Hell!' This was clearly not the punishing God I had been taught to believe in. The hardest part of this was realizing He had already forgiven me - I was having a very hard time forgiving myself. He showed me how I couldn't let His love in without, first, forgiving myself. Punishing myself didn't make me better in His eyes, accepting His love was what He wanted from me. Once I was able to accept that God only loved, it was easier for me to openly and honestly look at my life. I wanted to learn as much as I could - I had so many questions. God loves me the way I love my children. Even when they do something wrong I still love them. I'm not happy with their actions but that doesn't change my love for them. I hurt for them and - I make them take responsibility for their actions. There are no strings attached to God's love.

I had taken parenting classes and read all I could find so I wouldn't make the same mistakes my parents did raising kids. He showed me that even though I wasn't physically abusing my kids, I was killing them with my words. That is just as bad. I could feel their pain. I felt like such a failure. I just kept repeating, 'I'm so sorry' over and over again. He just kept on loving me.

He let me ask him questions. My only question was how could He give me the parents I had? How could he forget all about me and leave me so alone to work my way through those years? What was He thinking!? I have to admit I was pretty angry. He showed me why I had the parents, childhood and life I had experienced. I asked Him for it!!! I chose this life because I wanted to learn those lessons. Everything was so clear to me - I had to go through it all to learn what I needed to learn and be able to continue my work here. He never left me alone and I could see in hindsight that he was always with me. I was making many wrong choices because I wasn't listening to or trusting myself. I was spending too much time comparing myself to others. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing. I felt like a little mouse in a maze trying to find my way but I wasn't getting anywhere. By what I was shown I understood that Earth is school and when we are done we have a 'Life Review' and then we get to graduate and go back home. The whole experience was amazing because I felt like my brain had been opened up to the whole universe. Everything made so much sense. The lesson was so simple - it's all about love. How much God loves us, and how well we learn to love others and ourselves during this life on Earth, despite what we have to go through in our lives.

When my Life Review was over, He placed in front of me why we come to Earth. I was so amazed. I was floored at how important we all are to God - especially how important I was to God. I didn't think He knew I even existed. All the years I was beating myself up and His question to me was 'Why would I go through all the trouble to make you just the way you are if I wanted you to try and be like someone else?' No one else could do the job I came here to do the way He wanted me to do it! That is why it is so important that we not be so judgmental of each other. Some of us are here to teach, some to learn and some to do both. I had to learn to listen to my heart.

Then He asked me if wanted to stay on Earth or go with Him. Wow, I get a choice? It would have been much easier on me if He had not given me the choice but had made the choice for me. I didn't want to make the choice.

Making this decision was an amazing process. I understood that my children had known coming into this life that there was a possibility they could lose me at an early age. I knew that my family would learn to overcome this lesson and God would take good care of them. I knew He would take good care of me! That was easy - I was going! But He didn't like my answer so He showed me what I still had left to do - the whole reason I came to Earth - the job I asked Him for!!!! His question to me was 'Can you do this?' I remember saying so matter of fact 'I can do that!' His next question was 'Do you want to do this?' My answer was 'That is so cool; I would really love to do that!' I believe I was shown this to help me make a different decision because the next thing in front of me was, again: 'Do you want to stay or go?'

Even though my good far outweighed my bad (and I wanted to stay in His loving embrace), I desperately needed to fix the hurtful things if I had a chance to. I didn't want to leave so many things undone before I had to go. My main reason for staying was that I didn't want to let God down. I wanted to finish the job I had come here to do. I wanted to show Him that I'm not a quitter. I also wanted to live on this Earth knowing God loved me. I felt like I had no other choice than to stay. I replied, almost in a whisper and very, very reluctantly, 'I really want to go with you - but I have to stay.'

My only regret is that even though I really took my time to make this decision, it seemed like I said that statement so fast. The moment I said I have to stay, the whole 'movie' in front of me closed up and my conversation with God was over. One second I was having a wonderful visit with God, my grandmother and a friend from the other side. I could even picture me brewing a pot of coffee and all of us having a cup of coffee together during this conversation. Only - my hands were gripped tightly on the steering wheel of the van, I was still driving and I was thinking, 'I cannot believe this is happening to me!!!!' I couldn't believe how much I had learned in three seconds. I had so many unanswered questions. I wanted more time. I wanted more love. I didn't want this to end. I couldn't believe all the things my brain could do at one time. I was disappointed that I didn't get to 'go into the light' because I could feel the edges all around me - but I had made my choice. Suddenly it was over.

