After graduating high school, three friends and I left home to travel the country. We basically ran away and were in Seattle with very little money. We parked the van we were living in at a park. That night I wanted to sleep alone. I also wanted to braid my hair in little braids so my hair would be wavy the next day. My boyfriend and his friend walked far into the park to sleep and another friend was 50-100 ft. away from me down a little hill sleeping in the van. I choose to sleep under a big oak tree. I had a large portable radio and I was listening to a radio program. I fell asleep and awoke to a man crouching off to the side and staring at me. He asked me where he was and I told him Greenway park. I was frozen with fear and could not move. I thought if I could stay awake until daylight I would be safe. The sun started coming up and I fell asleep only to wake up to a man on top of me strangling me. He told me if I screamed he would kill me and raped me. He choked me to the point of my bladder emptying. During this time I was trying to hit him with the radio. When my bladder emptied, I prayed to God 'Please don't let me die like this.' I kept thinking it. 'Please don't let me die like this.'
I was enveloped in the lightest light imaginable but it was not the type of light that would hurt my eyes. I have migraines triggered by bright light sometimes, but it was an all-surrounding light. I felt the MOST LOVE and PEACEFUL feelings I have ever felt. I did not have much belief in God at the time; I was not raised with much religion but I knew it was God who was with me. I felt like I was without body. I was not in a space but I was space. I felt such a deep connection to the love and peace of God that I was love and peace.
I was not aware of what was happening to my body. When my eyes opened the man was saying, 'I did not mean to kill you.' I just recently thought about this and I must have looked dead to my attacker. He asked, 'Why did you scream?' I said, 'I have a headache.' I am not sure why I said this, I suppose I did have a headache. He said, 'Oh, Okay.' and he got up and walked up a hill into the park. I got up and ran down the hill to where my friend was in the van and we somehow found someone to call the police. My boyfriend and his friend came to the van eventually and told us they witnessed something very strange in the park that night. They saw two lights come straight down in the sky and then separate going horizontal in opposite directions shaped like footballs and the sense of something being wrong crossed their minds. The police brought me to the hospital and a rape kit test was performed. I was released from the hospital and we somehow found a women to stay with that was very kind. The whites of my eyes were completely red from being strangled and I was afraid to go to sleep because I thought I might be blind when I woke up. I called my parents and drove home to Minnesota where I found out that I had received a partial scholarship for college.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1985
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack Other I was strangled and my bladder emptied and my attacker said 'I didn't mean to kill you.'
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? Uncertain It is not clear but I feel I could see myself lying there while being attacked.
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 I just felt so much love and peace. There was no pain. The love I felt was so intense and the light was so light. There was an awareness of energy I cannot describe.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was highly alert when I was in and apart of the white light, peace and love.
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
It felt very fast but at the same time: Time had no relevance. I was just experiencing this feeling. I have no idea how long I was in this state of being.
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 felt like it was not my eyes seeing but it was my being experiencing the light, love and peace.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I would compare the sound to the Om sound used in Yoga. It is very peaceful.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I am not sure.
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? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was so light but it did not hurt my eyes. It encompassed me and I felt a part of the light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in a different state of being: One without body.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt intense Love. I was enveloped in Love and peace. The feeling was 100 million more times as peaceful and loving as I have felt in my body.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated I was not raised with much Religion. While being choked I tried to fight back and prayed to God, 'Please don't let me die like this.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I definitely believe in a life after this and God. I do believe in Reincarnation.
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 I really believe in all Religions. While having NDE the love and peace I felt is indescribable. The love and peace I felt encompasses all living things.
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 really questioned and doubted the existence of God. (Even though at the time of the attack I prayed to God to save me.) This experience completely changed my view.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became fearless, almost to an extreme. Putting myself in dangerous situations when influenced by alcohol because I thought nothing could kill me. I felt invincible.
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 knew there was a being I could feel the presence of a spiritual being with me. I was not alone and I sensed it was something much greater than I was.
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 I felt very much a part of the universe there was no separation existing between the world and me.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I knew it was God even though I was not very religious; I can't explain how but I knew. 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? Yes The knowledge of the existence of God.
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? An afterlife does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I was definitely in a different realm of existence. I was somewhere and was definitely not alone.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I would never be alone or without love.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Because of the attack/rape, I suffered from PTSD and self-medicated with Alcohol and drugs for years. I did not get therapy and had years of nightmares and sleepless nights. Though, I would pray to God to help me with this addiction. Four years ago, a wonderful Therapist was brought into my life, I have been free from addiction for almost 4 years and I found a fantastic Yoga Studio. I did not talk about my experience for years and some of my family members questioned my grasp on reality. I had no idea what I experienced had happened to other people. I knew it was very special but I kept it mostly to myself. People believe in heaven but they have a hard time believing my experience, even very religious people.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Depending on the individual, it can bring people closer to me or distance people from me.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words to describe the intensity of the love, acceptance and peace. The closest I have experienced the feeling is, recently, I started practicing Yoga and when in Shavasana I occasionally have brief seconds of the love and peace I felt during the NDE.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I do have PTSD from this experience but I feel like it happened yesterday not 31 years ago.
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? The feeling of not being alone. I know I am never alone now, no matter what happens. The extreme love and peace of which I try to get a glimmer.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I do not remember the first time, but four very close friends, relatives- religious people, who I have told, believe me and are excited by my experience, but for the most part people remain skeptical.
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 knew something very special had happened and I was saved for a purpose. I was in shock but when I was safe at the woman's house, I felt so grateful for everyone.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The loving peaceful feeling is not as fresh in my mind as it was years ago and I try to identify with it often. I do not want to lose it. I am so happy I found Yoga that allows me to get a glimpse, occasionally, of the magnificence that is here for all.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Occasionally when practicing Yoga and in Shavasana I get a glimpse of the magnificence and it reminds me of the perfect state of being.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? When I was attacked, I was very cold and in pain but I did not feel any cold, pain or any of my physical body while in NDE.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I cannot think of any. Thank you!