Experience Description

Was in a head-on collision while coming home from work as a high school teacher on a Friday the 13th, full moon evening before the start of a major blizzard. A pregnant young woman, wanting to commit suicide was driving at high speed on the wrong side of the highway. She collided with my car head-on. Her car burst into flames, but she escaped with a bruised knee and the baby intact. Apparently, she was very relaxed from taking drugs and/or alcohol. I, on the other hand, was going about sixty miles an hour and could hear myself screaming. Every muscle of my body tightened up as I tried unsuccessfully to prevent the crash. Other vehicles were present; there was no place to go.

Everything went into slow motion as my car flew in the air and landed in a field. I remember reaching with my one free hand to turn off the engine, then drifted in and out of consciousness as fellow motorists and emergency workers came to my aid. It took more than an hour to cut me out of my car. My head was cracked open like a watermelon; my chin was flapping on my throat, so blood was everywhere. Later, my injuries were additionally listed as: all ribs broken in multiple places, all bones in my left foot from the ankle down broken as a result of my toes being jammed against my heel, my right knee and jaw were fractured and my right wrist was broken. I had neck and spinal hairline fractures and whiplash. Internal injuries were bladder and kidney and my entire body was bruised and swollen. I don't remember much of the ambulance ride, but in the emergency room begged to be given something for pain. I heard a doctor say nothing could be given me until the full extent of my injuries were known.

I started humming and as I heard myself humming I also heard a nurse say 'We're losing her; her blood pressure is down to... she's dying.' I remember thinking 'Someone's dying in this room - I wonder who it is?' I wanted to lift my head to see, but couldn't. Then suddenly the pain stopped and I remember thinking 'Thank God, they gave me something.' Slowly I started floating backwards off the table. I could see the big clock on the wall and all the doctors and nurses around me. There was frantic activity. Every detail of the emergency room was crystal clear. But I didn't see it for more than a few seconds because as I was floating backwards I was also heading diagonally up; I went through the wall where it joined the ceiling. I wasn't outside in the cold or ending up on another floor of the hospital after going through the wall. A tunnel enveloped me and kept swiftly going backwards. But I had no sense of motion. I was in a horizontal position on my back.

This is where it gets very difficult to describe what I happened, because I can't find words that fit the experience. I was calm and filled with utter and total peace. I saw a light that defies description. It was so beautiful and seemed to be in complete harmony with sound and other sensory input that also defy description. It was not of this world. I felt content and loved, but this feeling was not separate from the light, sound, or floating. Everything was all one experience. That's why I have a hard time describing what was going on. Nothing was separate from anything else. Then I heard encouraging voices behind my head saying so gently and lovingly 'Come on; it's okay.' I thought the voices belonged to my dead grandparents, but at the same time, they seemed other-worldly.

Then, without warning, I was slammed into my body on the emergency room table. The big clock on the wall marked that roughly an hour had passed. The pain was excruciating. Through my mangled mouth, I begged for more pain killers. I heard someone say 'We didn't give you anything yet and can't. 'When I woke up it was the next day and I was in an intensive care unit room. I saw blinding whiteness and thought I was dead. Then I realized I was in a bed next to a picture window and a raging blizzard was going on outside. I was in terrible pain and couldn't move. Someone entered the room and then ran out. Soon my room was filled with doctors and nurses. Someone smilingly said 'You know we lost you last evening.' Then I drifted for days in and out of consciousness, had a couple of code blues, but no further tunnel experience. It was discovered that the inside of my cheeks had been blasted with windshield glass only after pieces started to slowly fall out. I don't know if that was a day or days after the accident. I didn't mention what happened to anyone, because I thought people would think I was crazy.

Many months later during a follow-up visit with one of my doctors, he asked if anything unusual had occurred while I was unconscious in the emergency room. He was very kindly, so I decided to tell him what I experienced. He was delighted to hear my story and said it was not unusual for someone who had been dead for over four minutes, but that I was right not to talk about it.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 'December 13, 1974'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) . Auto accident.

How do you consider the content of your experience?

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 While I was in the tunnel.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While I was in the tunnel.

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 felt as if I wasn't in ordinary space or time.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your vision differ in any way from normal? While lifting from the table, even though there was a slight yellow cast, everything seemed crystal clear and bright and then in the tunnel my vision was not separate from my other senses.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? What I was hearing, with the exception of a few words spoken to me, was not separate from the rest of my sensory experience.

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 I already described it in my narration - I was floating backwards and upwards, enveloped in a tunnel. Normally the thought of a tunnel would scare me, because I'm highly claustrophobic, but this tunnel was part of me and I was happy. Nothing was separate.

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

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 heard voices behind me right before rejoining my broken body - perhaps my dead grandparents, perhaps others, or a combination.

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 light was my most powerful impression, but it was not separate from sound or other sensory input.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm My beautiful tunnel dimension and reality fusion.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Pure joy, total peace and utter contentment.

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

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control

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? Moderate

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I still believe what I believe. My experience just seemed different from what I expected to happen, but then I wasn't dead long enough. My journey had just started.

What is your religion now? Moderate

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I still believe what I believe. My experience just seemed different from what I expected to happen, but then I wasn't dead long enough. My journey had just started.

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? No

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Two things: (1) didn't want people to think I was crazy, (2) it was so beautiful, calm, peaceful and happy that normal vocabulary seemed inadequate to express 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? I don't know. I'm a Catholic and also have Buddhist training, but my experience was just my experience.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared part of my experience with a doctor months after my accident. He cautioned me not to talk about it. Later, after marrying, I shared my experience fully with my husband who believed everything I described.

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. It was an experience just like any other real experience I have had.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It is a part of my past life. It really happened.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Maybe four or five times in the immediate year or two that followed, I would leave my body at night and wander. I would see myself in a yellow cast lying on my bed. I would float vertically to the ceiling and then I would go through the walls of my bedroom, sometimes instead of hovering just below the ceiling and watching other family members asleep in their beds or floating into the living room and other empty rooms of the house, I would become vertical, but still off the ground. I was trying to leave the house, but couldn't and usually would become anxious. Each time I felt anxiety I would smack back into my body, which never felt good. The last time I floated upwards, I got scared because I went through the roof of our house and, at a very rapid speed, was hurtling through space. I felt scared to death, and thought I wasn't going to get back to my body; instead of the wonderful tunnel exit I was seeking I was just hurtling through dark, starry space. Then suddenly I slammed back into my body; only this time I felt paralyzed and trapped and just when I thought I was going to go crazy with anxiety I was able to move. I got up and didn't sleep the rest of the night. After that I never had an out of body experience.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? One day before my experience, when I was eighteen, I was meditating in a chapel and lost track of an hour. During that time, I had a sense of experiencing ultimate reality. When I emerged from that ultimate reality I had a sense of peace, calm and harmony that lasted for days. Don't ask me what ultimate reality is though. I experienced it, but can't describe it.