I was literally forced (pushed) back into reality - Earth's time. Everything but His love, my grandmother and friend was gone. 'Gee whiz!' In my head, the thought was placed, 'Take your foot off the brake and floor the gas.' I didn't ask any questions and just did as I was told. As I hit the car in front of me, the semi hit me. I clipped the car and sent it safely into the median. The truck did not jackknife. I drove about a hundred feet more, went into the median, and stopped because I wasn't sure what was going to happen and didn't want to be in the middle of it.

The thing I want to stress here is that if I had said I wanted to go, I would have been gone before the accident even happened. My family would have thought I died a horrible death by being run over by a semi. The reality was that my body would have died a horrible death, not me. At the point of impact, I was still being hugged safely in my cocoon of God's love. I did not feel the accident at all. There was no pain. It was a different story a few hours later - I refused to go to the hospital because I felt fine. NEVER make that stupid decision. It is always a good idea to be checked out after an accident.

I sat in my van with the back blown out of it and kept hugging myself because I didn't want to lose the feeling of tremendous love I had been given by God because it was still with me. I was also afraid to look back and see what had happened. Being a nurse, I felt it was my duty to help with the injured but I just couldn't handle one more thing.

I have no idea how long it took for the police to get there but when the policeman opened the door of my van (I was still trying to breathe) I burst into tears. The cocoon of love evaporated when he opened the door. It took him awhile to figure out I was physically unhurt. The feeling of God's love was just a memory now and emotionally I fell apart. His comment was 'I don't know how you did it, but you saved a lot of lives today because no one is hurt.' I couldn't tell him what happened. It was hard for me to believe it myself. For once in my life, I was speechless and that doesn't happen very often to me. Just ask anyone who knows me.

Hours after the accident I started to hurt all over my body and I couldn't move my neck. My husband took me to the emergency room that night. The doctor was surprised that I 'only had whiplash'. The staff was marveling at why I was still here. I knew exactly why I was still here. I chose it. I didn't say one word to anybody (not even my husband) because I knew if I told them what had happened to me they would admit me to the psychiatric floor! I didn't think anyone would believe me.

Also, I said earlier that I was clearly shown my purpose here on Earth and the work I had left to do, during my Life Review. When the accident was over, I couldn't remember why I chose to come here or what I had left to do. It's still, right on the tip of my tongue. The knowledge was taken away as soon as I said I have to stay. So I am back to a little mouse in a maze with everybody else trying to find my way.

When things get really tough I remember what I said that day so matter of fact 'I can do that.' It keeps me grounded and moving forward. I know for a fact that God is really with me and I love to make him proud.

I keep a first grade picture of myself at my bedside to remind me every morning that I am a child of God. When I am faced with a difficult situation or someone makes me mad, I stop a second to decide what I am going to do. I know I'm going to have to do another Life Review and I do not want to review it in a hurtful way again. I'm not perfect but I really try hard to do the right thing. Besides that, I know He is watching me.

As a postscript, you need to know that my husband totaled my car seven days before this accident with me in the car. We both walked away from that accident unhurt. There was no Near Death Experience for either one of us that day. I was still pretty upset with him about losing the car. It was my first car, the one I picked out and the registration had my name on it. I loved that car. Talk about screwed up priorities. If he had not totaled my car - instead of driving an Astro Van I would have been driving a Mazda 323. This is just more proof to me of why I believe everything happens for a reason. There would have been no choices that day. That semi would have gone right over the top of me.

Before the accident, I had a hard time praying. Now I talk to Him the same way I carry on a conversation with anybody else (anytime and anywhere). In fact, after the first accident a week before the truck accident, I walked out to the middle of my front yard. I screamed at the sky. 'I know they say that God doesn't give us anything more than we can handle. But you are blowing it, big time, right now. So just come down here and tell me what you want me to do and I will do it so you can leave me the hell alone!' My poor husband took me by the arm saying, 'Come inside, the neighbors are watching.' I really had no idea He was listening to me so be careful what you ask for because I found out, very unexpectedly, just how much He cared about me. I don't need to scream at Him anymore. I understand what he was trying to tell me now. I received his answer loud and clear.

