When I was in my 30s, I became very depressed. Eventually it took me over completely and I decided to commit suicide. I took large doses of medication and went to bed. Eventually this stopped my body from working and I crossed time/space to another dimension. I looked up and heard a voice saying, 'I will give you two coins, use them wisely.' Two coins fell in my hand and I looked at them for a while. Then I closed my hand. I looked in front of me and saw great water stretching to the Horizon as far as I could see. A memory from my childhood came back to me from a game that I and the children from my neighborhood used to play. It was the song we always sang before the game eventually started, 'Schipper mag ik overvaren? Ja of Nee? Moet ik dan een cent betalen? Ja of Nee? Hoe?' That was the Dutch version of the song, the way we sang it. This is my translation of it in English, 'Sailor may I cross the water? Yes or No? Do I have to pay a penny? Yes or No? How?' Then I thought that this must be the river Styx and I must cross it. I started to sing the song and after a while, I could see a boat slowly coming towards me with someone standing in it. He reached the beach and I looked at him and him at me. A boney hand then stretched out to me. Instinctively, I knew that I must give him a coin. So I did. He held the coin up, looked at it, and then looked at me. He nodded to me and then his hand made the gesture for me to step into the boat. So I did. I don't know how long I was in the boat but I know I was thinking about my life. The bony sailor didn't say anything. He slowly moved his staff in the water, making us go further and further away from the beach. I stood up and looked around the horizon to see if I could see the other shore. I couldn’t see anything but water. I sat down and started thinking again. I looked at the boney sailor and he nodded again. His finger pointed up and then he made a movement with his hands as if he balanced something. I looked up and thought about how to get up and how to get to heaven, because I had a strong feeling I belonged there. I felt that it was the path and journey I had to make. 'Oh God,' I thought, 'I know I thought too much about myself and that I did good and wrong things. But all I really want now is to go to your light.' A faint light opened up in the sky and a voice said, 'You are very close to achieving this goal.' But it was not what he wanted to hear. Then I thought that this suicide and everything that happened before it was all about me complaining about the 'why me factor!' You know the ‘why me’? I always used to chat with God. I hoped I would get an answer but it always made me feel worse because I didn't get an answer. I realized it's not because I didn't get an answer, it's because I didn't ask the right question! I thought, 'I must be terribly wrong all this time. Where had I gone wrong?' Then suddenly it all came to me. It was not ‘why me,’ it was the complete opposite of it. It was precisely you (in Dutch: juist jij). Everything that happened to me happened for the sole reason that this was my journey I had to take to eventually get to this point. A heaviness fell from me and I finally accepted everything. Above all, I accepted myself. Then two angels came down and lifted me. I felt so pure, as light if itself, being so close to these magical beings. I can only remember a few things from the conversation we had. 'Are you ready for your journey into the light?' they asked. My answer was a profound, 'Yes!' because being so close to the two angels gave me back my courage and self-esteem. I cried and one of the angels said, 'Beautiful tears to fill up the water.' The other one asked, ’You’re here quite early aren't you?' My answer was again, 'Yes.' I felt ashamed about being so selfish to commit suicide and I could feel a blush appear on my cheeks. I replied, 'When I’m early, does that mean that if it wasn't my time yet? I was expected later than now? Does that mean I have to go back?' The angel said, 'That isn't for me to decide. You will soon be in a place where everything will become clear so you shouldn't be so worried.'I answered regarding being worried, 'This has been the story of my life.'The other angel asked, 'Maybe it is time for a change?' 'I hope so,' I said. The Angel said, 'There is always hope because this comes from the light that guides us.' Then we reached this immense tunnel of light and the angel said, 'This is where we will leave you because this is a journey you have to take on your own. Because we are already in the light, we don't have to make this journey with you.' I said, 'Goodbye, I'll see you soon.' One angel said, 'Not soon enough, I hope.' and they flew away saying, 'don’t ever forget who you are and from where you come,' and they waved.I waved back at them, turned around, looked at the tunnel and cautiously stepped into it. It felt like I was being drawn into it. I don't remember anything about the tunnel of light except being drawn into it. What I do remember is an edge where my dead family members and other people, who we're also very important in my life, were waiting for my arrival. I received so many hugs and kisses. I still feel the warmth of their presence. I talked to each and every one of them. I won't tell exact details about what we discussed because it's between me and them. The bottom line is that it felt extraordinarily good because I had the feeling that I could be myself here and that it was a very warm HOME. It was a place where everyone was welcome who wanted to be a part and take part in this special place. After the chats, hugs, and kisses, a voice said that it was time for me to go again. I answered that I didn't want to go and that to leave this place would leave a scar. I started crying again because the thought of leaving felt painful. The voice said that I still had a life to live and that this was the right decision to make. Actually that felt pretty good, him saying that. I asked if I could remember everything so I could pass it on to others. The voice told me that, 'In time you will, we will be happy when you tell your story and pass it on so others can pass it as well. Now it's time to go back.’ I remember I said goodbye to everyone and cried again. I fell over the edge and back into my earthly body again. When I opened my eyes, it wasn't a pretty sight. I will spare you the details of it. I felt sick and lonely and I don't remember so much as I do today. That was 10 years ago. I think I'm finally ready to write all of this down so I did. I think I learned my lesson, not that it's time for me to go. I still think that is not for me to decide. I will wait and let God decide for me. I will let him wager my life between good and wrong and where my place is: In the heavens or somewhere else. I hope by writing this story that that place is close to heaven! But still I have to say that the journey I made still follows me everywhere I go. I miss heaven so much (cries, more tears for the water). The warmth, the feeling of being home and finally being with the people who love me the most, the ones I can love back with hugs; and of course, that feeling of being myself no matter what! I still would rather leave earth. This is what troubles me to most. My journey left a big scar, a scar that I couldn't recommend to anyone. So be careful out there. I hope my story helps people all around the world not to make the decisions I made because I already made them and please don't do as I do. Suicide is not the answer. What I write is really true and I hope it helps people in their journey here on earth. The last thing I want to say is that when you want to talk to God don't start with ‘why me’ it will not open up any doors, but rather close them. He's there and he's listening to all of you. You've just got to find the right words! Have a great life, Patrick.
Date NDE Occurred: 10-10-2006
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Suicide attempt. Other:
I do not know because I was alone. I took way to many pills. I think this caused a heart attack but I'm not sure.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No I clearly left my body and existed outside it.
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 I could feel more aware. I had and still have the feeling that my brain was so connected. Not at all as being two halves.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Every moment of it.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I can think of no difference.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I can think of no difference.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I only know I stood before it and stepped into it.
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? Yes Family member, pet
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 I saw a light that drew me in because I felt I belonged in it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I saw the river Styx but I think it's more like an ocean.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt happiness; blushing from feeling ashamed; I was crying from sadness; I felt the coming-home feeling, leaving-home feeling, and relief from sensing that I could be myself.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others Everything about myself seemed clear.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events I remembered many past events. I thought about my life as described in my story.
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 The voice said that I still had a life to live and that this was the right decision to make. Actually that felt pretty good, him saying that. I asked if I could remember everything so I could pass it on to others. The voice said in time you will, we will be happy when you tell your story and pass it on so others can pass it as well. ‘Now it's time to go back’ said the voice. I remember I said goodbye to everyone and cried again. I fell over the edge back into my earthly body again.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other faiths- New age I was always searching for answers about faith because i think we do not know everything yet.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I started to search more for the meaning of life. Then someone suggested I read the book ‘the power of now’. After reading that, things became clearer to me.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian-Protestant I couldn't find myself in this religion.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I believe you have to find God in every part of your body.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I began to think more about the meaning of life.
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 I already explained in my story.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? Yes Jesus
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I saw the sailor on the river styx , angels and death family members , Jesus and a pet.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I heard a voice and i think this may have been God.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I had to tell my complete story.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes We are here to learn. This learning process is about making good and bad decisions also our emotions play a strong part in decision making.In the after life they are weight and judged.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I think my story is pretty clear about this.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes We should search for God in ourselves. Because we all have a mission.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes My attempted suicide and everything that lead to it.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The love i felt was a love of caring about one another.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I still would rather leave earth. This is what troubles me the most. My journey left a big scar: a scar that I couldn't recommend to anyone. Large changes in my life. I still would rather leave earth. This is what troubles me the most. My journey left a big scar: a scar that I couldn't recommend to anyone.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I'd rather not discuss that at this time.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It never came back to me fully until last week. I only remembered bits and pieces of it.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I hear inside my head or think things that will happen sometimes.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The coming-home feeling haunts me most of the time.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I cannot share third party stories here. Because I think that is private and not for me to decide to post it here.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard about it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I felt depressed from being on earth again and I felt more depressed because I felt that I had such a long way to go here.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Now that it has all come back to me I feel a lot better. It especially gives me a good feeling to have it written, finally.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I don't understand the question.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think more will become clear in time but at the moment I think it's sufficient.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? There could be questions about what changed your life and why it changed.
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