We were on a family outing at a lake. My mother and father were with my younger sisters on a blanket, a slight distance from the beach area. I wanted to go swimming, so my grandmother volunteered. We went into the part of the lake where the water went deeper. My grandmother was standing in the water talking to another lady and not paying much attention to me. I wanted her attention, so I kept interrupting her by telling her I was going to pretend to drown and she had to pull me up. We continued this a few times and then I looked up at her and told her not to pull me up this time because I wanted to see how long I could hold my breath. I guess she listened. I swam under the water again, but this time it felt like my foot got caught on something and I could not get back to the surface. I remember panicking intensely, needing to take a breath.
After struggling for a bit, I began to feel warm and very pleasantly calm. I felt as if I had given in and was not afraid anymore. I saw a really fast flashback of things that had happened in my life and then there was an intensely bright, flashing white light. I did not feel like I was in a 'tunnel,' but more that the light surrounded me and I was moving forward within it. Although I felt the presence of someone, I do not remember hearing or seeing anything.
Suddenly, I was back on the beach with the lady looking over me. People surrounded me, all looking down at me. I heard my mom's voice in the background. Everything that happened after that is vague. I felt my mom's intense anger towards my grandmother when she picked me up. She carried me to our blanket and then I think we left the beach. I never went back to that lake again.
This incident was something that was not discussed in our home, ever. I was young, so my imagination took over and I told people that there had been an alien spaceship under the water and that the aliens had grabbed my foot and tried to take me with them. I never realized that other people had had similar experiences until I was a teenager and I went to a movie about a near death experience.
Date NDE Occurred: summer 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning Other: I was under the water for quite some time. A woman pulled me out and I was resuscitated. I was told I had stopped breathing. I received no further medical attention because my mom picked me up and left the beach
While I was in the lake swimming under the water, my foot got caught on something. It caused me to drown.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was trying to get to the surface and when I was surrounded by the light.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I not only saw the light but I felt the warmth of it. Even though the past events went by really fast, I could recognize each one.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I did not hear anything expect for a loud humming.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain Not a tunnel, but I was surrounded by light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I felt that someone was there but I was not fearful at all.
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 It was a bright white light but it did not hurt my eyes to look into it. The light looked like it was bursting forth from something.
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 panicked and was very scared before I lost consciousness. Then I was very calm and definitely not afraid. To this day, I don't think of dying as scary at all.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
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
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Unknown
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant I don't go to church much but I do not question the existance of God. I know he does
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 was to young. I went to church every week and new about heaven and God
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I think that I am good because I know there is a God and one must be good in order to go to Heaven.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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.)? Uncertain I felt that someone was there but was not fearful at all
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? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No Only after the 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? No
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? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain When I regained my conciousness I just remembering that I believed there was a God and heaven
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I just remembering feeling at peace
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown I became extremely empathetic and sympathetic towards people, even at my young age. I felt guilty enjoying certain things like, for example, Christmas presents when I knew there were children out there that did not receive any. I sensed others' sadness or troubles.
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 do not know how my remembrance of the experience compares to my remembrance of other life events at time
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I have a strong, somewhat unusual, sense of empathy towards people. They do not have to be friends or relatives for me to feel their sadness or despair.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I don't fear dying. I just would not want it to be painful. I just remember feeling at peace. When I regained consciousness, I just remember that I believed there was a God and a heaven.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes They thought I was nuts and said it could all be explained by scientific facts.
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 knew it happened, I definitely know I drowned.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? It happened so long ago that it is just part of my past and I don't really dwell on it. I was very young. I went to church every week and knew about heaven and God