One day when I was about 11 or 12 (this is my best estimate of my age at the time) I was swimming alone in our pool. It was a lovely day and I loved to swim underwater. I was a good and confident swimmer and could hold my breath for well over a minute while swimming. I was taking deep breaths, letting out some air and just floating down to the bottom of the pool where I would lie in the warmth and silence until a lack of air pushed me up to get a breath. I would take another and do the same, over and over.
I don't know how long I had been doing this when suddenly I found myself in a tunnel. This was not a tunnel of concrete or bricks, but one of light and energy. I was surrounded by light, love and warmth. It was incredibly bright, so bright I should have had to squint, but I didn't have to and the warm golden white light surrounded me. The tunnel had boundaries, similar to being in a loose wide stocking or cocoon; the edges were soft and invisible maybe like a 'curtain' between me and what was on the other side.
When I say 'I' I don't mean my body, just my mind/spirit/consciousness was in that tunnel of incredible brightness. I had no form; I was just 'me'. I was surrounded also by sound, the most beautiful sounds and melodies you have never heard. How can you describe the sound a guitar or a piano to someone who has never heard one? Impossible! It is impossible to describe the incredible beauty of this music, much like high chiming bells and sweet, pure voices, but actually neither of them. There were bright pinpoints of light in the brightness, like mini-stars, floating around, much like the stars you see on the inside of your eyelids when you press on them in a dark room. Only I was bathed in total energetic brilliance and there were still stars moving and floating. They were both in the tunnel with me and I was aware of them on the outside of the tunnel, on the other side of the curtain. I could not see them, but I was aware they were there. There was no fear in this experience and of being in this place.
I was totally wrapped in incredible peace, indescribable love and joy, acceptance and welcoming. It was like they were waiting there for me. I didn't know who 'they' were, but I felt they were related to me: my family, ancestors, people who were no longer living; they all loved me. It was like bathing in a dry-sea of love, happiness, golden light and incredible music. As I progressed through the tunnel, it was neither up nor down, nor sideways, simply along.
I was greeted by these unseen beings (the essences of these beings on the other side of the curtain/ tunnel) by waves of joy and love. They were welcoming me and flowing through me. I felt completely at peace, like I was 'coming home'. After a while, I heard the voice of my grandmother. Her words were lovingly spoken into my mind; or rather, their essence and meaning just appeared inside me. I understood them. The words said: ‘you can choose to come with me if you wish, but it is not your time yet’.
In my mind or vision, I remembered my mother and my family. I saw my body lying on the bottom of the pool. This was something I both saw like a vision of looking down on something, (much like a photo) and also something that was just a feeling/emotional vision/knowledge, within me. I don't remember making a conscious decision to come back, but I remember knowing how upset my mother would be if I left her.
Instantly, I was back inside my body feeling my lungs burning for air, and my body automatically pushing me up out of the water for a breath. It was many years until I told anyone about this event, because I thought my parents would be very upset at what I had been doing thus banning me from swimming! One thing I was not able to comprehend for many years was the presence of my grandmother’s spirit in the experience with me, at that time she was alive and well, living about 2000 kilometers away from us.
Date NDE Occurred: approx. 1976-1977
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'swimming under water, near to drowning but did not' Other 'swimming under water, near to drowning but did not'
I was in the situation of nearly drowning.
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 The way in which I sensed everything was different: heightened, more ‘total’ and not from the eyes, ears or touch. It was sensing, like the absorbing of everything into your consciousness, like super-awareness.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time was a very high level of consciousness. The time period before, after and what I was doing are hard to remember, just like fuzzy childhood memories, but the experience itself is very clear.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
There was no time, everything happened in sequence and also all at once. I can’t compare the time in the tunnel to real time. It seemed that the experience took a long time but in reality or compared to my body lying on the bottom of the pool, it must have not been more than 30 seconds to a minute maximum, or I would have drowned.
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. There was not much to see in terms of individual objects or 'things' but the brightness was incredible. It was more like seeing energy in different forms of density, which is what created the difference in colors: gold as opposed to white light. It’s really hard to describe.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Super heightened and sensitized to the beautiful sounds/melodies. It’s possible that I / we as people would not be able to hear this sound in our normal life, maybe that's why it’s so impossible to describe the beauty of it.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intense joy and happiness, incredible peace at being in that place. Being over flowed and filled by love of me and for me. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the music I could hear.
