At about the age of 5, I had my first sense of connection to a 'higher power'. It was nothing all that dramatic but it was a deep knowing of a connection that I felt rather than understood. I was badly abused as a child. My childhood was a weird perfect storm of abuse. Much of it by a mother and step-mother. So in addition to the normal physical and (low level) sexual abuse, I was totally tortured mentally. There is a reason I mention this and I don't care to go in to detail but it was really bad. There where two other times during my youth that I was at a rock bottom place and again FELT this presence. I didn't have healthcare insurance and I got pneumonia at age 11. I was untreated and it left me with lungs that seem to be prone to pneumonia. I have had severe health problems during my life and been at death's hallway a few times without having NDEs. In my adult life, I have done the typical thing of replicating my parents in my relationships. I have PTSD and loads of problems fitting in to the world. I have had largely awful life. I am depressed, angry, and full of pain and conflict. For the most part, I hate my life. But there is also a separate personality in me that seems to be aware of it all and watching. I have déjà a lot. I am prescient sometimes. I am very aware, well-educated and smart but the largest part of me is severely damaged from trauma. How I act in life is more about that than my ability to understand it and review it. My life really had hit rock bottom a couple of years ago, when I was deeply depressed and unhappy with my life, full of self-loathing and impotent anger.
I hope that sets the stage for understanding what the NDE meant to me.
When I get sick it gets real bad. My immune system seems to fall apart and when most other folks get the normal 5-9 days of sickness, I stay sick for weeks to months.
I was sick and trying to force myself to get better and resume normal life, so I took my children to lunch. At the restaurant, suddenly, I started to feel really bad like I was about to collapse or something. I'd never before lost consciousness when sick, but I knew I was about to. So I told my kids I was going to the car and I just kept thinking that I don't want this to happen in front of them. For some reason I felt like I was dying. I kept thinking of my children and what that would be like for them, their father collapsing and deficating himself. I don't know why I had this image in my mind, but it was a real driver for me to stand up and walk out of the restaurant. This was terrifying to me and I wanted to get to the car and pass out there. I was sweating, ashen and halfway out when I stood up to walk to the car. I got two to three steps and it happened.
It was very strange in that I was unconscious. Yet, I was still there and aware. I fell backwards, almost comically to me and in slow motion. It was as if a film was being run in reverse as I fell back in to the chair and collapsed against my beautiful daughter who was sitting next to me. I didn't see a tunnel, but I felt like I was falling into a hole. This part wasn't so clear but I felt like it was a channeling. Then I went through something like a veil or a doorway, but it wasn't like something solid, it was more seamless. I was like a Florida rain line if you've ever seen one, you go from not being in the rain to being absolutely in the rain. Whatever I passed through was a clear demarcation; I clearly felt that I had transitioned and passed through something. I was absolutely NOT where I was any more. I was some place else. Instantaneously, the most amazing thing happened. Without any effort and without so much as a thought, the huge burden I carry around with me was dropped. It was the most amazing experience. I have never felt anything like it before. It was like a 1000 pound coat that I was wearing, just fell away. The coat represented all the burdens from this life. 'I' was still there. I was still aware of my consciousness and my overseer personality but all the stuff from this life was gone. It was not like resolved or worked out or in any way dealt with; it was simply dropped with absolutely no effort. It felt so amazingly good, I loved the feeling. I felt light and free; it was ecstatic. I now started to be a little more aware. I thought to myself, 'Is this how other people feel?'
I started to be aware of a non-directed, loving light. I could feel as much as see the light. I was more aware of the light than directly seeing it like eyesight. It was then that I felt a presence. It was not exactly a female presence but definitely not specifically male. I also started to be visually aware of light. My awareness was growing and I became aware that I was dying and that this is what that was.
I previously had not looked in to NDEs. I knew about them though and this certainly seemed like what I had heard about.
I started to think about people who see family and I was so relieved that I felt none of that. Seeing my grandmother might have been nice, I suppose. But outside of that, seeing anyone else would have been terror for me. I actually thought about this during the experience. I had a fear of seeing my abusive parents and relatives. But there was none of that; just an indescribably beautiful feeling of release and love. I could tell that whatever or whoever the presence was, that it was becoming my awareness. As the light grew, I was moving in to it and very glad to be doing so. I had no attachment to this life, all I wanted was to keep feeling like this. I can not put into words how different and wonderful I felt. I have spent most of life in physical and mental anguish. The feeling of no longer feeling weighed down was amazing, striking. The love in my heart was filling and bursting and joining with the absolute love all around me. As the presence and light where growing I was also becoming more aware in my surroundings(?) and my desire to let go. Then it hit me like a brick. I thought of my daughter Joni and again of her experiencing her dad dying and deficating himself while collapsed against her. Some part of me screamed 'No!' and fought like hell to bring mysel back. I just kept thinking of Joni and I couldn't do that to her or leave her yet.
The coming back was quick, but wrenching. Whatever in me that pulled me back did so almost violently. It was not an easy transition. I came back with my children and people around me staring. This had only been a few minutes. I had complete awareness of what had just happened; I remembered it all. I was instantly relieved about a few things, but I was still very ill and would be for another month.
Date NDE Occurred: 1/12/15
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
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 My awareness was different. I tend to be very aware and observant. I was in this but I also was very aware of feeling/sensing things non-directly. I knew the light before I saw it.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I felt the release of the stuff of this life and mostly from then on
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
A lot happened in what was actually only about 3 minutes.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It seemed like I was seeing with more than my eyes.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It seemed to go beyond the individual senses. I knew things more than saw or heard them.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I did not have an experience of a tunnel but I was also less aware during that part. I fell through something. I had tunnel vision as I was falling but did not have a direct tunnel experience. I didn't feel confined in anyway.
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: Void
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 I felt and knew the light, as well as I saw it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It wasn't a 'place'. I knew I was some place different but it was undefined.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt joy, love, and ecstasy.
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 Actually no, this life fell away and I was very aware of that.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life I became aware that this was death and as much as I desired to stay, I couldn't leave my daughter.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths I believe in the non defined non codified god. I have studied most religions and spent a lot of time exploring spiritual beliefs and my own self
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
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 My beliefs are the same tho deeper and growing
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
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? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin I felt a presence.
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
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? Unknown Yes When this life dropped away, I still had awareness. It seems there is more to us than this life but I wouldn't define that.
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? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Unknown
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? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The feeling of love was s-o-o-o much a part of it.
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 I can't really work with standard concepts of God and afterlife so these Qs are hard for me to answer.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am eliminating abusive people from my life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The intensity is beyond words. The feeling of weightlessness was shocking to me and is even hard to explain to myself.
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.
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? Knowing that this life is not me, and that I'm not going to have to deal with abusers.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Pretty soon after about a month, and people do not know what to think.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Just passing knowledge, what you see in the news. I'd never read a book or anything.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I wanted to hold on to the feeling so I thought about it. It was incredibly real at the time and has not diminished even as my recall has a little.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real There are things you know deep in your soul. This is one of those things.
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? Not now
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The multiple choice Qs don't work so well for me, but may for others.