The whole year after my accident was probably one of the hardest years of my life and I often wondered why I was stupid enough to stay here and not leave when I had the chance. I kept yelling at myself 'What the heck were you thinking!?' Now, looking back at what I learned and how blessed I am today, I am so glad I stayed. When I see the rays of sun stream through the clouds (The Holy Spirit) sometimes I get really homesick. To me, God is The Light. That is Him reminding me to remember how much He loves me and I am never alone. And one day I'll get to go back to Him. Until then I plan on having a good time. I look at every obstacle as an adventure now and I'm always looking for the lesson. It's a wonderful game. Life is so much easier this way.

Every time I doubt myself about what happened or question whether I am overstepping my bounds when I share this, or any, experience with a family or patient at work, something always happens to remind me that I am on the right track.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: July 1994

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death. Grill of a Semi was in my rearview mirror.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful

Did you feel separated from your body? No

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 like my brain was opened up to the knowledge of the universe.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time.

Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Immediately time stopped - it became eternal. I was alert, oriented and still driving throughout the entire process. I was in my body but was taken out of Earth's time frame. There was no sound - all was quiet and calm.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Clarity and field of vision - so much was happening at one time and yet I could make perfect sense out of it easily.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I could only hear what was going on inside my car - the outside world was quiet.

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

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I could feel that there were also two others with me. I can't explain how I know this but one was my grandmother. It took seven years to figure out whom the other was. I really wanted to cry but there was no time.

Two days after the accident, with my cervical collar on and a very sore body, I went to church. I had some serious thanking to do. Before mass, a lady I know came up to me and asked me about my accident. One of her questions to me was 'Who was with you?' I replied timidly, 'Uh - God and my grandmother.' She smiled and asked 'Who else?' I was very reluctant to tell her, but she wouldn't give up so I told her about my mystery friend from the other side anyway. She didn't think I was nuts and told me I could find out their name by asking. I was very skeptical but I felt much better after talking with her. After mass another lady I didn't know came up to me and asked me about the accident - we had almost the same conversation! I was not the only one this had happened to. We were connected by a shared experience - a Near Death Experience. They knew what I knew! They both had the names of the persons with them. I've done quite a bit of research on Near Death Experiences in the past few years and this is very common. The dying will share the names of the people who come to get them and there are many times they know the name of the 'angel' who is waiting to take them home that is not a family member or friend.

Well, I asked on a daily basis for a while and finally gave up trying to get the name of this person who is actually still with me. Seven years later, I was watching a TV program that was about Near Death Experiences and our Spirit Guides from the other side. They explained a different way of asking for a name. That night before I went to bed I asked, aloud, to be given their name in a dream and please help me remember it in the morning. My brain woke up first before my eyes opened and I had a name in my head just like the conversation I had with God during my Life Review. I was given the name Amy. How I knew this was real is that when I tried to argue with it, it just kept getting louder and more insistent in my head. Most of my family and friends all have names now. Some have more than one and a few were given the names by just asking (as if I was told to do seven years before). Surprisingly, some of them turn out to be an 'imaginary friend/s' they had as a child. The more I am open to the possibility of help from the other side, the more help I am given. I stopped trying to explain everything away. I talk to Amy all the time. If you are not sure you have someone with you, let me explain it this way. When I am having a problem with something, I go to sleep and dream about it and when I wake up in the morning I have an answer to my problem. That is Amy helping me. There are many times that I don't even have to go to sleep to get an answer now. Her help has been, and still is, priceless to me. I look forward to seeing her again, one day.

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 Just the edges all around me.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Shame and fear with the beginning of the life review and then wonder, amazement, joy, calm and especially love!

