I was in labor. It was very difficult. At that point in time, it was a natural childbirth and I was stuck in the part of labor called transition. I had been that way for a very long time. My husband was in the room with me and I was in agony begging for any kind of drug and told him I was dying. We had been to Lamaze classes and had been taught to expect this and to just breathe and it would be OK. So he did not go get anyone while I begged. The next thing I knew I was sort of floating. I distinctly remember seeing the clock on the wall. Then the next thing I remember was being somewhere 'else' and I was in absolutely no pain. It was kind of a weird void landscape almost as if it was foggy and yet it was light. Then, I remember a wonderful kindly man who asked me to sit down and talk to him. There was some sort of bench. The man filled me with a sense of awe and I loved him. He then proceeded to tell me something like (sounds hokey) the secrets of the universe and the meaning of my life; its past, present and future, that I was dead (which seemed fine to me) and why I needed to go back. It all made perfect sense. I agreed that I had to go back and yet I didn't want to leave the man and the place and I cried and begged not to go back. (Now I am wondering about the box I checked that it was entirely pleasant, but it was. It was the thought of leaving that upset me). And then the next thing I knew, with what seemed like the force of slamming into a cement wall, I was in my body, in agony, being shaken by my husband screaming 'wake up you are delirious and making no sense.' I asked what he meant by 'no sense' and he sad I had been murmuring about 'some old man.' It seemed to me that I had been in the place forever and yet it seemed like half a second; the experience had a timeless quality to it. A weird footnote to this story is that at some point during my labor (there is no way to know whether this was when I was having this experience) my mother jumped out of her seat in the waiting room and went to the nurses and told them she had to get to me because she was convinced that I was dying. She said this feeling just came over her. She is an atheist science-loving skeptical person.
Date NDE Occurred: August 28, 1979
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Childbirth Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening
I was in the throes of a very difficult labor which lasted a couple of days and required blood transfusions and several hundred stitches yet at the time of the experience there were no medical staff in the room and when I tried to tell them about it I was told I was delirious.
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? Yes Just floating past the clock.
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 Like I said it was like the man explained everything in the universe to me and the meaning of my life.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was with the man.
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
See narrative above.
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. It was like I was somewhere else and it was 'different'
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Everything was 'different', nothing was the same and yet I don't remember any sounds.
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? Uncertain See narrative above.
The experience included: Void
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? Uncertain It was another place unlike here but no not the bright light I have heard about.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place Like I said I was somewhere else.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Joy, awe, love, understanding.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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 Like I said I learned 'everything'
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future From the World's future. I think it was the universe, world and personal.
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other faiths- Unitarian and other liberal faiths
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I believe in Life After Death and that there is a kind loving force or god in the universe and that it 'all makes sense.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Sort of pagan, Buddhist, very undefined but a definite belief in something powerful.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience At the time of the experience I had no knowledge of or belief in NDE and yet I had one I am convince
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Do as many good deeds as you can quietly.
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 don't know who the old man was and yet he was very important.
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.)? Uncertain I don't know who the old man was and yet he was very important
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I don't remember any specific details
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain I don't remember any specific details and yet I "feel" that
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 Absolute certainty there is something
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 I had to come back for some reason.
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? Yes Like I have said that was what the experience was about
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Absolute certainty
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
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? Yes I had to go back for some reason
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The experience was filled with love
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I was filled with what seemed like all of the answers and reasons for everything and yet as soon as it was over I couldn't remember a single word I had learned.
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 How can I put this into words the experience was surreal, with a heightened sense of consciousness during a wretched time of unspeakable agony and yet I can't repeat anything I learned except I had to come back
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The man.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Right away with my husband who told me to stop babbling. I shared a few weeks later with my mother, then probably not for a few more years after that. I still don't tell many people.
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 probably not real I think I had PTSD from my labor, hundreds of stitches and an infection as well as an infant to take care of and I had no knowledge of NDEs. I also had a very uninterested and skeptical family so I just decided it was a hallucination.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I never forgot it and while I don't talk about it much etc. it's always sort of 'there' nagging at me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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