I was driving an 18-wheeler semi truck for a company from Utah to Texas. The trip had me starting from my home in Nevada (former lion trainer for the MGM) routing through Arizona where I picked up several baby monkeys from a friend of mine to deliver to another friend in Texas. Anyway in the middle of the night, as I was driving west in Texas, I felt a 'presence' in the passenger seat. I turned and looked. There sat my mother who had committed suicide in 1981. She was staring straight ahead as if looking for something ahead of us and was acting very nervous. For my mother this was very unusual behavior even if she was living. Instead of me being frightened, I was concerned about her and was actually trying to reassure her. She 'told' me that I had to find a hospital and quickly. She was giving me directions on how to get there. The hospital was the other side of town and not by the freeway. Also, there was construction going on the freeway. I don't recall the trip to the hospital that well except when she would tell me where to turn. I do remember trying to bring her 'up to date ' about my life but she just wanted me to concentrate on getting to the hospital.
My next memory is sitting in my truck just outside of the hospital and writing notes to people in the emergency room about who to contact, about the monkeys and how to contact my adult daughter. To this day, I'm not sure exactly what I wrote but think they're part of my medical records. At that point, my mom told me to please listen too her and get to the emergency room. I was trying to reassure her that I would go as soon as I finished writing my notes.
The next memory is that I'm walking to the emergency room doors. Then it was like I was in a tunnel and the emergency room doors appeared to be getting farther away. I then began to feel tired and the thought entered my mind to go back to the truck and rest a bit and then try again. But as I was going to turn and go back, I felt hands grab my shoulders to keep me walking straight to the emergency room door.
The next memory I had was trying to stand up, but it was like I was slipping on a hillside with lose rock like shale. As I looked up, it was dark and there were three crosses. The man's face on the cross in the middle had a 'slash' of light illuminating his face, mainly his eyes, but just from his face you could tell he had been severely beaten. But his eyes - to this day I get emotional when I think and feel the complete love, compassion and caring I felt he had for me.
What I'm going to describe happened in thought, not words. He then asked me if I understood. 'Understood what?' was my thought. I then 'saw' things in rapid succession that were moments of my life, complete with emotions I felt during certain times of my life as a child and up through adulthood. Then again, the question 'Do you understand??' Again, I saw a rapid succession of events in my life. I must have been 'getting something' because the next question was 'What would be your idea of heaven?' Before I could answer, I found myself 'in the womb' floating above the planet and recall a 'taste' in my mouth. It was not unpleasant but it was a definite 'taste.'
Then came a feeling like I was in utopia with complete knowledge of everything. If I began to ask a question, I had the answer before I finished the thought. It was during this time when I wanted to know Jesus/God better and get as close as I could to him. The thought was, 'If you listen to Thomas, seek out Thomas...'
When I woke from my coma, I told the nurse that if she wanted to know the answer to anything, to ask now because the knowledge was fading fast. It was like a dream when you first wake you remember every detail and then it fades and you only remember the basics of the experience. But that thought, 'search out Thomas (the book)' was vivid. At the time, I knew that he was one of the 12 disciples, but his importance or that there was a book of Thomas, was not known to me at the time.
The next memory is that I'm standing in the lobby of a hospital. I was expecting someone to 'pick me up' but people were walking past me, like they were looking 'through'' me. I tried to 'ask ' someone where I was and then noticed my friend John was driving his wife's Mercedes which she NEVER let him drive. He was driving it into the parking lot. I started looking for my 'suitcase' but couldn't find it. I looked up to see John walk right past me to the elevator doors and get into the elevator. He had a plate covered with tinfoil, which was my Thanksgiving dinner. The hospital told him that I was in the critical care unit but not my condition. At the time, I was comatose. My trip was suppose to end at the 'snake farm' where I would have Thanksgiving dinner with John and his family while delivering the baby monkeys.
The next thing I remember is John getting out of the elevator obviously 'shaken' and he threw the plate in the trash and left. Then I was taking another look around for my 'suitcase.' I looked again and thought that he's leaving in his wife's car. Then I went many places. I visited my friends from High School and went to several friend's houses. I tried to memorize where they were so I could eventually find them, even a girl that I had week-long relationship with just to see where she was.
When I was released from the hospital, I spent a few days 'recovering' at John's house. Both, John and his wife were shocked when I described him driving the Mercedes to them.
At no time do I remember 'seeing ' my body or seeing anyone doing CPR or defibrillation any medical procedure on me. I'm not a huge fan of hospitals anyway!! At no time was I able to get anyone's attention and I don't recall much of a effort to do that, but I was just observing. At no time was the experience frightening. On the contrary, the incredible feeling of non-judgmental, love and peace I felt from whom I felt was Jesus/God on that cross, I will never forget.
