It was 6:30 am, still dark, and I was driving to meet friends with whom I commuted to West Georgia College. I hit black ice, and my car careened out of control.
At that point, I felt as if I was looking at the steering wheel turning one direction and then the other at a fast speed. I could see the steering wheel from above and see myself in the driver's seat. The most profound thing I remember is the sense of utter peace and joy - a feeling that is truly indescribable - and one I have never had since. It was a calm joy and happiness, as I watched from above.
The next thing I remember is being back in my seat and saying in a loud voice, 'God, I'm not ready to go yet.' I remember vaguely going down an embankment and hitting a tree. Yet, I don't remember an impact, per se. I did not have a seat belt on.
All I remember is being conscious that I was still gripping the steering wheel, but I was now in the passenger seat, not the driver's seat. The steering wheel was angled toward the passenger seat. I have no idea if I lost consciousness or not. I just remember thinking how weird is that, when I noticed I was in the other seat. The first action after that was to frantically look for my Saint Christopher's medal, then my purse. Then I climbed the hill to the road. It turned out my head had a small gash and blood was pouring down my face, but I didn't even know it until a passerby stopped their car and mentioned it.
I looked back down the hill and my car was completely wrapped around a tree on the driver's side and I should not have survived. I know as clear as if it was yesterday that I was above my body and I can still see that steering wheel from above. That feeling that I experienced is something I shall never forget, nor do I want to. It was wonderful. It is a miracle I survived, though at the time, I did not really believe in miracles. I do now! The weirdest thing is that I am just under five feet tall, and I had a stick shift Capri. I have no idea how I got into the passenger's seat with my own seat up as far as it would go.
Date NDE Occurred: 'January, 1976'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident Other 'Car hit black ice, swerved out of control for what felt like 5 minutes, but in reality was under a minute, hit a tree, but had experience as car was swerving.'
At the time of the OBE, I felt I was going to die, but I had not hit the tree yet.
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was above my body, looking down, it was extremely clear.
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
Time definitely went slower.
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. I could see both the steering wheel and my body from above and also see out the window at the road. It was still semi-dark, however, but I do remember seeing the road as if it wasn't.
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? No
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
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Wonderful. It was the best, most restful feeling I've ever had, and the thing I remember most.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
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
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I wasn't religious before, growing up an Episcopalian; it was more rote than feeling. There was a monk at a Catholic Monastery near my house that I loved to visit. That was because I felt unconditional love from him. I became more aware of God and love in a religious sense from then on, rather than something my Mom made me do on Sunday.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I wasn't religious before, growing up an Episcopalian; it was more rote than feeling. There was a monk at a Catholic Monastery near my house that I loved to visit. That was because I felt unconditional love from him. I became more aware of God and love in a religious sense from then on, rather than something my Mom made me do on Sunday.
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? Uncertain Right after I seemed to be back in my own body, I knew I had a purpose on this earth. Maybe that's why I became a teacher after that. I didn't have any idea what I really wanted to do before then.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I really love people. It's almost as if I can feel my depth and the depth of others. But not everyone feels that way. It's as if some folks I feel are deep spirits and some are shallow. I don't even have to talk with them to feel it.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I became far more compassionate and outwardly loving. I seem to be able to feel people's emotions. It's hard to describe. It's just an innate sense of what folks are feeling, almost as if I can feel their spirits - something I didn't have a clue about prior to that. These senses have increased as I get older.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The feeling was one that lets me know death is nothing to be feared, because it felt so peaceful - almost like a high, but not an adrenalin rush, more like the feeling of being in total and complete love.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Almost immediately after - but no one believed me. So, I quit telling them. More recently, as it came up in conversation, I would tell the kids I was teaching or my own kids. My husband still thinks I'm nuts, but I just tell him that he'll see eventually!
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 was most definitely real, more real than present reality could ever be.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Same reasons as above.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I can't think of any. Thanks for this website and what you do!