I won't get in to the reasons I drowned myself. Let's just say I had many problems at the time. It was in September 2002, I was with a couple of friends at the beach. It was a spur of the moment decision. I'm going for a swim, my friends thought I was doing just that, 'There goes crazy Rick swimming with his clothes on,' kind of thing. They had no clue.
I recall swimming out past the waves the water was cold, really waking me up. I then swam down as deep as I could go. I got scared, and came back up. I remember looking up at the sky and thought to myself, 'Just do it.' I then took a deep breath swam down as deep as I could go, blew out all my air, and took a deep breath. Because of the water pressure and intention of will, my lungs filled up with water like a vacuum.
It was at that instant I no longer had any control; my body started convulsing guzzling water trying to do what it could to stay alive, on its own. The experience was painful but I kept repeating in my mind, 'This will be over in a minute,' over and over to ignore the pain and anxiety of suffocating. I can't tell you how long this went on for it seemed like a couple of minutes. The pain reaches a point and then shuts off. I was fully conscious but the pain receded. I was aware of my heart beating extremely fast I could feel it trying to cling on.
That is when I remember my body falling away. I didn't leave my body it just fell away and I had the feeling I had lost a friend. It was a terrible feeling of loss and I realized I was dead. I'm still aware! I was very aware. I remember thinking 'I should be seeing a tunnel and some light,' but I was more like thought in space, completely alone in nothingness. So, I waited and waited. Then the reality of what I'd just done hit me. 'Am I going to be here in this place forever! This abyss! What have I done?!' The fear was off the charts. We are not supposed to take our own life. I was fully aware of what I had done and the thought of being alone in that nothing forever was unbearable but what could I do? It was too late.
Suddenly in the void, I heard a voice. A male voice. He said, 'It's okay. It's all right. It's all good.' I went from total terror to total peace and acceptance of my life and responsibility. I was no longer worried about heaven or hell or my death. This voice accepted me, and did not judge me. I, in a way, had judged myself and clearly had an instant understanding of my life and how important it is to play our lives out to the end regardless of how hard it is and to get off of ourselves and to be in the company of each other to help each other. That abyss was total separation from all. I was in the 'I AM.'
After hearing the voice and receiving the understanding, I saw a green laser light down low to the right, in the nothing. It was flat and wide in front of me heading to the upper left. It's hard to describe. But as it got closer it accelerated and I was on the beam of light going to the upper left.
I came to in the ambulance and I can't tell you how surprised I was to be back! I found out that a person who was parasailing saw me floating face down and yelled down to the beach. One of my friends swam out and got me back to the beach he said I must have been gone for at least twenty minutes. I was bloated purple. He lied to the paramedics about the time frame for fear they wouldn't bother trying to resuscitate me. The Oxnard fireman saved my life and my friend brought me back, I am grateful. I spent three days in the hospital. Doctors did a brain scan and found no brain damage, which is amazing because after six minutes with no air I should have been brain dead. I see life very different now.
Date NDE Occurred: September 18 2002
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Suicide attempt Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) 'I tried to commit suicide, and drowned myself.'
I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
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? The concept of time is hard to place there. I was very alert the whole experience.
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
There wasn't really time there. But I was afraid of being there forever in the nothing.
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. Like being in space with no stars completely void.
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? Uncertain I was carried on a beam of flat green laser light.
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 heard an audible clear male voice. He said 'It's okay. It's all right. It's all good.'
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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 like I was on the light, but I was part of the light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The abyss
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Unimaginable fear and loneliness. Then peace and acceptance.
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 the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It was more like an instant awareness of my whole life seen from a different angle. As if I was my own parent in a way.
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 'I was raised Christian. But was more just spiritual, and kind of lost my faith at that time.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I'm no longer afraid of death, or hell, or being judged, or any of the fire and brimstone stuff. In the end, we judge ourselves. We are our own judge and jury. God, the universe, whatever we want to call it, Loves us even when we hate ourselves.
What is your religion now? Liberal I'm spiritual not religious. Jesus is cool.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I'm no longer afraid of death, or hell, or being judged, or any of the fire and brimstone stuff. In the end, we judge ourselves. We are our own judge and jury. God, the universe, whatever we want to call it, Loves us even when we hate ourselves.
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 I Know that each of us has a more important role in the whole picture than we can possibly imagine. You may not think about the cause and effect each of us has on everything. Were held accountable to each other and ourselves.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I appreciate everyone so much more. I don't sweat the small stuff like I did. I'm way more understanding or empathic than I was.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain Words limit the experience.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I feel I'm much more empathic.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I no longer smoke, drink or do drugs, a better man than I was. This place I came back to is the same place but different because I am different. We're here to experience and we're all part of each other, from the same origin. Staying out of my own head and making an effort to help someone else.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I feel it's one of the conditions of my getting a second chance. I only tell people that I feel compelled to tell, or am supposed to tell. It is a personal thing and some people telling them might be a good thing, others, it might not be my place to enlighten them.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I read books about the subject when I was younger. I read a book 'Life After Life', things like that. I was very analytical and aware. I actually had expectations. But my experience was not what I expected at all.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was overwhelming at first; I had to pinch myself to make sure I was back.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Sometimes I wonder if maybe I did drown, they buried me had a funeral but I had to continue where I left off. So in the next reality I was resuscitated. Here I am. It's an indescribable feeling to be dead, know your dead, and come back.
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? My life is much better now. I was lucky.