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

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

The experience included: Special Knowledge

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 See main narrative. But also:

What I found out after the accident (with retreats and a lot of counseling) is that I had to learn to love myself and let God's love in. God forgives us when we ask for it - just as important is learning to accept His forgiveness and forgive myself! As I took the time to figure out what was important to me and then did something about it, my confidence and self-esteem grew. I was able to set my priorities and had some order and peace in my life by not trying to control things anymore or trying to keep myself, or my children safe. I had to give the control back to God. Now I know He always had the control - I just thought I did. With the walls up to keep myself safe, I couldn't get hurt anymore but I couldn't let any love in either. Those walls are not the answer. It was very hard to let the walls down and trust people because I was afraid of getting hurt again. I also mistakenly believed that if I felt the pain or even started crying that I would never stop hurting or crying. What I found out was that when you walk through the pain you do come out on the other side intact. I felt much better, much lighter because I wasn't carrying the pain around anymore. Also, after the accident I didn't have the strength to keep the walls up and hide the pain any more. Thank goodness!

Old habits are hard to break. I had to catch myself when old coping skills automatically tried to enter in a situation. Then I had to practice using the new coping skills I learned and over a period of time the practicing just became my new habits. It took some time and a lot of practice before I learned to really trust my intuition. I recognize hurtful people and avoid them. I don't have to let everyone into my world to be considered a trusting person. Now, I feel like an adult, but I am younger than I have ever felt inside. Listening to my heart and soul, and then following them gives me such joy in my life. I have been asked, 'How do we really know that we are doing the right job?' I learned the answer is 'this is it' if we can say to ourselves 'I cannot believe they are paying me to do this job!'

I am following my heart. Nobody can talk me out of myself anymore. I know that no matter what happens, God is taking good care of me and everything will be, as it should. I can pray for God's help but he isn't going to do the work for me. Worry is just a huge waste of time because it never changes any outcome. Instead of worrying, do something!

There really is a God. We are his children. He is our Father. Whether you believe in God or not, He believes in you. GOD IS ONLY LOVE. You never have to be afraid of Him. If there is fear, hell, fire and damnation in our life, it is because we put it there OR let someone else put it there. I wonder, if the reason why some are so addicted to infatuation, romance or looking for someone to love us is because very deep down inside we subconsciously remember the love we came from and we miss it terribly.

There are no mistakes, only lessons. We come here to learn lessons, teach lessons or both. I was shown that I chose the lessons I wanted to learn before I came here. We will keep repeating the same lesson until we learn it - and sometimes we need to back up, rethink our decisions and then make different choices and then move on. In the midst of my worst 'mistakes' were the best lessons. Change is to be embraced not feared - it is how we move forward.

Everyone is afraid and it's okay to be afraid. It takes great courage to walk through the fear and do it anyway. Victims stay stuck in the fear. You will never truly be who you are and realize your full potential if you remain stuck in fear.

There are no coincidences - everything happens for a reason whether we understand it at the time or not. A patient's family member calls coincidences, 'God incidences'. Everyone is here for a reason and that is why we are all so different. If everything was wonderful and everyone was the same, we wouldn't learn anything. We only see part of the big picture - God knows the whole picture.

I am not more important than anyone else is. No one else is more important than I am. We are all EQUALLY and SO VERY important in God's eyes. When someone is trying to intimidate you, just remember, everyone has to wipe their butt after they go to the bathroom.

God gives you what He knows you need, not what you think you want. I love this quote from Former President, Jimmy Carter.

'God always answers prayers. Sometimes it's a 'Yes.' Sometimes the answer is 'No.' Sometimes it's 'You gotta be kidding.'

Count your blessings daily. Make changes as needed. Remember to thank God. We never know how many times he saves our butt (even when the answer is no). The reason for His answers may not be clear to us now but they will be one day.

Children are not possessions. They are gifts from God. Our job as parents - to nurture them with a loving set of guidelines and discipline so they can become the person God intends them to be - not the one I want them to be. If we are overprotective and shelter them from the world, jump in all the time to fix things for them or do not set limits, they won't have the tools they need to cope and live in the world when they are on their own. It is important that we set a good example. That is how they do most of their learning. They, also, learn by making 'mistakes' and then, as parents, we help them - help themselves - pick up their own pieces, take responsibility for their actions and make amends. Sometimes one swat on the butt is needed to get their attention but most of the time instead of corporal punishment we found it better to make them right their wrongs. They hated it but that is how mistakes become lessons. Children need to hear 'I love you' often. If we hurt our child, it is important to take responsibility and apologize. It is not okay - to not hug and kiss our children. Children need your time - not material things to show them how much you love them. Children do not owe us respect; we have to earn it just as they have to earn it too.

