My daughter was 18 months old and I was running our motel in the White Mountains. I was extremely tired one night. At midnight, I went up to bed, sitting on the stairs every few steps to rest. After getting into bed, I had a feeling of apprehension. I wished my husband would come up to bed so I could voice my concern, yet when he came up an hour or so later, I could say nothing. I was aware of my heart pounding very irregularly. I could feel it in my throat and neck, and then suddenly it stopped! I waited for it to resume and was suddenly aware that 'WOW I'm dead!!'. I was looking down on my husband and myself and thinking 'He will be really surprised when he realizes'. I thought of my baby daughter and immediately was above her crib looking down on her. My parents were staying with us at the time and thinking about them I was amazed to be looking down on them. I could see all of this quite clearly even though it was probably 2AM and pitch dark.
I suddenly thought that I should be moving on, and suddenly I was aware of moving through velvety blackness with sparkles (the closest I can think of is outer space surrounded by stars) though somewhat tunnel like. As I reached the distant incredible warm glowing light, I had a sudden feeling of 'WOW I'm home'. It was so familiar; I know I had been there many times before. I suddenly knew the meaning of life! I was communicating with an unseen being and given the option of staying or going back. This was a tough decision. I dearly wanted to see my daughter grow up and I did eventually want to return to my nursing career. I chose to return and suddenly I was being drawn back into my body. Strangely, I could not remember the meaning of life and it was as if a curtain had been pulled across that memory.
On the Sunday night I had my husband rush me to the hospital at 4AM, as I was having excruciating abdominal pains every 3 or 4 minutes. It was diagnosed as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome because I told them I had eaten only a little white rice for dinner that evening. They gave me a shot of Demerol and sent me home to return for blood work the following day, when I saw my own MD. After the blood work result I was cross matched for 3 units of blood. I went back to the hospital that evening and was transfused 3 units. I felt like a new woman. I had color and energy. That Friday, following a lower gastrointestinal diagnosis of cancer of the colon I had a hemi colectomy and returned home within week, cured. I was SO fortunate. The cancer was large but contained, and up to now have remained cancer free.
This incident changed my life completely. I cherish every moment and I LOVE life, although would never be afraid of dying. I did have an episode of what I believe to be astral projection a few weeks into recovery. I would dearly love to be able to repeat it. I was so surprised that I came back suddenly, although at the time I thought that I was having a heart attack because of in intense vibration and buzzing down my left side, just before I rose from my body. I also think that I am a lot more psychic now. I probably sound like a crazy elderly lady but this is all as clear now as it was 30 years ago.
Date NDE Occurred: Oct 1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Increasing anemia following birth of daughter 18 months prior Life threatening event, but not clinical death I was at home but unaware of my colon cancer and extreme anemia at the time. This was discovered a few days later. Whilst waiting for cross matching of blood my physician told me not to exert myself in any way, as I could go into cardiac arrest (Hg was 7.0.
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? From the moment my heart stopped until given being given permission to return.
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 I'm not sure how long this experience lasted. There is no way of telling.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I was surprised to have such clear vision even in 2AM darkness. There was also the brilliant brightness of the 'stars' in the 'tunnel', although it was much larger than a tunnel.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? The 'voice' I was communicating with was very clear, but somehow inside my head rather than loud.
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 It was more like outer space.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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 It was warm and all encompassing.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Excitement, surprise, peace and joy.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 I believe now that we return many times (maybe until we get it right!)
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? Liberal None
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have stronger spiritual beliefs. Still no 'organized religion'.
What is your religion now? Liberal Spiritual but no organized religion
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have stronger spiritual beliefs. Still no 'organized religion'.
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? Yes The MEANING OF LIFE, though I cannot remember what it was!! Strange.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I value friends and family even more, and realize that everyone I meet comes into my life for a reason - synchronicity.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was incredibly clear but I did not tell anyone about it until 10 years later.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Much more psychic. Much more spiritual, although not in any organized religion - in fact I now feel that most religions 'don't get it'. I feel certain that there is no Hell, and Heaven seems to be more a resting place or place of recovery.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The whole experience made a big difference to my life. I believe we are here to make a positive difference and try to do so
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes 10 years ago, and then only in a limited fashion as I was unsure how it would be received. I returned to geriatric nursing and shared it with many of my dying patients. I believe they mostly were happy to hear that 'yes, there is life after life'.
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. My immediate reaction was one of guilt, because when given the option of returning I had to think twice - I think I really wanted to stay there. I was depressed for a few weeks, thinking that in spite of surgery to remove cancer I would die and have to leave my family and unsure how painful cancer death would be. I was thankful upon making a full recovery.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Years later I happened to read 'Life After Life', which reaffirmed my experience and made me able to talk about it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Just the one episode of astral projection, probably 3 or 4 weeks into post op recovery. It was an amazing feeling.