I was surfing on a fine winter's day. The sky was covered with black clouds. The waves were so enormous that they cut off the maritime route to the city. Very far from the mouth of the river, while the waves were at their peak, I was surfing one of them. I hesitated for an instant trying to decide whether to go through the wave or on top or below it. The wave started to break, before I decided where to enter it. It threw me in the air from the crest of the wave as it fell on me. I thought to hang on to the board, but chord that was tied to my ankle broke, so that wouldn't work.
I fought trying to get up to the surface, but I was disoriented. I couldn't tell whether I was looking high up or below. Everything was dark below below the surface. I started to breathe in water. This was the feeling I had in reality, that 'I breathed' but for sure, I was drowning. I wasn't in agony, but completely the opposite. The darkness had become clear. I saw crystaline clear water while I felt at peace. There was a very intense light, as if on a hot clear summer's day. I had the feeling of floating under a totally calm ocean.
I felt a peace and serenity that I have never before or since experienced. This feeling was something beyond compare like an immense emotion of pure well-being. I must have lost consciousness because it was the last thing I remembered until I ended up unconscious on the shore. I was with my fiance, sister and my friends. When I came to my senses, they said that I had been underwater about 5 minutes. The surfboard had appeared on the shore, but that they couldn't see me. I had drowned. Although, I had been dead for some time, I ignored the explanation because I knew what I had seen and felt. I never feared death. I only worried about leaving things that I had to do, or not being at peace with myself when it happens.
I am a person with high ethical values, but I still have questions. I try to make my actions to contribute to this world and to make it a better place to live. If we all do this, a great number of failures would be avoided, and we would have much happier lives. Being aware of this, I try to live according to this principle. I also know that on the day of my death, I will again have this experience. I am ignoring whether it is because of the existence of a god, a greater other, or simply a natural chemical reaction occurring in the body. But what I am sure of is that it will be decided from a perception that I have in my own life. This is the conclusion I have extracted from this experience, to understand the meaning of 'rest in peace.'
Date NDE Occurred: 1994
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) There was no medical intervention, so I can't say.
I was around 5 minutes underwater.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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. Never again have I seen myself in such a danger. I became more prudent.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Just before beginning to breathe water as I have mentioned, while always having air in my lungs, and fighting to get to the surface.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning.
It was as if everything else had stopped existing. My mind was a blank, free from all thought, or feelings other than that. I could say something like I understood everything and nothing. Because it is as if nothing more than that exists. And there was nothing else to understand because it was pure feeling. So that, although in my answer it said 'No' it introduces the the hue that there is nothing to understand, just to feel.
Were your senses More vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision felt normal, as if I could see it all totally normally, although it was clearly so. I could see light and could feel everything was calm. But in reality, the sky was overcast with black clouds, and the weather was producing giant waves.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember. The feeling with which I identify the experience with is the view, (the light) and the feeling, (the sensations), although my body was left without it's vital functions.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere, as if by ESP? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Under the water, the nearest thing would be looking at the Sun. But it was a much more intense light, intense and white.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? While fighting, powerless in the situation, I was overwhelmed by a power that I had never experienced. Then, peace, serenity, harmony, fullness, Happiness...there are no words to describe it.
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic. I always say that I don't believe and that I don't not believe. I am agnostic from the age of 15. I think that from a scientific point of view the most logical position is not to deny or affirm the existence of anything.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I continue in the same thoughts.
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 don't know how to describe it, not scientifically nor spiritually. I can't. As I have already said, the only thing I experienced was the sensation, destitute of data, except feeling peace, fullness, harmony, and Happiness beyond compare. This is all that existed, in this moment, nothing more.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
During your experience, did you gain information about an afterlife? Unknown No
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
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown For me the important thing has always been to live by my principles. The experience hasn't changed me, just reaffirmed this. Although I continue without knowing if there is something afterwards, the knowledge that death is nothing to fear, but is a moment of bliss, it's influence is to face life with greater serenity, less worry for the future, and be more centered on fulfilling my aims. They say live your life the way you want to live it. I said, 'I don't know' because it has been areaffirmation rather than a change.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The feeling that I had at that moment is truly indescribable because it is beyond any comparison with anything else. It goes further than any other level of well-being.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events as I have already mentioned it is incomparable with anything else. Although the indelible memory is one of that feeling, I didn't perceive it through other senses.
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? Only one – the feeling of plenty.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes That I drowned, as you know, clearly; many people around me were on the beach. But of the experience, it never came up in conversation, I never spoke about it until many years later. On the one hand, because I didn't feel it necessary to do so, and on the other hand, I didn't have a clear explanation to give them. It's just that before any possible question as to what was it that happened, my response would be that I just don't know, (Really, it is true, I don't know), I began to speak of it, totally normally. It was for me another experience, I am not going further. But once I start to say it my curiosity on this subject is enlivened. I don't suppose that there would be that many people with that variety of experiences.
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 considered that what happened was real. Now, what it was and how it happened, (if it's origin is supernatural or seen just as a chemical reaction, of my own body that created an illusion), I tend to ignore it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The same as before: 'I have always considered that what happened was real. Now, what it was and how it happened, (if it's origin is supernatural or seen just as a chemical reaction, of my own body that created an illusion), I tend to ignore it.'
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? On having the experience and lived through it, I have had the curiosity to know if there are others that have been through it and how it was for them.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Truly, nothing now comes to mind. Thank you for your labor, and that you have shared your experience! It has been interesting to read of more cases!
© 1998-2018 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.