There was the accident. While in the emergency room I could not be moved to x-ray or given pain medication because (I was later told) they could not get my heart under control. I was a person who believed she had nothing to live for, so death would have been welcomed, although, never intentional. As I lay there, I began to feel very light. I felt as if I were floating on clouds, but not. I looked around and saw what appeared to be a sort of fog. It was the color of storm clouds, you know, some light, some dark, and soft. I looked down to see my hands, and they weren't there. Then I looked for my body, but it wasn't there either. I was there, but not there. The thing that stood out most to me at the time was how peaceful it all felt. There was no pain, or sorrow. No happiness, no sadness, no tears, no laughter, no hot, or cold, no anger, no nothing.
I later began to lovingly describe this as 'a place of nothing'. I don't know how long I floated, but it seemed a long time to me. So long that I became antsy. At one point, I felt as if I were walking on a balance beam. The kind used in gymnastics, although I never saw it. I slid my feet along it for fear that if I picked up the right foot, or the left, somehow, it would determine what was to become of me - Heaven, or Hell. Screwy, I know. Finally, I came to the end of the beam and stood there in the fog, looked up toward Heaven, and cried out, 'Help me! Please help me! Either bring me back, or for pity's sake let me go but please don't leave me here.' The next thing I saw came quickly, like the next scene in a movie. I was sitting on the floor of a cave. It was pitch black behind me, and the floor was cold and damp - jagged granite. I could hear water trickling down the wall behind me. And in front of me, there was an opening. I couldn't look directly at it because the light was shining through it so brightly.
As I sat there I looked at the spot where the light faded to an end, there was a man standing. He had his hand held out to me, and he spoke to me so softly that I really had to listen or I could have missed his words. He said, 'Come, take my hand.' I remember giving a half-hearted attempt at reaching him and realizing somehow that I couldn't feel anything from the waist down. He stood about eight feet from where I sat, and I knew I couldn't reach him. So I began to cry and I said, 'I can't reach you.' His voice got firmer as he in more of a demand than a request repeated, 'Take my hand!' This time, I tried as hard as I could to stretch my upper body enough to reach him, but I lost my balance, fell to the floor, and hit my face. Then I began to sob and I said, 'I can't! I can't reach you, you've got to help me. Please help me!' Then he said, very calmly, 'You've got to try. You must never stop trying.' The next thing I saw was a series of bright lights passing overhead as I regained consciousness and they were rushing me to x-ray.
Date NDE Occurred: 'Oct 16, 1991'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Accident 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening' . Not sure what this question means. Need an example.
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 I think, probably while I was trying to converse with 'the man' - whoever he was.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think, probably while I was trying to converse with 'the man' - whoever he was.
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 I don't know how long my experience lasted. It seemed as if it were a long, long time, although something told me it wasn't. Time has no meaning in that consciousness: a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. I know I had the accident around 7:00 pm and it was all night before I could be moved, but how long the actual event lasted, I just couldn't tell you. It seemed to me that the time spent in 'the place of nothing' was an eternity, but once I'd made up my mind not to be there, everything speeded up. The encounter in the cave seemed as if it were a matter of seconds.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? The fog. I don't know how to describe it, but it was all around me, and the differences in contrast very obvious. The light was as bright and hard to look at as looking directly into the sun. I have, in everyday life, zero depth perception, yet it was clear to me that the man I saw was eight feet from me, and ten feet from the opening where the light shone through. The walls ended approximately three feet behind me and five feet to my right, two feet to my left. I am near sighted, but things were acutely clear. Except for the man. I never saw his face because the light was shining on his back as he faced me. His silhouette was black, the edges of which were faded from the brightness behind him. I could see nearly the entire circle around me, except directly behind me, where it was the blackest black of night. Yes, I'd say my vision was quite clear.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I could hear the smallest whisper, which is normally hard for me. I have a hard time hearing anything said to me without facing the person talking to me and having their lips to read as well. I heard the change to harshness and then calmness as well. I heard the water trickling down the wall behind me in the darkness. And I heard the void of any other sound in the world.
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? Yes Where the light met the dark a man stood, inside the cave. I did not know this man, or if I did, I didn't recognize him. I could only see his silhouette. He was very tall was huge shoulders and big hands. He had long wavy, black hair. He asked me to take his hand. When I cried to him that I couldn't reach him he became more assertive and demanded I take his hand. When I yet could not reach him and hurt myself trying, he became calm and told me I had to try, I must never stop trying.
The experience included: Void
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 light was as bright as the summer sun, except it was clearly white, not yellow like the sun. It came in through the opening like a spotlight set on a mark. It did not light the whole room. It only brightened its own path. It reminded me of the way the sun's rays look when they pierce a cloud, only more compact.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First, peace, calmness, I'd say a sort of blissfulness. Then I became anxious. A fear of bringing on my own fate, an unwillingness to make a choice. Fear also of being left in an in-between world. An emotional need to be able to touch that hand and take my life back. A feeling of worth, something I needed to do. Crying out of helplessness.
