I had pre-eclampsia before a c'sarean section and twenty-four hours after delivery I had an eclamptic convulsion that was so severe my heart stopped.
All I remember of the seizure was feeling cold. It was as though a blanket of snow had been unrolled over me beginning at my toes. When it hit my chest, my spirit floated up and out of my body. I could see the ceiling tiles coming closer, and I heard someone shouting out into the hallway of my room. I looked down and saw my body lying on the bed. I knew it was dead. I experienced a moment of regret, because it was a good body and I had been fond of it, but it was no more than the regret a person would feel at seeing a beautiful purebred dog lying dead beside the highway. Two nurses and a doctor rushed in and began CPR and I remember thinking why waste all that time and effort? I was done and I was ready to move on.
I turned my attention upward again and I floated through the ceiling and the plenum and into the attic. I saw the roof trusses, air ducts, conduits, insulation, etc. in extreme detail. But when I passed through the roof and should have been outside, I was instead in a darkness so deep and dense it was almost physically palpable. A straight beam of light that originated way above me pierced this darkness and slightly to the left (this would have been to the west-southwest and about eighty degrees elevation). It was blue-white and extremely bright but very beautiful and not at all unpleasant to look at. Then I accelerated suddenly and it felt like I was 'falling up' toward the light.
In perhaps a count of three, I was at the light and then I was stopped at a barrier. I looked at the light and I experienced an overwhelming flood of peace, joy, and unconditional love. I knew that God was behind that light, and there with Him was everything we could imagine - beautiful, good, just, merciful, and righteous, in a far greater measure than the human mind can conceive. Even after so many years, I do not have words to describe this adequately. I wanted nothing more than to step over that barrier and go through the light to where God was. I said, 'Oh, yes, please...' But it was not to be. A man's voice came from nowhere and said, 'Go back. It isn't time.' The words were burned into my memory and so was the voice itself, its pace, pitch, timbre, and pronunciation. It is the voice my then day-old son now has as a grown man. In retrospect, this does not surprise me. God has to communicate with us in ways we, with our limited understanding, can comprehend.
Before I had a chance to be disappointed, my consciousness winked out. I woke up that evening back in my body, sick, hurting, and feeling powerless before the mountain of difficulties I faced if I were ever to get my life back in order.
Date NDE Occurred: April 25, 1968
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-relatedChildbirth Post C-section eclamptic convulsion (status eplipepticus that caused cardiac arrest) Clinical death I guess you could call it that. I was clinically dead with a cardiac arrest until I was resuscitated.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes My spirit seemed to be a nebulous ball of energy. I still saw and thought and heard but I retained no part of my physical form.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was probably semiconscious at the start of the event. At any rate, I was groggy but I was not ready to give in to sleep. I remember feeling cold, starting from my feet up, and when the cold hit my chest, my soul left my body and I became fully alert.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Altered space, maybe. I seemed to be 'falling up' toward the light at an impossibly rapid pace.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Not particularly. At first I heard the usual sounds of the hospital, and nothing more until the voice told me to go back.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain It wasn't really a tunnel, although I can see why some people describe it that way. I was in darkness so deep it seemed solid. It was pierced by a blue-white light that had straight sides (think of a WWII aircraft searchlight).
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No Only the voice that told me it was not my time.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It was far away to my upper left and extremely brilliant. However, it was not unpleasant to look at. As I explained above, it resembled an old carbon arc aircraft searchlight.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Afterward I started to experience memories of my past lives. It was as if the barrier between past and present had been degraded somehow.
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? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes My upward 'fall' was stopped abruptly just shy of the light. If I had stepped through it, there would have been no coming back. At that boundary, a voice said, 'Go back. It isn't time.' I never forgot that voice, and strangely, it is the voice that my then day-old son would have as a grown man.
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 I was not involved in the decision. I was told unequivocally that I had to go back. If I experienced any emotion at all, it was just a brief flash of surprise when the voice spoke to me. Then my consciousness winked out and I did not wake up until I was back in my body.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
What is your religion now? Liberal I belong to a Southern Baptist Convention church but I am still a closet liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Belief in reincarnation.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Even though I have an English degree I cannot find words adequate to express the depth of the peace, love, joy, and beauty I saw in that Light.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Over the years I have become more and more aware of several of my past lives. I can also sense past lives of other people.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best part was knowing that God was behind the light and finding out that He offers unconditional love and infinite peace. The worst part was waking up right back where I had started. My life was such a mess that I was suicidal before the experience. Afterward I knew if I killed myself I would just come back and have to face everything all over again.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared parts of it with only a few people closest to me. I know my son does not fear death the way some people do because he knows he has lived before and will live again at God's pleasure. I really can't speak for anyone else. My husband just thinks it's weird.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No I have been able to leave my body at will but I don't like to do that. It's scary.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It seems quite thorough to me.