Although, I have no fear of death now that I'm back, I'm in no hurry to experience it again!
Date NDE Occurred: nov 2001
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Heart attack. CPR given. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
Cardiac arrest CPR given defibrillated 4 times
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Hospitals, people's houses; I did not travel in the sense of 'flying.' If I 'thought' it, I would find myself 'there'.
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 Communication was all through thought
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Several times. I was in coma over 17 days.
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
If thought had 'time' is the feeling that comes to mind.
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 but could feel what I saw, as well.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Not like normal, you 'felt ' what you heard, if that makes sense.
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? Uncertain The tunnel 'effect 'happened as I was walking to the emergency room door
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 mother, who committed suicide 20 years before
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain I saw a slash of almost studio lighting across Jesus' face, mainly his eyes, looking at me.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place The place of the crucifixion
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, calm, being loved by Jesus/God. Curiosity. Wonder of it all and what I was experiencing",Incredible peace or pleasantness,Incredible joy,Uncertain,The tunnel 'effect 'happened as I was walking to the emergency room door,Uncertain,"I saw a slash of almost studio lighting across Jesus' face, mainly his eyes, looking at me.
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? Everything about the universe I knew the answer to everything myself/others/the universe...any thing
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control Just many things and emotions that I went through. But even things I'm not proud of, or would want to confront were not presented in a 'condemning' way, but as a 'learning experience'.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
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? Unaffiliated- Agnostic was raised methodist went to 'sunday school 3-6th grade
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am a Christian and will not deny that. But I feel very uncomfortable in any church. My church is nature, our planet, or in any innocent child.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian anti -organized religion
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 It's as if Jesus is something you hope exists. But for me it was like Santa, Easter bunny, or the Tooth fairy. Is he real or just another fable, also religion teaches you if you’re not following 'their' rules you can't be with Jesus/God. This is not true.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I know we exist beyond this life.
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 Jesus on the cross
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 That’s the 'only being', besides my mother, with whom I actually communicated.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes We are all part of everything...we are all connected...not a specific statement...but the feeling of being part of something bigger.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Yes, yes, yes...I saw him in a way I feel would make me understand...and I felt like the most loved 'child' ever. He was communicating with me from the cross. God definitely exists.
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 God does love us...and don't trust organized religion!! My experience was non-judgmental, complete love and understanding. Although I have never committed a felony, I have faults and am responsible for my actions. These actions weren't used to 'condemn' me but to learn.
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 did, but most of it is hazy enough, where I know I will be with him again.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I know we exist beyond this life.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Yes Your relationships with others are important.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Uncertain I knew why hardships happen from starvation, to birth defects. Anything I wanted the answer to I knew it, but now can't recall specifics enough to risk being wrong
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love is unconditional and complete. The thought of feeling that again, makes the thought of death less scary.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Pay much more attention to personal relationships
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I find myself with the same faults with relationships, but instead of giving up on them, I keep trying to maintain them and improve them.
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 do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events. I only remember certain moments in detail, mostly just parts and impressions but the details I do remember. I have 'witnesses'.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I see people observing me or I know when there's others around me. This is the first time I have said this, except to two or three very close friends. I see actual people and shadows a lot.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I know Jesus is real. I thank him for showing me what he did and does for me every day. I only wish I were better. I am ashamed of what humans have done to the message of love /belonging/understanding for their own means of exerting control. The message is to treat others with compassion, do not hurt, do not lie, and do not judge. I knew the reason at one point why there's so much suffering and evil but I forgot it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Shared with my doctors. I talked to priests and was called a heretic. Occasionally, I would have complete strangers lead conversations to talking about it. But because I was insured to handle dangerous animals/venomous snakes, I kept quiet about it except for a few people close to me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard it happened but figured it was your brain’s way of letting you out 'easy'.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew it happened and now that it’s been going on 15 years this November. Occasionally it's like maybe it was my imagination, but when I remember looking into Jesus/God's eyes (I feel they are maybe the same thing), that was something I can never forget.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I had a stent put in my heart last January. I listened to my inner voice telling me to get it checked out before another heart attack.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes There is not a day that goes by that something doesn't happen to remind me of what the message was.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? There is something more to our existence but I would put a caveat to that. Don't let that be an excuse to diminish the importance of your existence in the here and now.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It’s hard to convey the emotion of the experience in words but in a clinical sense, the questions are pretty thorough.