Experience Description

I found myself in a sort of courtyard. There were no flowers, but the grass, bushes, and tree leaves were an extraordinarily vibrant green. Over the horizon was white and gold light. I knew I was in the presence of something sacred - not God as commonly described - and I experienced true awe for the first time. I was not afraid. There was an invisible barrier separating the courtyard from the light and the landscape beyond, and I was scrambling around, trying to find a way through.

I heard a female voice say, 'It's not your time yet.' I replied, 'I've had a stroke and my left side is paralyzed. What better time could there be?' But they wouldn't let me in. I'm not sure who 'they' are, but I was devastated when I realized I was being dragged back to my ruined body. I was furious and grieving for years after the event. I still feel that way sometimes, but to a lesser extent; I guess I've become reconciled to the fact that, like it or not, I'm still embodied. I wanted very much to make it across the barrier and return Home, but all I can do is wait for that happy day to arrive.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 9-20-2000

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes stroke 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' I had a 'right-side cerebrovascular accident' (i.e. a stroke - a bleed, not a clot).

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? I think it was when I was trying to get through the barrier.

Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Nothing I can put my finger on, but I knew I was in an otherworldly dimension.

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. Extremely vivid colors, and the light was brilliant but soft.

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? No

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 did not see anyone. There was the brief spoken exchange with the female voice. It told me it wasn't my time yet, and I pleaded to be let in.

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 White and gold light in the distance, brilliant but soft.

The experience included: A landscape or city

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm There was the courtyard, which seemed to be a transitional area between the physical and spiritual worlds. Over the horizon was the light and, I sensed, the real Next World.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Overjoyed at being free from my body, followed by intense despair when I had to go back.

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

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The invisible barrier, like a big plexi glass wall, between the courtyard and what lay beyond.

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 United Church of Christ

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I no longer attend church, but I was going primarily because I loved singing in the choir. Even as a kid, I was looking for something more than conventional Christianity.

What is your religion now? Liberal 'Nominally UCC, but more ''New Age'' than anything.'

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I no longer attend church, but I was going primarily because I loved singing in the choir. Even as a kid, I was looking for something more than conventional Christianity.

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? No I don't talk about it much, as some people think I'm just goofy from the stroke. But I have spoken and written about it at length with people I trust.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I now have contact with a spirit guide, for lack of a better term.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The two things that stand out the most are the vivid colors and my dismay at not being able to cross the barrier.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? No Not shared directly, although I wrote some poems about it and let two trusted friends read them.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard about the bright lights, the tunnel, and the clear out-of-body sensation. I don't think it affected my own experience in any way.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real It felt absolutely true, but the limitations imposed by being trapped in a body made me a bit doubtful.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is more real than anything else that has happened, before or since.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No