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I consider my boundary being the cave and my inability to reach the hand I so desperately wanted to hold, along with my inability to move from where I sat, or walk into the light. Somehow, I believe that if I could have reached that hand, he would have led me through the opening into the light. This would have been eternal happiness. I believe I cried because I was sad that I had to go back and would not be allowed to walk in the light at that time.
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 Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I now believe that faith is within the individual. No one can tell someone else how to pray, or what to believe. That's God's job, and I believe he hears each of us, because he lives within each of us. I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, karma, the way of the universe. I believe in guardian angels as well as spirits. Many things have changed for me in that area, which drives my parents crazy since they are devout Christians. I can no longer agree with them however.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'I believe ''God'' lives within each of us and we should be free to worship Him in whatever way we see fit.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I now believe that faith is within the individual. No one can tell someone else how to pray, or what to believe. That's God's job, and I believe he hears each of us, because he lives within each of us. I believe in the possibility of reincarnation, karma, the way of the universe. I believe in guardian angels as well as spirits. Many things have changed for me in that area, which drives my parents crazy since they are devout Christians. I can no longer agree with them however.
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 I left my husband. I moved 1,500 miles west and now for the first time, I have real friends who love me, look up to me for guidance, and understanding. I've made peace with my father after we disowned each other twenty-seven years ago. Have come to know my sons and am very close to them. I know that death is a fact of life and could happen at any time, so I never miss my chance to pass out I love yous and hugs, which always takes my mom by surprise. I've got my life's relationships in order and will not be afraid when my time comes knocking again.
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 am an empath. I can be in the middle of a clouded room and can feel what's going on inside people. I feel all kinds of things. I feel anger, and know exactly whom it's directed at even if they're not near each other. I feel people's inner peace and joy, their embarrassment, their hurt feelings, their physical pain. I feel confusion, love, hate, fear, excitement. I can receive messages from miles away. Not that I can read minds, I can't. But I can sense when someone is thinking of me, and have on occasion even heard them talking to me and when I turn to answer them, they're not there.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes, meaningful! I think that I was shown that death is not to be feared, but to be looked forward to, when the time is right. Timing is everything. 'The place of nothing' showed me the peaceful place that waits for each of us. I also learned from the man that if you want something bad enough, it's worth fighting for. You can't just give up because something is too difficult. Also, I heard 'the voice of 'the man'' several months later while in a drug induced sleep, which led me into a new life that I never dreamed of before any of this happened. It caused me to walk away from a twenty-four year abusive marriage and go 1,500 miles to start over, away from that kind of life. God did not bring me back so I could continue to get beat up and abused. Meaningful? Significant? Yes, a place of blissful peace, and words of encouragement. I think above everything else, those two happenings were God's message to me that it was time to begin again.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About a year. Some called me crazy and shrunk from me. The ones that think I'm crazy get angry just to know I've shared the story with someone else. Most believe it very strongly. Some cry, some get chills and rub their arms, some just listen with fascination and a smile, and many questions. Some even have experiences they share with me, and I get to listen with fascination. I couldn't really say for sure if I influenced anyone, or if so, how.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I suppose everyone has seen the television programs that are centered on the subject. They know that people 'say' it exists, but have no real knowledge of it. That's about the extent of my 'knowledge'.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I couldn't get it off my mind. I knew if I spoke of it, people would think I was crazy. One thing that stood out was that in the cave I came to realize I couldn't feel my legs, (from waist down). When I awoke, it was true. I thank God feeling came back after three months. I had a peacefulness that had never existed before the experience. I had an urge to fight, and fight I did. Every time I thought I couldn't do something, I heard those words echo in my brain, 'You've got to try. You must never stop trying.' For me, nothing could ever compare to the reality of that experience. Nor will I ever forget one minute detail.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I still believe that nothing so 'real' could top that experience. Many 'coincidences' happened in conjunction with the experience. One thing after the other have happened that make me know beyond any doubt that what happened was, and still is a very 'real' event in my life. It's very hard to believe that it happened sixteen years ago. It seems like yesterday to me. As I said, it prompted me to leave my abusive husband. Gave me the courage to strike out on my own and to fight back. It made me to realize that God has a higher purpose for my life. For a while, I was always in a hurry. I wanted everything right now. I have since learned that everything comes in it's own time and I must be patient. The voice I heard, I heard again, which led me into martial arts training and now I teach people how to stay calm and centered in the face of turmoil. I was led to my martial arts teacher by the voice that I heard while sleeping, which was the voice of the man in the cave. In going to this teacher, I was reunited with my two sons whom I'd not seen in seventeen years. They were there, where the teacher was. If anyone were to try to dispute this experience, I would have to laugh at them, because I know it happened, just as I said it did. My life alone is living proof of it.
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? I don't know if one thing has anything to do with the other, but I have had dreams where I am sleeping in my bed, and watching myself sleep from above my bed. I seem very peaceful in my slumber.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None I can think of.