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 I did not experience an understanding of anything, other than what was happening at the time in the tunnel. I experienced a feeling of knowing the beings and essences that were around me without knowing specifically who they were; like being at a huge loving family reunion without having ever met anyone before.
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
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? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain It may have been formed. I am non-religious but see the beauty in the essence of many religions. Generally, they value peace, love and tolerance. If we all did this, the world would be a far better place. I see spirituality as something that starts within ourselves and we should all find what is meaningful to us. Meditation and looking inwards definitely can assist in getting in touch with that other realm. It’s amazing how much space there is inside a human body, the spirit is endless.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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 12 in an age pre internet, 2 channels on Tv, living out in the country at the time. We were not a religious family other than being of a christian type background. i had no knowledge of NDE at the time at all, i dont know that i had never heard of it and it was not until years later that i understood what had happened. I still do not associate what happened to me with 'going to heaven' Although it was perfect love and peace and heavenly i guess, i did not and do not interpret this as being 'heaven' in a religious context.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was no longer afraid of dying, particularly dying from drowning.
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 encountered a definite being, or a voice, clearly of mystical or unearthly origin as already described. Many beings filled with love for me to ensure I was not scared and was given the choice to stay/return.
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 i just had an awareness of being/going home which indcated to me that i have been there before and that i will go there again after this lifetime
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes i felt 'related' to all the essences (dozens/hundreds) who surrounded me and were waiting for me which could be interpreted that they were related to me in previous lives, or were my spirit 'family', or that we are all related and one
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 i had no awareness of God or a supreme being or any religious meaning or experience, only the welcoming home of my spirit by other spirits/beings/esences who loved me and were waiting to giude me home
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Only the information that it was not yet my time to go there, which I later interpreted as meaning I had not done whatever it was that I had come here to do.
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 only the information that it was not yet my time to go there, which i later interpreted as meaning, i had not done whatever it was that i had come here to do
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 the spirit definitely lives beyond the death of the physical body.
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? 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? Yes That death of the body is not the end of your exisitance and that death by drowning is not painful or frightening but peaceful. That we have guardians or beings who look after us and guide us, that they love us unconditionally. this were things that i kind of absorbed by 'osmosis' rather than being told by anyone/anything in the experience. Also that time is limitless and space is limitless in that other place, that love is limitless and that everything including our consciousness and awareness is simple energy in various forms. This last part is something i have intuited after the expereince and as i have got older
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? Yes i was surrounded, bathed, eveloped in deep, joyous, peaceful, unconditional love - once again - very hard if not impossible to describe
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 do not believe that ‘God’ as in the bible or other religions, exists. I do not agree with religions other than them being a way for man to either interpret his relationship to God and/or control other men. I believe there is a 'God' in the form of a higher energy from which everything is ultimately created and evolves from it as its very energetic essence.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain Too young to answer that when it happened.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words to express what it is like.
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 other memories of that time are hazy and sporadic. this one remains very clear
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 certain amount of intuition which seems to be, over and above, what other people, I know, commonly experience, acknowledge or are guided by. This may (or may not) be a result of being aware that there is far more surrounding us than what we just see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. When I have an image, intuition or suggestions appear in my consciousness, I'm more likely to follow it, than disregard it as impossible knowledge.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was a very peaceful and loving experience. It left me in no doubt that there is life after we die and that it is beautiful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Years - maybe 5 or 6.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Not that I remember, we were not religious and even the bible stories about heaven were abstract for me. I don't recall being aware of or knowing about anyone who had died and come back to life.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I was frightened to tell anyone about it, even though the experience was not frightening. I did not think it was not real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The vividness of it remains today. I think NDE is becoming more widely known, but it is not something I would tell just anyone as they might think I was nuts or making it up.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Not the tunnel, but the experience of my grandmother’s spirit coming to me, in a near car crash, and NDE of another kind! I felt my grandmother’s spirit around me and a pair of hands holding my hands intact, which were holding the steering wheel of my car to guide it past what seemed to be an impossible situation. I have no conscious memory of these seconds other than the love and guidance of her spirit. Once again, I guess I still had stuff to do!
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I was surrounded, bathed, enveloped in deep, joyous, peaceful, unconditional love; once again, very hard, if not impossible, to describe.