I was 11 years old in 1966 when the accident happened. I was riding my bike, on my way back from the schoolyard. Before I crossed the street, I stopped and looked both ways just as I was taught. There were no cars. So I put my foot to the pedal and looked down at my feet while I got my wheels turning. When I looked up, a fast-moving car was directly in front of me, barely a foot in front of my front wheel, and I was in motion. There was no way we weren't about to collide.
I knew I was going to die; not that I was afraid, it was just an observation. I had a fraction of a second to react. Time seemed to slow down. In that instant between seeing the car and impact, I saw my young life flash before my eyes. My 11 years played like a movie reel zipping downward in front of me with the edges lined with little dotted holes on the sides of the film. I thought, 'Wow, it's just like they say, there's my life flashing before my eyes'. And as I had that thought, I also marveled that I had time to think it.
Then it occurred to me that even though I could not avoid impact, I just might have a chance of survival if, instead of hitting the car head on, I turned my front wheel to the left. Then my hip would take first impact, and I might stand a chance. So I turned left. That was my last memory of the physical event until I came back into my crumpled body laying in the street.
According to eye witness accounts, I first hit the car door, ripping a 6 inch tear across my entire gluteus muscle. Then my body flipped up to the roof of the car, and then rolled down the windshield. Finally the driver sees me, a kid on his windshield, and slams on the brakes. My body, which appeared lifeless to the witnesses, was flung 20 feet into the air, and then crash landed on the street a half block away.
There was no tunnel. No time for tunnels. I was catapulted to the other side instantly. It was like flipping over a playing card, as if on the other side of the card is another reality, one that exists in the same place but in a different dimension. I found myself in a reality where none of the physical 'things' I knew existed. All was softness and comfort, like being held up by the softest pillow imaginable. It was as if I were being cradled by the most loving embrace ever, like the big soft belly and safe loving arms of my dear Omama, my Austrian grandmother. I felt totally happy. Totally accepted. There was no pain, no hurt, no judgments; nothing but bliss.
I longed to stay there. The idea of checking out of this life, and having a chance to start over or staying in that place of infinite love, was compelling.
While I was on the other side, I had counsel about whether to go back. It was to be my decision. I would have injuries to deal with. And the dysfunctional life that I came from would still have to be lived. I also knew that I had plans for this life. I had curiosity and even enthusiasm for coming back. I became aware that the span of a lifetime is a speck compared to a place where time does not exist. I was comforted by knowing that this place, that I was lucky enough to visit, would always be there. I knew that I would be back someday, at the right time. I decided to complete my life plan. I realized it had been a plan from before this life began. I was given a choice. And I chose to come back.
I came back into my body and opened my eyes. The world around me was frozen and still. There was no sound, no motion. It was as if, for a moment, I was not entirely back in this reality, but in a transition state where everything was like suspended animation. I saw people standing on the sidewalk, but they appeared to be made of light. Their heads were made of round spinning lights, and their bodies were oval light, spinning and breathing, like an oval spiral of brush strokes, alive and in motion. The spinning lights were mainly gold, green, and orange. I thought I was having blurry vision, but when I looked around, the houses and everything else looked sharp and clear. Though their eyes were not visible through the lights, I knew those people were looking at me wondering why was I lying in the street?
I wanted to get on my bike and go home. I glanced around and saw my bike lying in the intersection, a crumpled hunk of metal. I realized I'd been hit. I tried to get up. The moment I tried to move, in a snap everything instantly came into focus. The world seemed to wake up all at once. In an instant, everything came alive. The people on the sidewalk suddenly had clothes, faces and detail. There was noise and yelling. I tried to stand up but fell down because of the broken bones in my foot. Someone ran over to me and helped me hobble to a low brick garden wall by the sidewalk. Then the ambulance arrived.
The paramedics were cutting my bloody clothes off my body and checking me for fractures. They loaded me into the ambulance. I kept saying, 'I'm fine, I wanna go home'. I was alone on the hard metal x-ray table when the endorphins wore off. One moment I was fine, the next moment I was screaming in agonizing pain. The technician, nurses, and doctor scolded me, saying that I was just hysterical. They yelled at me to be quiet and lay still on my torn hip. Although I had several broken bones, torn muscle, and chunks of skin ripped off, they did not believe that I was in pain. They all said it was a miracle that I was alive, and that I hadn't broken every bone in my body. I was the miracle kid who lived.
Arriving home, my father carried me from the car to my room. I had never felt so loved by him, before or since. For one night I was visible, real, an actual person on his radar. At home, my mom propped my body with pillows. I dared not move, as any movement triggered more pain. But that night, when everyone finally left me alone and my body settled down, I remembered. I remembered everything, so clearly, about where I'd been.
The accident was a gift. Because I've been to the other side, I've never had a fear of death. I experienced another place that was separate from the body. As I still existed there, there must not really be such a thing as death. I saw the people on the street as energy, and I understood that we are beings of energy. I have been given the gift of empathy and compassion for others in pain. I have prayed for the man who hit me. I've wanted to tell him, 'It's ok. I'm ok'. Life is the sum of all our experiences and lessons. I learned that the bottom line in life is simply to love, because that is the entire reality of the other place. How lucky am I to know that I am here by choice. How lucky am I to have experienced the place of tranquility where we will go. How lucky am I to understand that there is nothing to fear. A moment in time shaped my life. And though I will be glad to go back to that place of peace some day, I'm happy to be here now. I am my self, imperfect but continually growing; the miracle kid, who chose life.
