When I was twenty-eight years old, I was out on a date with a boyfriend that I had broken up with previously. He had been pestering me to go out with him to possibly re-kindle our relationship. We had gone out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Afterwards we took a boat ride out into the Boston harbor. The night was filled with stars and I remember holding tight onto the seat I was sitting in as a cargo rig passed by us within feet making the boat sway up and down. I was very scared. I told my boyfriend to please get us back to land. Once my feet were on the ground, I felt so much better. We then drove to Revere Beach and had a few drinks in a bar overlooking the ocean. It was very crowded and my boyfriend was ignoring me to talk with his buddies. I was getting angry and told him, 'Let's leave.' We went back to his parent's house where he lived in the basement apartment. It was very dark and dingy and smelled of dampness. He turned on a light and asked me if I would like something to drink. At the same time, his brother tapped on the door lightly, said 'hello,' and offered me something to drink. I followed his brother upstairs and had a huge glass of orange juice. It was very refreshing. I went back down the stairs to find my boyfriend. I walked to the rear of the basement, opened his bedroom door. It was dark so I figured he was elsewhere.
As I turned to exit the room, I heard a loud echoing blast. I felt a hot, piercing pain enter the back of my neck. I could feel the warm blood pulsating and fell to the floor like a limp ragdoll. The bedroom light flickered on and I saw my boyfriend with a gun in his hand. He grabbed me and said, 'What have I done?' My mouth was filling up with blood and it was very clear to me what had just happened. It seemed as if time had slowed down but I had 'plenty of time' to think about things. I first thought, how is my family going to take the news that 'I am dead' - I remember being conscious the whole time - then I thought about when I was younger, seeing pictures of myself in different settings, and I thought about a recent trip that I had taken to Bermuda. While I was doing all this 'thinking', I could see myself from below myself - as if I was perched on a corner of the ceiling in the room looking down at myself. I saw all kinds of police and firefighters looking over my body and stepping around me. I saw my boyfriend's brother crying and he threw-up on a police officer (for some reason, I thought that was pretty funny) and I started to laugh.
I had no pain. I had no blame towards anyone - no ill feelings. I felt so blissful and whole, full of the most love I had ever experienced. I thought to myself,' If this is dying, then it's not as bad as everyone thinks it is.' Then I saw a light from 'above' me. It was pulling me away from the room. I figured it was okay to just let this happen, to go with the flow and accept whatever was to be. The light was getting brighter engulfing my body - body? I had no body. It stayed back down in that damp room. I realized that I was dead physically but mentally I was still alive. My soul was now my 'body'. I looked up into the light. I could see someone beckoning me to come. He was there at the end of this lit tunnel. Then I heard a voice. It was a man's voice. He asked me if I was ready. I felt so good. It was so easy. But then I thought of my family and how hurt they would be if I was dead. I knew I still had to much more to finish and that if I died; I couldn't get these 'things' done. I heard my own voice say, 'But I am too young to die now.' I wanted to go to this new place - I could feel others were there - but I couldn't go now. The light was fading as fast as it grew. I was sliding down the tunnel. As I was going down, I already missed all those 'others'. Then I was back. I knew that I was back in my body. The light was faded as if light years away now.
I turned to look and I saw a face of a man. He was telling me that I was okay, and very lucky, the bleeding had stopped. He was leaning over me while I was strapped in a gurney in an ambulance. The only lights I saw then were from the lamps illuminating the Callahan tunnel from under the Boston harbor.
Date NDE Occurred: 'august 06, 1984'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain AccidentCriminal attackDirect head injury direct neck injury 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
At the moment of the experience, I knew that I was dying, but I had a choice.
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 above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I started to 'think' about what had happened, I was very aware, alert and orientated.
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
I had 'plenty of time' - time was slowed down - I felt that I was in control of my time, I could feel space around me.
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. Everything was much brighter looking up - but looking down was like watching a movie.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could not hear all of what was going on when I looked down - it was like hearing from afar - when I heard the man's voice asking me if I was ready it was very clear, a comforting voice, as if familiar.
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? Yes It was a bright tunnel pulling me through.
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 actually see them close up - I could see bodies beckoning me to come up to them - I could 'feel' their presence.
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 I saw light around and above me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I knew that I was close to a beautiful place...the entrance was at the end of the tunnel
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt at ease, I felt no pain, I felt love, acceptance and joy. It is a feeling I have never felt before - new, fresh and washed of any guilt, hate, fear, abandonment. All wonderful and fulfilling - happiness.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I learned true love. I learned that I am not in fear of death or dying. I learned that I am still here to help others.
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain If there is a God, he is that voice who asked me if I was ready to join him and others. I know and believe there is a being (many) that exist after death.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain If there is a God, he is that voice who asked me if I was ready to join him and others. I know and believe there is a being (many) that exist after death.
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 I came to know that there is somewhere beautiful that we go to when our body dies; that we share thoughts as in reading minds; we do not need to 'talk' when we get there; just thinking gets our words across and that everyone there has much love to share.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I only have talked to two people about it. I have never discussed it with a lover. I don't know if it has had any effect on my personal relationships or not.
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 Sometimes when I am asleep, dead loved ones and friends come talk to me. One friend came to me and told me not to worry about her, that she is still alive, but can only come talk to me while I sleep.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, the whole NDE made me a believer of a life existing after our death on earth.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I thought that I was delusional for a long time. I didn't share my feelings about what I have experienced to too many people. Actually, I have only talked about it to two people. The two people I have shared this with believe me. I believe me too.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain When I was about twenty-five years old, I had many out of the body experiences. It would happen quite often. I was afraid to go to sleep. Then I accepted it and I knew when it was going to happen. I would be pulled into a place where I could actually leave my body. I would stare at myself in a mirror to see a reflection of myself. I could climb on rooftops and go into people's homes without entering through a door. I could sit in a chair across from my sleeping body and watch myself. I would do experiments with this - watch TV for an hour and then when I would wake up, I'd look in the TV guide and know what I watched before I read what was on TV. I started to have fun with it. But when I would hear the loud drums, I knew I had to get back into my body soon or something terrible was going to happen. I don't know what was going to take place - I always made it back in time. These out of the body experiences lasted until the day I was shot. I still have them, but not as frequently.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was sure what I had experienced was real - I didn't know how to talk about it - sometimes it scared me. I feel better about it now and am fortunate to have gone through it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It will always be fresh in my mind. I have no doubts about it. I think about it all the time. I am comforted by it always.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I would like to add that I am ready to talk to others who have experienced what I have - I am willing to share and willing to listen.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I find this questionnaire quite informative and interesting.