From the brain injury, I was in a coma. I remember, from the experience, that I was in a room that was all white. I was on a bed that was very soft and warm. My grandmother, who I called Mimi, was right there with me. She had died in 2002, and so were many other people, but they were not as clear. I was aware that I knew them and they loved me. There was no ego, nothing but love and warmth. I was aware that I was Rynne but that really didn't matter. I was just outside Heaven and I could see the light on the other side of all these people I knew in the room. I felt like I was in a holding room. Everything was so peaceful, calm, and beautiful. Who I was, wasn't really who I was. We were all love and that was all. I wanted to stay but my Mimi looked at me and said, 'Rynne, you have to go back, you have things to do and your Mother needs you.' I cried and said I wanted to go with her and stay. Mimi just smiled and said, 'Everything is going to be OK, but you have to go back. There are things to do.'
The next thing I knew, I woke up in the ICU and had tears on my face. I was told I had brain surgery and the doctor told my parents I would not be verbal and they should think about what they were going to do once I was awake. The doctor thought I would be very handicapped if I lived at all. Well, when I woke up, I was very verbal, hungry and ready to go. The doctors called me their warrior patient and here I am today fine as ever. But over the course of the 4 days I was in a coma, I am aware I was in a special place. I saw the front doors of Heaven and it is amazing. Death does not scare me, I know we will be aware of those we love and see them again, but that doesn't really matter. We become these most perfect beings, I think outside that room we are just energy, our bodies are not bodies; we are just love.
Date NDE Occurred: September 2006
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I had an accident that resulted in traumatic brain injury.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 was more in tune with the universe. The love and peace was tangible and I was very aware of being perfect there.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness and alertness when I was in the room with my Mimi and the others asking to stay. I was very alert and aware. Then I woke up in the ICU, talking and hungry.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. During the experience, everything was heightened, my awareness was clear, everything was clear.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember anything different in my hearing.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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 My grandmother and grandfather, friends, and other family members that have passed.
The experience included: Unearthly 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 All the room was bright, but white. There was a place on the other side of the room. It was as though where the wall would have, been behind all these people, was not there; it was open and that was Heaven but it was bathed in a bright white light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in another place, not in Heaven yet, but I was aware I was in the presence of God, Jesus. They both were there but I did not see them, I felt them. I was being healed I think. In a holding place while I was being healed. I was aware I was being loved and taken care of.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt love, peace, calm, perfection.
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 Everything was clear and kind and love was the answer to everything. Nothing matters but love and I was at peace. There were no bills, no hurting no debts, I was perfect and pure and one with everything anyone could ever think, or be, or do.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes There was a boundary behind all the people in the room with me - they were going to back to Heaven but I was going back to earth. It wasn't like they were holding me back or I couldn't cross the boundary, I just was told by my Mimi that I had to go back and I knew she meant Earth.
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 I don't think anything was against my will. It was all perfect and just was right that I had to go back, but my earthly body was sad, I wanted to stay and they all knew I wanted to stay but I understood there was more for me to do and I had to come back
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? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I longed for God more and a closer walk with Him.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
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've always believed we would know each other in Heaven, when the group was there, I knew my grandmother, grandfather and friend who passed. I always felt Heaven would be happy, love and peaceful. I was worried about being positive I would be allowed in Heaven, now I know there is nothing that could keep me out.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I value nature, life, emotions, and feelings more. My beliefs in helping others greatly improved and the work I was doing became silly and without purpose. I quit that job and now work as a land conservationist. I see more responsibility in taking care of things, conservation, kindness to the earth, kindness to people, animals. Peace love and harmony I guess.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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 I was aware Jesus was there and He told my Mimi to tell me I had to go back but everything would be OK. I had things to do and my Mother needed me.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes There was an awareness of being the same and an understanding of oneness. Perfect and loving.
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 God was there. He is everywhere at all times and HE was there with us in the place before Heaven. I just knew. HIS love was what was engulfing us.
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 My Mimi told me I had things to do, and I knew I had a purpose that only I could complete.
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 At the time of the experience, everything was clear, everything was only about love and peace.
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 just knew. With all the people with me I knew we would know each other through eternity. We will be aware of the emotions we feel for those people, I knew my Mimi and she knew me. There is only love and that is what we will feel for all eternity.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Total awareness of pure unconditional love. Just an awareness of love.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I became so much more aware of the pain in the world and how hurtful this world can be. I became obsessed with dogs and caring for them. I cried over everything because it hurt to the deepest parts of my soul. I also became angry, part because of the brain injury but also because I was just damn mad I was here. I talked to God more frequently and developed a very close walk with Christ. That too has faded since the experience. I think this is because of life here; work, family, friends, distractions that make me forget the amazing peace I had for a fleeting moment.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am way more patient and forgiving than I used to be and I care more about making people happy.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Stephen King has a quote I love, 'The most important things are the hardest to put into words, because words diminish their meaning.' That is how I feel. There are no words to describe what I experienced.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events at time The experience is fading and I knew it would. It was like I was given this moment of perfect clarity but over time it had faded. I don't have any memory of what was going on around me physically during the experience. Only when I woke up from 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 am not sure how psychic but I can meet someone and tell in an instant how they were raised, where their fear lies. I can read people's emotions very easily and usually can tell them where it is coming from.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I am pretty sure I told my siblings right after. I think they didn't really think much of it because of the brain injury. I have shared with a few others over the years but I only share if the moment seems right. Some have told me it was medically induced hallucination but I know what I experienced and I know what I feel from it and that is good enough for me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard of people having near death experiences. There was a book once that told about a man seeing Heaven and Hell, but I do not think it had any effect on my experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was a precious gift, one I played back in my own head. I didn't really want to tell anyone much at first because I thought it would take away from the experience, it was mine and I didn't want anyone to tarnish it for me. But they haven't. As the years have gone by, the feelings I had at that moment have faded but I still remember it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know it was real, it was a gift and I am meant to remember what happened and remember the perfect peace I was given for a short moment
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? It was real and it was meant for me to experience. I have been a different person because of it and I am thankful for who I am today because of the experience. I am calmer, more peaceful and grateful for all the blessings God has allowed me to experience. I see learning in both good and bad experiences like I never have before and I just have an understanding of who I am.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? All the questions were good.