There truly are evil people on this earth. I do not know anything about how hell works or what happens to these people. I believe we are mostly good people who came to Earth and are doing the best we can. And, yes, we are going to make 'mistakes' but God is waiting patiently for us to come back home to his loving arms. He is there to help us and for us to lean on - no matter what! Most people have no idea how much God loves us.

It doesn't matter what religion we are. Prayer, as a single person, as a family, as a community is important. Try to find a church that feels like home. All religions are here for a reason - but any religion or religious person that preaches fear, hell, fire and damnation; we do not deserve God's grace; He wants us to suffer; disown our family if they do not believe the same as we do; or a certain amount of money will get you into heaven etc. IS LYING! THERE ARE NO STRINGS ATTACHED TO GOD'S LOVE!

God does not view me, or anyone as sinners. He views us as His children. Stop for a minute and think - do I see my own children as sinners? Of course not! I see them as wonderful human beings deserving of my love. That was how He made me feel in His presence. We live what we believe about ourselves and it is much easier to live, knowing that God views me as a wonderful human being, deserving of His love, and not a sinner. He doesn't care about all the little rules and regulations each religion uses to make them different from the others. He cares what is in our hearts. Are we here to 'pitch in and help' by looking outside of ourselves or are we here as 'oh poor me, victims' looking only to take care of ourselves at all costs? Too many people are taught to believe that if they follow very specific rules of their church in a certain order that will get them into heaven. That's not what I see every day at work and not what I experienced in my Life Review. It is important that we take responsibility for our actions and make amends as we go along. As hard as it is to make amends here on Earth, it is much harder to view and feel the hurt we caused others in God's loving presence when you can no longer do anything about it. The truth is, how we treat each other is very important - it makes life more joyful to live when we look outside of ourselves and give. The gifts you receive back are amazing. Random acts of kindness really do mean a lot, especially to God, and are priceless to those receiving them.

The Bible is not a diary written in God's hand. It is made up of parables and stories written by men. It was not originally written in English and has been translated numerous times. Meanings are sometimes not the same when translating. Just put ten people in a circle and whisper something into one person's ear and then send it around the circle and see what you end up with. The whole stories are meant to teach us a lesson - not just one word or a few words of a sentence used to manipulate the meaning into whatever someone wants you to believe. It is more important to live by the meaning of the lessons of the Bible instead of the words. We need to learn how to be less judgmental of each other. Everyone is here for a different reason.

Death is not failure - it is a natural part of the cycle of life. Just as sure as we are born, we will die. There is a time to fight for our life and then there is a time to let go. It is far past the time we need to take some of the 'medical' out of the dying process and add the 'spirituality' back in so we don't have to be so afraid. The reason everyone is so afraid of dying is that this is all we know and we don't remember where we came from. If we did, we couldn't live this life on earth because we would be too homesick.

Earth is the hard part. This is the University of Earth. I was shown that I applied and was accepted to this school. God doesn't cause bad things to happen. Before we come here we pick our lessons and plan how we will live our lives - just like we do before we go to college. He is always with us. When we learn our lessons and finish the job we came here to do, we get to graduate and go back home.

Whether we die quickly or slowly, we all have to review our lives before we get to graduate. No matter if you are rich, poor, religious, agnostic, etc. there is no manipulating or bargaining your way out of the Life Review or death. You cannot control God because He is the one in control (loving control). Yes we have 'free will' in making our own choices but we are not 'in control'.

There are no free bites. What goes around really does come around and we will have to take responsibility for our actions at the end of our lives if we do not take the responsibility and make amends as we go along. We can change our life review every single second of every day - it is never too late to make things right. Despite how hard it is here to take responsibility for our actions and make amends it is much harder on us if we wait to do it on the other side.

Remember, the only thing you can take with you is the love you cultivated on this earth. The most important thing you leave behind is the love and memories for your loved ones.

The experience included: Vision of the future

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I don't know because after I made my decision that knowledge was taken away again.

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No

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? Conservative/fundamentalist Roman Catholic

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It is extremely difficult for me to sit in church on Sunday. I want to stand up and start yelling 'NO, you guys, he's lying. It doesn't work that way. There are no strings attached to God's love!'

