Experience Description

I had my near death experience during an operation when I was sixteen years old. I'm now fifty-three years old, and what happened then, is just as fresh in my mind as it would be if it had taken place just yesterday. It happened to be during the first of what wound up being four knee operations that I've had up to this point.

I didn't believe in much of anything at that age other than playing sports. Just a kid, you know. Of course, if you'd have asked me then - I'd have told you I was a man. LOL. It's funny how differently we perceive ourselves to be at certain ages.

At any rate, at the very beginning of this experience, I felt as if I was in a sort of dream state of mind. I can remember thinking, this is weird, I'm hearing far off and faint voices, but aren't I being operated on?

These voices weren't anything I could discern. They were just far off - distant. I could hear them, but I wasn't making anything out of what was being said. As time passed, it seemed as if those far off voices were coming somehow closer to me. They were beginning to be more and more distinct. And as they came closer, I began to think I wonder what they're saying? So I began paying closer attention to them. Again, as time passed, I could now hear what was being said. Although the voices were still somewhat distant, there was this feeling of clarity in what was being said. As I began to understand, they were reciting vital signs. Nothing terribly exciting, just blood pressure: so and so, respiration: so and so, heart beat: so and so. I remember thinking, 'I'll be damned, they're talking about someone being operated on.' And at the same moment, realizing that I was being operated on - 'isn't that a coincidence?'

All the while, as these voices were becoming more and more clear, it dawned on me that the vital signs they were reciting were deteriorating proportionately to the clarity of my hearing what was happening. There's no need to go into all the details of it, but my heart stopped while I was being operated on.

All at once, I heard one of the nurses yell out, 'Straight line, straight line, my God! We've got a straight line!' At that exact moment, it was as if my consciousness was sucked into a vacuum. And everything became crystal clear. My knowledge of 'someone' being operated on became a knowledge of knowing it was me that was being operated on - that it was my heart that had just stopped beating.

And the thing of it was - I was aware of it all. I had full knowledge of the fact that my body had just stopped living. I could hear lots of commotion in the operating room (even though I was completely sedated and with no heartbeat). The nurses that were assisting were quite frantic. And all the while, during this commotion, it was as if I had been immersed into some kind of essence or form of energy that I can only describe as the purest form of 'love' that there is. It was an incredibly wonderful feeling. It was as if my soul had been blended with the soul of what we perceive to be God. There was no distinguishing where I began or where I ended. In other words, I wasn't in a body. I was in, around and part of an immense and wondrously overwhelming sensation of love and understanding. And I was completely at ease.

Even though I realized what had taken place from a physical standpoint, I had absolutely no worries about ANY of the consequences to the end of the physical living. I was in a completely different place. And it was just SO much more wonderful a place to be. I wanted to remain there. The feeling was utter peace, tranquility, bliss, love. All at the same time! The words simply pale in comparison to the feeling, and are incapable of describing how wonderful it felt being 'where' I was. Why would ANYONE not want to stay there? (I get goose bumps talking about this.)

I was given a glimpse. It only lasted for a brief moment. Maybe fifteen to twenty seconds? I really don't know. There was no perception of time, other than the people that were around my body in the operating room. All I can do is judge the amount of time; by remembering what they were going through, while I was in this 'state' of mind. Or call it 'state of soul' perhaps.

I remember while being immersed in this wonderful feeling, that I could still detect the stress and confusion of those strangers in that operating room that were having SUCH a difficult time with what was happening to me. I remember the little tiny voice that we all have inside ourselves saying back at me; I should DO something to help THEM. It was mostly a feeling of wanting to help them ease their anxiety. There was no reason for them to be carrying on this way. I was fine. In fact, I was more than just fine; I was where I was supposed to be. And all of everything from that material world where I HAD been, didn't really matter that much. It would all be okay in the long run. My not being there would be okay. But as I felt the feeling of wanting to help those frantic people in that operating room, just as instantly the thought came to me (or was given to me) of taking that tiny essence of energy you might feel, the instant someone jumps out in front of you and yells 'boo' at you. It wasn't the feeling of BEING scared so much, it was the ENERGY of that feeling. I don't really know how to describe it other than to say my consciousness bundled up that form of energy, and kind of pushed it down into my chest area.

