I don't know how or when to start this: in the middle (which is now) or at the beginning (which is only the past)? The thing is that it all seems to feed and flow backward and forward in time.
In the present, I am at a college of adult education, working as a volunteer assisting in the running of the fairly new campus radio station. Due to the nature of the college, there is not a constant flow of students who are always ready and able to do what I am doing, which is presenting, creating and promoting programs - as well as publicizing events and the station in general. My reason for accepting the unprecedented position was simply to fill up a year while I try to sort out what to do with my life.
It ended on September 24, 1982. This is what I remember happening:
I was hit by a car, and recall the weight of coats being laid on me by bystanders. The warmth was comforting. I phased out, and the next memory is of being in the ambulance, prone (obviously on a stretcher), and I said a few things to the paramedic. I needed my hand to be held, I felt alone and in the dark - it was full pitch black, although my eyes were open. I phased out.
At some point - whether it was before the ambulance or in the ambulance (I suspect the latter), I don't know - things were very different. After thinking about it for many years, I finally realized one of the inner conflicts I have felt about those events, which are alive in my memory as ghosts.
Awareness was natural, yet totally non-human. Nothing from that experience actually fits into my human imagination, and the only imagery I have is what my mind can cope with in translation. Even as I write this, I can feel myself trying to shy away from it, and this is taking a lot of effort. There was a sense of self, of identity; it was no different from the very human self-image we all have and accept every day of our lives. There was a sense of relief in me that it was all over, so this is what it is like. Thought, sight, hearing and touch - our senses as we know them - simply didn't apply, this was different; for my experience of it, I knew that I had died although I had not gone through the classic out-of-body experience, and there was no fear involved, no wonder, simply the purest acceptance of my circumstances.
Others were with me, and I recognized my Great-Uncle Frank, an ex-miner who had strong spiritual faith, yet never allowed his faith to intrude upon his life - yet it constantly enriched and fed his decisions. His compassion was the greatest I have ever known, his passion the fiercest. He communicated to me that I had to go back, I had a job to do; and as this happened, I was grief-stricken, yet knew absolutely that it was purely the truth. And I accepted it.
The next time I recall actually seeing something was becoming aware of calmly opening my eyes and raising my head, looking toward my feet at the double doors, which seemed an impossible distance away in the plain white room I was in. There was a gurney to left of me, which was empty, as was the one on the right. A nurse opened the door, and I simply asked where I was. She told me the name of the hospital, and I replied, 'Fine,' and slipped back into unconsciousness as she shut the door. When I woke up again, I was in a corridor and surrounded by noise. There was a kaleidoscope or montage of images. The images were snapshots of being in a curtained off area of the Emergency Room, being examined, being x-rayed, and, at some point, there is an image that persists: if you have a computer with the 'Flying Through The Stars' screensaver, set it to view the medium amount of stars, medium speed, and click on 'preview'. There is a moment, almost suspended in time, as the screensaver gathers its information to begin the display. That is what I saw, and I thought for a long time that it was like me looking at the road as I fell. For the last year or so, I have begun to believe differently, and I don't know what it alludes to, or if it is even real.
For the last few years, I have been growing in awareness of a pattern in my life: what I actually want doesn't seem to be important, what I need is usually catered for, and keep on making a difference in peoples' lives just by being around.
Currently, several of my former tutors (who are now colleagues of a sort) and students at the college truly appreciate all my efforts on this project I am involved with, and I have very few friends. And absolutely no one of my own: I haven't had since my short and abysmal marriage which ended in 1989. To put it tritely, I feel like there is a hole in my soul, and that emptiness cannot be filled. When it seems that I am about to form a meaningful partnership with any woman, it fails to materialize - and I become aware that I am not destined to be with her, that these events are like training runs to become a better person. Again, I cannot be sure whether this is reality or imagination, but it definitely happens. Without me throwing up any emotional defensive barriers, the near-miss romance never happens, and usually we continue being friends.
I am trying to balance emotion and logic, striving to become a gentler and more fulfilled person - yes, I have an ideal what I am trying to become, and I may never achieve, but unlike so many I have met I am doing what I can about it.
Yet the periods of inner darkness and loneliness are becoming harder to bear. I have been medically declared as unfit for work since 1997 due to breakdown and depression, and while I am prone to despair and inner turmoil, I feel the difference between feeling down and this - other thing. Although my position here at the college is not secure in any way, I have the security of knowing that I am highly regarded by staff and students alike.
But the loneliness!
The last time I felt similar to how I feel right now, all I could think about was committing suicide, but at present, all I want to do is stop the pain in the best way possible: to heal the hurt. If I discussed this with my psychiatric workers, they would simply tell me that I am slowly cycling upwards in my depressive states, but I feel that this is not the case - and I can't explain how.
It is well-documented in anecdote that many people are what is known as 'sensitive' - almost psychic - and amongst these are known to be 'healers'. Several people I have encountered in the last two years have remarked on my own sensitivity, and tried to help, but I have always ended up feeling that this has been the wrong direction to at the time.
I do not know where to turn, and if it could be proven to me that I am simply delusional and I am not on any 'great mission' and that all it would take is a few sessions of therapy and some happy pills to restore balance, then I would be a very happy man. In fact, I would be so very relieved. It's what I want the situation I'm in to be - but I feel that it isn't so.
So every day, I attempt to demonstrate to everyone the simple fact of life that is, 'If I can do it, anyone can if they let themselves.' Challenging myself to become - a wiser, gentler, kinder and stronger man, for want of a better description. It takes effort, and every time I wonder what the point is - even when I don't show it in public - someone, somehow (even by phone or mail) lets me know that they appreciate me being there. It gives comfort; yet the comfort I want (someone of my own to hold me and tell me it will be all right while I release my emotions) is not there.
This is part of my story, and I have attempted to be as honest and as descriptive as possible. One notable aspect of this story is that in my medical records, the accident happened not in 1982, but 1984.
Date NDE Occurred: September, 1982
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death
Hit by a car.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Disturbing
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain This simply did not apply - what I was experiencing was simply a set of current events. This question is valid, but is somehow incorrect, and I cannot explain why - I knew I had died, and the form I was in was irrelevant.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the time, no: in retrospect, it is a set memories that I do not know if I can trust. Was I delusional or not? On a human level, I was drifting in and out of awareness.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
The easiest way to imagine how I existed there is in the following way: suspended by nothing on nothing, yet physically supported by all of it, as if the ground was transparent - but this merely ties in with the sight/sound experience. I knew I was beyond here.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain My mind translates various parts of this experience as sight - being the primary form of recognition in human beings - but sight was not an issue. Knowledge and awareness were totally natural without what we call our five senses.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Relief.
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe See my description of events (as I remember them).
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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 See my description of events (as I remember them).
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes There are occasions when I am able to act as a 'healer'. I am not so much telepathic as telepathic. Frequently, I can tell people about themselves in terms closer than general, but not in specific details.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best: being there. The worst: coming back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I am starting to share this now, as it is becoming very disruptive in my life.
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? See my description of events (as I remember them).