About the car accident, I remember only the sound of the truck I was driving crashing. Then, for me, drifting from life into death was painless.
I found myself standing in a canoe, which I first thought must have fallen out of someone's trunk. But I was not on the road anymore. I was on a dark, calm tropical river, like the Amazon. I was working hard, pushing the boat forward with a long pole that reached down to the river bottom. I remember I was wearing a straw hat, white trousers and a rope as a belt. It was a sunny day and I was navigating this river by its dimensions and features, which I seemed to know well. Its banks were lush with thick vegetation. I was immediately struck by the intense colors, much brighter and richer than the ones I was used to.
I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with the fragrant, moist air. As I removed my hat and wiped the sweat from my forehead with my sleeve, I felt a sensation of peace and bliss that I had never experienced before. I watched the birds, flying high in the sky, and then, staring at the horizon, I could see the mouth of the river flowing into the ocean. I felt myself so loved and so free. It was as if I had always been in that place; I had no memories of the life I just left behind. My canoe was floating onward and there were no sounds except for those of the wind, the birds singing, and the sloshing of the water on the pole as it broke the water, and then a little rushing sound as the boat surged gently forward.
At my right, far away, I noticed an inlet to the river, and a 30 meter long wooden bridge over it. Standing on this bridge, was a man waving at me with the hat he held in his hand. I returned his salute. Then something incredible happened! In just an instant, my face was only a few centimeters away from the face of this man! The first thing he said to me was, 'Welcome! We have been waiting for you!' He was elderly, I think about 70 or 75 years old, with greyish hair, and blue eyes. As we gazed at each other, I sensed his face emanating a sort of a positive light that transmitted a feeling of peace. Space and time did not seem to exist. I remember that in order to move, it was enough to want to be in a place in order to actually be there.
I did not speak using my voice but only my thoughts. I could see my body, but I felt myself as a soul and, as such, I could tell I would not need to eat or to sleep. I was totally free of any limitation. I couldn't tell how long I had been there, but back on the Earth, I had been in a coma for about 35 to 40 days. In my new reality, I was living in a wooden shelter, and I remember that it could rain or be sunny at the snap of one's fingers, and when the rain stopped, the leaves were immediately dry as if it had never rained. Then one day I found myself face to face with that man. I suddenly experienced a feeling of anguish, realizing he was telling me that I was going to have to go back to my old life on Earth. My hands were in his and his face was reassuring. I told him that I did not want to go back, because where I was, I felt so good!
Suddenly the man disappeared, and in his place, I saw a being of light that said to me, 'I am sorry but it has been decided otherwise.' Gripped by anguish, I tried to keep holding on tightly to his hands, as if that could keep me from having to leave, but in the next moment, my hands were empty. I raised my eyes and I saw a multitude of such beings of light surrounding me and caressing me. I could feel their sadness about my having to go back. I began perceiving a force drawing me, pulling me, and taking me back little by little. Then I was speeding through a tunnel of white light with my arms ever outstretched toward those beings. I kept stretching my arms out to them until the very end, even as they were vanishing.
Back in my body, as I opened my eyes, pain seized me. My physical being was devastated by severe traumas from the accident. And for weeks, amongst puzzled physicians, I kept stretching my arms out, again and again.
Date NDE Occurred: 01/03/1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Everything happened because of a car accident.
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 lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Less consciousness and alertness than normal I cannot understand this question. I wasn't aware of where I ended.
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
Space and time do not exist. I did not eat drink or sleep, and in order to move around, I just had to think of a place, and I would be there.
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. Colors, for instance, were much brighter.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Natural sounds were clearer to my ears.
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
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
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Inner peace.
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 I did not know them but they knew me. At the beginning, I saw them as human persons and at the end, as beings of light. These beings would always communicate with their thoughts.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist cattolico
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Renewed faith.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist cattolico
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Renewed faith.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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? Yes
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is hard to put into words what I experienced.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? My arrival and the fact somebody was waiting for me, and then that somebody decided to make me go back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After 17 years everybody needs to share.
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 It has been a godsend to be able to peek at what awaits me when I shall leave this body.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Once, in a natural manner, that is, not in an induced manner, I had an out-of- body experience. I was almost asleep when my soul separated from my body and passed through the roof to the outside. From above I could see the street where I live with the cars parked along it. Then I descended back to my body again, and the funny thing is, because I had been lying on my back, just before re-entering my body, I watched my own face for a bit.