Within the next split second of my consciousness, I found myself waking up in the recovery room!

But what actually happened was that my heart began beating once again. I was back from wherever I had been, only completely unconscious now without any memory of anything happening from that point until finally coming to in the recovery room.

No one said one word to me about what had happened in the operating room. The following day, my mother came to visit me in the morning, and I told her what had happened.

Of course she had already been informed by the doctors what had taken place. But when I told her what had happened from MY perspective, her mouth just dropped. She immediately asked if anyone had said anything to me about what had happened, and of course, no one had.

I was lucky enough to be at my mother's bedside at the time of her passing and I reminded her of that time. (She was dying of cancer; I'm going to say maybe thirteen years ago.) I told her not to worry about us children (We're all grown adults at this time) that we'll be okay, and that she's done a good job being a mother to all of us, and there's no need to hang on for us - that it will be okay to let go. (I can't believe this... but I'm getting teary eyed writing this.) She was gone within the next fifteen minutes.

The point here is this: When our lives here are done. We don't just cease to live - we go ON living - just on a different level, or plane, or whatever word you want to put to it. But we DO GO ON living! Life doesn't stop. It just takes a different form. A much more wonderful form than we can ever imagine.

It's my experience. And no one will ever convince me that it was anything other than real! I have no fear of dying, and will never have - because we don't die. We just cease to live in the physical form.

But keep one thing in mind. This isn't a made up story. This actually happened to me! I have no idea as to why, but it DID happen just as I described.

Over the years, I've tried to make sense of the 'why me' to it all, and the lesson to me is - it's not about me. It's about others. It's truly about what we can do for others. It's the reason I was allowed to come back. (At least, that's what I believe.) It was my concern for those strangers in that operating room, and my attempt to do whatever I could to help them through that emotional anguish they were experiencing, that allowed me to come back. I really and truly WANTED to stay where I was. I had no longing for wanting to be away from that wonderful place where I was. It was more than wonderful. It was - just everything.

So there it is - my NDE. I've read books on this topic. Most people that have this kind of thing happen to them seem to experience similarities in their NDE's. But this is mine.


Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: fall of 1970

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Surgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) .

How do you consider the content of your experience?

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 At the exact moment of my heart stopping.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the exact moment of my heart stopping.

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

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

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? Uncertain I didn't meet or see anything or anyone other than the 'presence' of, for lack of a better word: God.

The experience included: Void

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? No

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

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Emotions - I felt pure emotions during my episode. Love - in every kind of form you can think of - but it was pure love, from a spiritual aspect.

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

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? Moderate had no real belief in the afterlife at all

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I just don't view religion as the salvation that most religious minded people see it. I feel like everyone will become one with God when there time comes. The manner in how they've lived doesn't seem to make any difference in this. I'm sure there will probably be atonements to make for certain ways of living, but that it doesn't preclude you from becoming one with God.

What is your religion now? Moderate I'm not religious minded. I am very much spiritual minded.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I just don't view religion as the salvation that most religious minded people see it. I feel like everyone will become one with God when there time comes. The manner in how they've lived doesn't seem to make any difference in this. I'm sure there will probably be atonements to make for certain ways of living, but that it doesn't preclude you from becoming one with God.

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 It's as I described above.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes

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? I think I explained this also in the NDE.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It's only been just recently that I've begun to share my experience with others. Only within the past three or four years. And especially since losing the love of my life.

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 have always been quite reluctant in sharing this with anyone. I've always felt as if I'd be laughed at, or would be considered deranged in some way. But that hasn't happened. Although, I'm still quite protective about telling this to some of my closest friends. The only one I trusted with this was my mother. I told no one for probably thirty years or more.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. See above.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No