Going to work at the hospice center two days a week is better than church to me, it is a portal to the other side.

What is your religion now? Moderate Christian

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It is extremely difficult for me to sit in church on Sunday. I want to stand up and start yelling 'NO, you guys, he's lying. It doesn't work that way. There are no strings attached to God's love!'

Going to work at the hospice center two days a week is better than church to me, it is a portal to the other side.

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

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 When my Life Review was over He placed in front of me why we come to Earth. I was so amazed. I was floored at how important we all are to God - especially how important I was to God. I didn't think He knew I even existed. All the years I was beating myself up and His question to me was 'Why would I go through all the trouble to make you just the way you are if I wanted you to try and be like someone else?' No one else could do the job I came here to do the way He wanted me to do it! That is why it is so important that we not be so judgmental of each other. Some of us are here to teach, some to learn and some to do both. I had to learn to listen to my heart.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I almost lost my husband - I was a completely different person after the NDE and he didn't know what to do with me. After six months apart, a retreat and counseling we have an amazing relationship now. Despite the fact that he doesn't believe me - he is a scientific personality and needs proof, he celebrates the person I have become.

I made huge changes and amends with my kids. The three older kids had a completely different childhood that the three younger ones had. They have learned from it too.

I lost most of my friends - it is difficult for me to be around negative people and they couldn't stand me anymore anyway. On the upside, my new friendships are amazing.

Despite the fact that my relationship with my parents will never be fixed I was able to forgive them and it doesn't eat at me anymore.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes When thoughts pop into my head I pay attention now and I always am shown why I had to do what was in my head. When I ask for specific help, especially at work, I feel a hand touching my shoulder with the thought that pops into my head.

There is such a misconception about confusion/dementia in the dying process. They speak a different language - one of symbols. I understand exactly what they are trying to say because I speak that language now. Just because we don't understand what they are saying doesn't mean they are confused - we are. They speak in symbols because there are things that you see and do that have no words in English to explain.

My ability to feel the auras of people around me is very acute. It's scary sometimes. It has made empathy a huge part of my personality.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being with my grandmother again was wonderful - I missed her. Now I have her with me whenever I call out to her.

Knowing that God existed and he loved me was huge.

Getting answers to questions and understanding why we are here has made me a much calmer and happier person.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I never said a word until 1999, after a whole year at hospice. I spent the first year just listening to everyone tell me what they are doing and seeing and it was the exact same thing I did. I was shocked - I had a hard time believing I wasn't crazy before this.

I started sharing it with the dying and then with my co-workers, scary! They were really open to it and wanted to learn what I had learned so they could help the dying patients with their life review.

The co-workers who thought I was crazy started having weird things happen to them at work (with the patients). It has changed the way my co-workers look at the 'confusion' part of the dying process and support the patient by meeting them right where they were instead of trying to keep them oriented to this world. It was awesome to watch.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had seen Dannion Brinkley on TV and wondered if he was crazy. When it happened to me, I wondered if I was crazy. Now, because of working with the dying I know we are not crazy!

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I knew it was real but my fear was if I talked about it they would put me on the psychiatric floor and I would lose my job - maybe even my husband and kids. So I never said a word.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Since I had my life review experience validated by all the dying people who shared their life review with me I know it was definitely real.

I've actually talked to groups - given classes on the signs and symptoms of the dying process and it always ends up with someone asking how I know about the life review and I have to talk about mine. There are always the skeptics, as there should be, but most can't seem to get enough of hearing about it. A few have come up to me afterwards and shared their NDE with me!!!!

I wrote a booklet about the signs and symptoms of the dying process that we are using at work and it has made a huge impact in family and patient satisfaction reviews. Most people have no idea they have to do a life review and are interested in learning more about it when they have a family member going through the dying process. It helps them to not be so scared or sad.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I had an allergic reaction to a medication on the surgery table. Despite being under anesthetic, when I stopped breathing I was completely aware of what was going on. I never left my body but I could hear what they were saying. There was an amazing feeling of peace - there was nothing to be afraid of - it didn't even hurt. There was no life review - just love, until they reversed the medicine and I started breathing again.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? We all make this time on Earth much harder than it needs to be. (Including me.)

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Thank You!