I can remember my evening being uneventful and going to bed at the same time as my husband. He was to my left and sitting up reading. I was lying in bed (sleeping) when all of a sudden I woke with excruciating chest pain on my left side. I realized instantly that I was completely paralyzed in bed. I was wide awake but could not move, not even blink. I can remember lying there screaming on the inside because of the pain and trying to raise my left arm to touch my husband. I can remember screaming in my head that I needed a doctor. I felt that if I could just make my arm move to touch him he could call the doctor. The pain in my chest was so excruciating.
The next thing I remember is that I was hovering above the bed, way above it, higher than the ceiling. The room was filled with a bright, bright light with a pinkish hue. The light was brightest above me.
I was floating. I could feel my whole body floating, not a feeling like an image, but actually floating like in water. I was looking down and I could see myself lying flat on my back and my husband still sitting up in the same position. He hadn't moved and I can remember thinking how on earth could he be so nonobservant with all this going on!
I remember continuing to look down and hearing my mum's voice above me. She had passed away in March of that year. She said, ‘it's not time yet, you have to go back for Gareth and Damian.’ (My two sons who were young but not living with me.)Those were her exact words. I remember them clearly to this day.
Next thing I remember I was back in my body and awake. My pulse was racing, my left arm was aching, and I was sweating. I told my husband what had just happened. He shrugged it off.
I did tell a colleague at work of this as her husband was a Pastor. She discussed it with her husband and told me various religious scenarios. I can’t really remember her responses now but to this day I have thought of this episode many, many times. My recollection of it in its entirety is still in color and accurate. No details have diminished over the years.
Date NDE Occurred: approx. Oct-Nov 1992
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Other: fit and healthy.
Horrific chest pain preceded my experience that disappeared completely on eventually waking.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
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 The only way to describe this higher alertness would be intense and vivid and how real it all felt. Especially the pain. I had never felt pain like that before nor have I experienced it since.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I would say this would have been while I was hovering above myself.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
The whole experience seemed to take it's time. I can’t gauge, but after I talked to my husband, from the time we went to bed to the time I was ‘back’ was about fifteen minutes.
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 was sleeping prior but I remember my vision during the experience being so clear. I could see everything clearly. The color of the duvet, the pattern colors, my body, my arms. I mean, I could see everything so clearly, even the book he was reading. The cover was gold. It was like I was so high above the whole room but nothing was out of focus.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I had been asleep but my mother's voice above (and slightly to the right) was loud and clear. There was no other sound. Just quietness. When I spoke to my husband immediately after I could hear him just like normal.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes It was my mother who spoke to me. Her voice was clear, calm and exact.
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was bright. It was so bright it filled the room. The room seemed to illuminate somehow with this pinkish hue. It was just really bright but I remember it didn't hurt my eyes.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I remember feeling absolute terror but that was due to the pain. While I was floating, I remember I wasn't alarmed and I wasn't scared.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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 When I was sent back I remember not being disappointed at having to return. I felt calm and peaceful inside although when I woke I had all the emotions of confusion, pain, and shock.
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- Catholic I wasn't practicing my Religion however I did have faith in God.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes More questions than belief. My belief was blind faith before. Forced upon me before I had a voice to choose.
Now, I find I need something tangible for this world even though what I experienced seemed so real and so "out of" this world. It didn't help to reinforce my belief.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Buddhist I have struggled with the Catholic upbringing and have been "lost" for many years. I felt like I needed more to understand the GOD aspect but also I felt I needed something tangible to believe in.
I find Buddhism fills that for me. Buddhism allows me to believe, accept and appreciate my surroundings and world.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience As Catholics we are taught that we go to another world when we die. I believed in that very much. This hasn't made me believe any stronger but it has opened more questions.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I was awfully young so I don't think it had the impact it should perhaps have had. The realization of it all is perhaps only creeping in now that I'm older and see my own mortality.
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 It was my mother's voice. I knew it was hers. I'd know her voice anywhere. I remember hearing her, hearing her words, understanding them but still I wanted to turn to see her but I couldn't. I remember being pleased at what she said, as I knew in that instant I was going to be ok. It was just a feeling at that precise moment, but I knew. That was when I was back in my body and awake.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I felt that I was sent back for a purpose. Not just for my children but for another purpose. This feeling stays with me to this day so I know I haven't reached my purpose yet.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
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 probably exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I greatly 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? Unknown
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? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life I think it opened up a lot of questions and doubt about life and what it's all about. I don't know about God, this world is so angry and lost. Yet, there is an intrigue there as to what, if any, ‘life’ exists after. I just don't understand what it's all about.
I am more aware of other ‘experiences’ I have had during my life. But that scares and confuses me because I don't understand it at all.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It's been 20 years and that's the one thing that fascinates me to this day...and the fact that I can still remember every little detail. I can still see it in my head. It's vibrant colour still and I can hear my mother's voice.
Another thing I can still remember is how calm I felt while I was floating yet how much pain there was prior to leaving my body.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I seem to have premonitions, not often, but when I do it's accurate. They come without warning and I often only realize they're a premonition when the occurrence then happens.
I seem to experience weird things like smells, hear unexplained noises where they can’t be, or see shadows or part images. There's been a few of those over the years.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When my mum told me to go back for my sons. I had been living away from them with little contact. After that night we all reconnected and bonded which was extremely important as the years rolled on.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My husband was the first one I told. He didn't seem interested. He just thought it was a dream. It was a few days later I told my friend at work. Because she's religious she didn't seem surprised and didn't scoff at me. The only other people I have told are my sisters. We have talked about it over the years but there's never been great discussion analysis, just intrigue.
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 The pain memory never diminished but as for the out of body experience, that just totally confused me. I'd lie in bed wondering if mum would re-visit or if it would happen again. I even tried willing it to happen. It never did. I remember though, I wasn't frightened. I never was. Confused, yes.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The whole experience was so real, powerfully real. That will never change.
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? Great questionnaire, thank you.