I felt ill, so went home instead of going to class. I started to have a funny feeling in my chest, so I called 911. The paramedics stated that I was jovial and talkative. When I was asked to hop off the gurney and onto the emergency room table, I collapsed and fell flat on my face. I fractured my skull and collapsed so suddenly.
I remember the emergency medical technicians working feverishly around me. I could sense them more than see them, but I knew they were working desperately to revive me. I was completely calm. Then I would be revived and plunged into chaos. Then when I lost consciousness again, everything was calm again. The next thing I was actually aware of was several days later.
I was unconscious, lying flat in my bed, and unable to move or speak. Several doctors were around my bed, discussing whether to operate on me immediately or to wait. My kidneys were not functioning very well, and one of the doctors felt surgery would kill me due to renal failure. I faded out again, and regained consciousness again after five days.
In the interim time, between the time I lost consciousness and my first regaining of consciousness, I was walking alone along a river of ashes. That is the best way I can describe it. The water wasn't wet and it did not offer any relief from a burning thirst. The water was hot and abrasive. I remember looking around and everything was shadows and darkness. I was utterly alone.
Then a hand was offered to me, ‘Come with me.’ I took the hand and was lifted into a diffuse, effusive light. I was surrounded by thousands of voices, with no confusion and nobody trying to talk over the others. I could recognize every individual voice, even some speaking in languages I recognized, but do not speak. I understood them all. My life was poured out. Every voice looked through it, and asked many questions. I answered what I could. When everything was done, I realized I was not worthy of the company of my ancestors. This was dismissed by my ‘narrator’ who was my guide through this. He said, 'You are your own harshest judge, and always will be. It is not because you are unworthy, but because you have unfinished business to attend to. You can go back if you choose'. With that, I opened my eyes for the first time in five days.
Date NDE Occurred: 23 May 2012
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack. CPR given. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
My heart stopped beating on its own for forty-five minutes, then twenty-five, and then twenty minutes, with 8 and 5 minute intervals. I was dead.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 Colors were more vibrant; I could hear and smell everything.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was walking along the river of ashes, and I took the hand of my Guide, the feeling of pure energetic ecstasy was and still is overwhelming. It is very difficult to talk about, as it always causes me to cry, even as I type this I weep.
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
I lived several lifetimes in the five days I was comatose.
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. I have terrible vision normally. During my experience my vision was perfect. I could see miles into the distance and see the tiniest things at my fingertips.
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 like a dog, even better because I remember being able to hear different colors.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes As I was dying I fell through a dark tunnel, whose sides grabbed and clawed at my flesh. I was ripped to pieces as I fell, and then I landed flat on my back. This is when my sojourn along the river of ashes began.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I heard my grandfather's voice, and my great grandparents, who died many years before I was born. I heard the voices of my family from the very beginning of our line. Also, I sensed my dogs, all of them, were with me.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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 When I took the Hand of my Guide, I was part of the brightest, purest white light imaginable, not apart from it and standing in it. I was part of the light.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I went from a land of death and misery to an existence of light and purity, and then walked alone again through a land of both earthly beauty and miserable devastation, a blackened dead place.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first, I felt shame, for having lived my life so poorly. After my life was picked through, however, I went on a long walk that lasted several lifetimes in perception. I saw many things, things I now believe to be future events, and they were not pretty sights. This I found, and still do find, deeply troubling. However, while on my walk, I felt perfectly at peace. It was actually quite a difficult decision to return. But my Guide reassured me I would return when the time came, but now was not that time, and I needed to go back for my daughter's sake.
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 asked several questions of my Guide. His answers were always ‘do you doubt God would have a plan for that?’ Whatever my mind was struggling with. God has a plan for us all. Our greatest, our only task, is to figure out what our greatest part in that plan will be.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events I remembered many past events. Things like my first kiss, my daughter being born; all came back in a huge flood.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future As I walked through the world after my life review I saw visions of the future, bleak and desolate. It was a view of what the world is devolving into, a world without choices, a world without love.
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 My Guide asked if I wanted to return, I was hesitant, but he reminded me of my daughter, that she was out of town, and she would feel lost without her poppa. That was enough for me. I so want to see her grow up, to spoil grandchildren.
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- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I have always believed God loves us and wants us to be happyàHe is much more benevolent than I would have been with me
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 I heard the voice of my Guide. It was my voice, talking to me from without my body. My Guide said God's voice sounds like this to all people. It is written on our hearts, and is always there for us throughout our lives.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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.)? Uncertain I am fairly certain my Guide was/is JesusàI wanted to ask him but was sent back before the opportunity arose whether in fact Jesus, Buddha, and a few others were the same spirit. I am fairly sure Muhammad is not the same as Jesus
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I saw things from times many years before me first-handàlittle things like hearing my great grandmother speaking Finnish, and understanding her
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes When I accepted the hand of my Guide, I was part of the Lightànot separate in any way, but a part of the Light that shines in every human on earthàeveryone that has lived, and every one that will live...
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? Yes I asked my Guide about God's plans for several different groups of non-believersàand always the answer was "Why do you doubt that God has a plan for everyone and everything?"
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 probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Our purpose, our meaning, is to find our place in the Greater plan, and to do the best we can...
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I was told in no uncertain terms that I would be welcomed back to where I was when the time comes
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? Not 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 probably 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? Yes Just that it will be difficult to explain where I have been, and what I saw...
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love is the light of the world, and the light of the world is loveàit is as Luther saidà"God is love, for if He is not, what then can He be?"
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life. When I see a person who doesn't fit in, a person struggling with life, my thought used to be ‘that poor bastard.’ Now I see them as truly unfortunate souls, deserving of our compassion, not our scorn. Moderate changes in my life. When I see a person who doesn't fit in, a person struggling with life, my thought used to be ‘that poor bastard.’ Now I see them as truly unfortunate souls, deserving of our compassion, not our scorn.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am much more compassionate, but conversely I am less tolerant of some people's rotten behavior.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes How do you explain a redder red or define the ecstatic thrill one receives when one touches the very hand of God? This is one of the very few purely experiential events of life. You have to be there.
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 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? Yes I can lucid dream, stop all time and space, and live an entire existence in a short nap. I don't do it very often, as I find the dreams that come are often unpleasant
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being part of the light, that feeling of being connected to every human being that has/will ever be
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I think I visited this site once before. It seems very familiar, Mainly the radio show 'Coast to Coast AM'
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real It had just happened to me, but some things were still rather foggy.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Some things have been coming back, usually as recurring dreams. Parts of my sojourn have replayed so many times, along with my having dreams that I was dying, and going through the entire experience again, looking at the medical records after the dreams started, I realized the dreams were replays of actual events.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Nightly dreams for a while, now it occurs whenever. I will probably have one of those dreams tonight as I haven't thought this much about my experience for some time.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Like I said, if God wants me to do something, just slip a note into my pocket, I'm not sure how many more times I can take hitting the restart button.