Date NDE Occurred: October 1966
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Other: Life threatening event not at a hospital so can not prove it but I've always believed that I was mom
I was hit by a car while on a bicycle.
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 Heightened, time seemed to slow down so I could respond and react.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The moment before I was hit.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time seemed to slow down a lot prior to impact. I had many thoughts that I would not have had time to think in normal life.
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. When I came back into my body, for a moment everything looked as usual except people. The people on the street radiated light, which moved in an oval spiral of color. I could not see their faces or details, just the colored lights.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The moment before I left and the moment after I returned to my body, there was no sound at all.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I knew that I was not alive, and that the counselor was a being who was not in a living body, but lived in the other realm. It seemed perfectly normal. The entity felt male, like a caring father-figure, though it's true nature, I sensed, was formless and sexless. I had a vague sense that other beings who knew me were watching, though I could not identify them.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was just space with no physical things, nothing tangible. I was aware of the counselor, and the vague far-off beings.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Bliss, universal love
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control The moment prior to impact, my whole life flashed before my eyes, as if on movie reel. When I was out of my body, in discussion with the counselor, I was aware of my pre-teen insecurities, my abusive Granny (not to be confused with Omama, my loving grandmother on my father's side) and my dysfunctional family, things I would have been glad to be free of if I never went back.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I do not recall any specifics, just that I was supposed to complete this life, as if each of us has an important role and all need to be present at the right times in the right bodies for the future to happen as it's meant to unfold.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life In discussion with the counselor, I decided that my plan and interest in this life outweighed my draw to stay there.
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? Jewish I grew up in a Jewish community. Nearly everyone I knew was Jewish. I went to religious school / temple 3 times a week. I was raised that we are all born good and we all go to heaven.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My religious belief was strengthened.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Jewish The same, though heaven revealed itself to be a feeling of universal love.
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 I could not have imagined the level of bliss, nor the absolute lack of physical / emotional pain, all life struggles were non existent.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I already believed in treating people well. The big thing was that I don't fear death. Also, that a person is separate from the body.
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 I discussed my situation with a being who I thought of as a counselor, regarding whether or not to go back to my body and this life.
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? Yes I was in a place that was positive and happy, a place we go after this lifetime, and a resting place between lives.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes An awareness that we are not the body.
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? Uncertain The experience felt spiritual in that my awareness was expanded by knowing this other realm existed, but God or a supreme being never entered my experience.
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? Uncertain Just that it was important to finish this life plan. That our lives weave together into a greater plan, and that all the parts need to exist, so I had to come back.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain I knew that a plan existed.
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 was reassured that I would be able to return after my lifetime was completed.
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? Moderately 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 possibly 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? Uncertain
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes just that the hardships were only during the physical lifetime.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love was the primary sensation on the other side. Love was everything.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? I have been relieved of fearing death, because I know we continue to exist without the body. When life has been difficult, I have been comforted by knowing that the other realm is there, and that there is a greater plan. I have spent my life caring for others, and trying to be kinder to my patients than the medical staff was to me. I don't believe that suicide is an option, as you may have to go back and restart the same life over again. I do not believe I thought this before the accident. I have been relieved of fearing death, because I know we continue to exist without the body. When life has been difficult, I have been comforted by knowing that the other realm is there, and that there is a greater plan. I have spent my life caring for others, and trying to be kinder to my patients than the medical staff was to me. I don't believe that suicide is an option, as you may have to go back and restart the same life over again. I do not believe I thought this before the accident.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I felt more visible and cared for by my parents for a while. Granny backed off and treated me kinder for a while. My refusal to see her was honored. When I went back to school a few weeks later, I could not bear kids expressing concern about me, and took crazy risks to demonstrate that I was ok. I tell of the event to anyone to whom I get very close. I'm sometimes shy about the gluteus deformity from the impact, but I am more compassionate toward people with disabilities and deformities because of my own. When a patient shows me a deformity, I often show them my dented hip, and they know I understand. I feel lucky to be able to walk. Gradually, I have had physical issues from my injuries, surgeries, pain, and limitations. When they act up, I want to be alone. I still don't want anyone to know when I'm in pain, because it's just my body. It's not 'me'.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because it was an emotional / spiritual / non-tangible experience.
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 th I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes For 20 years afterwards, I felt I could heal through thought and through my hands. My palms would get hot, and through focused thought, I would send healing energy through my hands. Not just with people, sometimes with cats, too. I could see the source of people's illnesses, and sometimes into their past lives if there was a connection to their illness. I could see energy around people, and could see and mend damaged areas, and open clogged areas along energy pathways. Then I went to school to study medicine and as my life became more clinical, I gradually got away from those abilities.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? As I said, knowing there's an afterlife.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I've told many people. I can't recall the first time. I don't think right away. I want people to know that this life is not all there is. Not to fear death. People seem interested; they seem to want to know there is more than this life.
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 I never questioned it. I did not think about it from when I opened my eyes in the street, until hours later when I was lying in bed, on my right side with pillows in front of me, behind me, and between my legs, and everyone went to bed, and it was finally quiet and the pain subsided a bit, I remembered everything. It all came back to me: vivid, clear, and amazing.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was a life-changing event that I could never forget. I feel lucky to know that the spirit lives on, and that there is this wonderful place to go to after this life. When I'm feeling tired or burned out, remembering this truth strengthens me.
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? Some of the questions seemed very similar, and it took hours to complete.