I was driving my 9 year old daughter home from the dentist and she was sleeping on the seat beside me. We came to a level crossing and I did not see the train emerging from a bank of trees. We hit the second carriage, narrowly missing being hit by the train. I remember how slowly things happened when it I realized that I could not stop in time. I put my arm in front of my daughter's body to brace her and remember thinking with humor, how futile and divinely human that gesture was in the face of what was about to happen. Then we hit.
I was looking at the train at the moment of impact and literally bit the steering wheel 3 times, although I don't have any memory of it, embedding my teeth into it. Some of them jammed back into my jaw in all the wrong places. I only experienced that kind of 'black out' when bumping my head hard on a cupboard door. I immediately tried to get my daughter off the floor where she had been thrown but being barely conscious my hand would not work. I looked at it and felt no pain but remember thinking 'oh, that's going to hurt'. Then she woke up, crawled up onto the seat and was crying. Every time I reached to comfort her she screamed and turned away, saying ‘Is it a dream, Mommy’, sobbing. I told her it was real but we would be okay. I finally looked at myself in the rear view mirror and understood her horror. I looked like a ghoul.
I leaned my head on the steering wheel and thought to myself 'I don't want to deal with this' and whoosh, suddenly I was above and outside of the car 'standing' next to a ‘being of light’. Even though the train was still hurtling by there was no sound. This being of light had the suggestion of a body and face but nothing definitive. Still, it felt masculine for some reason. It was beautiful. We did not speak in sentences or with voices. Whole thoughts were conveyed with complete understanding. I was 'told' that it was my choice to live or to go on to the next thing. ‘Next thing’ are my words. In the thought exchange, it was an image that is impossible to describe.
Then, I was shown the essence of my life up to that point. Not in little scenes rolling by, it was my life in a distilled version. There was no judgment surrounding it. It WAS just my life. There was no judgment regarding the choice I would make one way or another. The 'experience' was so very enticing. I could feel myself yearning for more. Then I remember looking down at my car, through the windshield at my daughter sobbing on the seat, as far away from my body as she could get. In retrospect, the next part of the experience felt weird, but that only occurred to me later when I thought about it with all of my judgments securely back in place. Looking at her then, all I saw was a lifetime already in place with this other soul. In that moment, she was not my daughter. There was nothing maternal in the choice I made and again, there was no judgment, not even from me. I decided to live this life and at once, the light being was taking me somewhere. We were 'moving' through a vastness (I have no other word for it) and it is at this point that language is just not enough.
The vastness was not empty and yet it was! We arrived at what the being said (with a wave of his arm) was Love. ‘This is Love. It is always here, always streaming toward you, never diminishing, always loving you. All you have to do is be open to it. Receive it. This will heal you’. In that moment, I thought it meant my body healing. It did mean that but it was also about so much more and I learned this in the years following my experience. I have never found a way to truly describe what I saw there and resort to the only explanation I can give for something that defies our limited language. LOVE was boundless yet contained no color and all color, nothing and all things, it was tangible, dense, mysterious, and light. It was everything and nothing. It was an actual presence but not personality. It was all shape and no shape. I felt so joyous in the most peaceful quiet way, very grounded and accepting.
Then suddenly I was back in my body, lifting my head off of the steering wheel, turning my face away from my terrified daughter (who, by the way, only needed a total of 11 stitches for her wounds!), and started focusing on my breathing. I could 'see' my breath moving through my body and then was 'told' to not swallow anymore blood but to spit it out which I did. I tried to open my door but couldn't and then tried to climb into the back seat in order to get us out of the car, which was still dangerously close to the moving train. I found I could not move my legs (it turned out later that my hip was broken). Finally, the train stopped moving and after some time the conductor or a man from train came racing up to the car and asked me if I was okay! Inside I was laughing at that question and I do not remember my answer. He said he was going to run down the road to a house on a hill, about 1 mile away and use their phone to call an ambulance. He left. I could feel myself starting to lose body warmth and an odd sort of distant pain began to come over me. Suddenly a car pulled up and this giant woman wearing a long wool coat emerged. She peered in at my daughter then came around to the driver's side and asked me ‘What can I do to help you?’ I asked her to take care of my baby. She walked around the car removing her enormous coat, opened the door and scooped up my daughter. She wrapped her in the coat then slid into the passenger seat, held my daughter facing away from me and crooned ‘It'll be alright, Baby’ over and over again, kissing the top of my daughter's head, rocking her gently and my daughter stopped crying.
I went back to breathing and spitting blood. I don't know who that giant woman was or where she came from. Nobody seemed to know about her although she was there when the police and ambulance arrived. When the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) took my daughter, the woman left. When the EMTs got us to the small town hospital, a doctor called my mother who lived in a different state and told her I was going to die, that there was nothing he could do. The EMTs packed me back into the ambulance and made a one-hour trip in thirty minutes to a larger hospital where they were able to treat me. For the record, through all of it, I knew with certainty that I would not die. Aside from a continued heightened awareness and consciousness that lasted for several days, that is the story of my near death experience. I would like to add that I ended up terribly depressed after returning to my life and finding it just the same as before. I think I was so changed by the experience, yet none of the circumstances of my life had changed. I still had to deal with what I had created for myself prior to the accident. I was after all just another soul living the earth experience and evolving (rather slowly). It took me forever to figure out why I felt so depressed. I think, unconsciously, I expected my amazing experience to magically transform the actual circumstances of my life, not just me. 36 Years later I think it has. LOVE flows and all we have to do is receive. The intensity of that experience has never dimmed.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December 28, 1978'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was in my car and hit a moving train. I suffered multiple injuries and loss of blood.
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 explained above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? There was no 'peak' level. From the moment I left my body, to the moment I returned I was in a very heightened state of consciousness. It lasted even after I returned for quite some time.
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
As above. Time did not exist.
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 saw all color and no color at the same time.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I heard no sound at all.
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? Yes As above.
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 The being of light was part of a greater light that enveloped both of us. In a way, he was a bit 'denser' than the rest of the light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Refer to #3
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Oddly none until I was taken to and shown LOVE. Prior to that I felt very peaceful in the experience and then, with that LOVE I just felt a very quiet joy.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control There is no judgment. I was shown the ‘essence’ of my life with no judgment. It was like being given information to help me decide whether to stay or move on. We humans judge. No other thing is judging us. It is interesting to live life as the best person I can be in the knowledge that there is no Great Judge. I am my judge.
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 none
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal None
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
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 understood everything that was happening. It felt normal. After the experience I understood it to be special.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I never again viewed my daughter with that simplistic maternal view. The maternal feeling is still there but in the knowledge that she is another soul just like me. My equal.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Language is not sufficiently deep or dimensional to adequately express it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain For a while after returning to my body, I could 'hear' what people were feeling or thinking.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? As previously described. Being shown LOVE and the absolute lack of judgment.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My best friend came to see me on my first day out of the intensive care unit. About seven days after the accident. I told her about my near death experience (NDE). She ran out and bought a book for me that she had just read. It was all about other peoples’ NDE experiences. I had never heard of such an experience before reading that book. She was fascinated and never doubted me.
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 was afraid other people would think I was crazy but I knew without a doubt it had happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I have no reason to doubt it. To the contrary have learned some things that reinforce it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Ingesting magic mushrooms one time brought me close.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I am NOT religious at all and yet felt forced to make a choice about my degree of belief in order for me to submit this form. I hope this research is not being conducted under a cloud of religious belief.