A surgeon had performed a hysterectomy on me and I was being wheeled to my room. I could barely comprehend that my two sisters were in the room when I arrived. They were whispering to each other. All of a sudden, my sister Joanne said to my sister Betty that she thought I was turning blue. They called for the nurse to come back into the room.
I was out of my body, observing my body lying on the hospital bed and I could hear everything that my two sisters and the nurse were saying. I tried to talk to my sisters to let them know that I was all right but they did not hear me. Immediately after this, my spirit went through a darkened tunnel, extremely fast and looking upwards, I could see a white light at the end. My spirit went through this tunnel with a ‘Whoosh’ and there I was, standing in the brightest white light I had ever known. The midday sun could not compare with its brightness or stark whiteness. I instantly felt this bright white light raining down on my spirit and felt an intense love all over my body, like soft rain falling on my skin. I felt loved beyond all shadow of a doubt from this bright whiteness surrounding my spirit. As I stood there feeling this great love flowing over me, I looked across a chasm and saw a neighbor who I knew had passed away. My neighbor belonged to the local Pentecostal Church in my area. I knew that she was deceased but there she stood. I tried to speak to her, but she didn't open her mouth to speak, as we mortals do here on earth. She would think a thought and then it came directly into my mind and my thoughts went directly into her mind. It felt like a light bulb switching on inside my mind. I can only think this was telepathic communication. Her garments were made of gossamer light that shone on me. She told me that my mission on earth was not completed and that I would have to go back. I protested and begged to stay to no avail. She said I would be ‘allowed’ to stay the next time. Not that I ‘could’ or ‘would’ stay she used the word ‘allowed’ to stay. Immediately after she had placed this thought into my mind I was sent back.
I would like to state that I felt no pain whatsoever while standing before this bright white light nor when conversing with my neighbor. I saw multitudes of other beings behind her for as far my eyes could see. I was not aware even that I had passed from life to death at any point in time. That realization came afterwards when my spirit was sent back into my body and I felt the awful searing pain in my abdomen. The pain was more than I could bear and I have the horrible scar even today. My sister held a pillow to my abdomen to allow me to cough; it hurt so much.
After leaving the hospital, I experienced other strange things. I didn't feel married to this man who called me his wife and I didn't feel my children belonged to me. These two small boys who called me ‘Mama’ were like total strangers to me. The grass and trees appeared greener and I wanted to walk without shoes on my feet to feel the earth. Up until this near death experience, I had always felt afraid of death and now I am no longer afraid. I understand now that death is not the end of the spirit and that we progress once we leave this life.
For many years, I searched for the reasons why I did not feel married to my husband after the experience and also why I felt my two small sons did not belong to me. I visited many churches, talked to many Pastors, and went to several Doctors but none could give me even the remotest clue. It took two Latter Day Saint Missionaries coming to my home to visit me with their ‘Book Of Mormon’ before I got answers to these near death questions. They pointed out to me a story in the King James Version of the Bible about the woman who had many husbands who passed away and the disciples asked the Lord to whom would she be a wife once in heaven? His reply was ‘to none of these.’ The missionaries told me of a Latter Day Saint belief that you had to be sealed here upon the earth to your husband or wife and also be sealed to your children if you wanted to be with them after death. Without these sealings they were only gifts from God and not ours to keep for eternity. My soul or spirit knew instantly that these were truthful answers whereupon I agreed to become baptized into the Mormon Church. I am happy, to this day, to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Complications following surgery.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I experienced high quality alertness during the entire time I stood in that brilliant bright white light. I would even go so far as to say my alertness was magnified to a much higher degree.
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
It was as if time did not exist anymore.
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. A spectrum of colors like a rainbow appeared behind the bright white light. I remember especially an emerald green color like no other green I had ever seen before.
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? Yes The tunnel was dark but I was looking upwards toward the bright white light and I went through it at incredible speed; 'Whoosh’ and that was it.
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 I saw a neighbor who lived down the street from me. I knew she had passed away. She communicated thoughts to me telepathically. She instructed me to return to my body and earth as we know it.
The experience included: Light
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? Yes The bright white light was at the end of the tunnel and I instantly entered into it from the tunnel.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I knew their was a Chasm that separated my spirit from all the multitude of beings that I witnessed there.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? An intense feeling of peacefulness and great, extreme love. It seemed that every hair on my head was precious to this brilliant bright white light.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
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? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes A chasm.
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 was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Baptist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes As a result of my experience, I was Baptized and became a member of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, known to world as Mormons. As I explained previously, this came about because of my near death experience and the questions that perplexed me for so long afterwards.
What is your religion now? Moderate Latter Day Saint (Mormon)
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes As a result of my experience, I was Baptized and became a member of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, known to world as Mormons. As I explained previously, this came about because of my near death experience and the questions that perplexed me for so long afterwards.
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I am no longer afraid of death or dying. I know our spirit goes on to another place or life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I gained the courage to divorce an especially abusive and alcoholic husband. Previously he had broken a vertebra in my neck and I wore a neck brace for almost a year while it healed. I was afraid I could not make it in my life alone with two small children. God showed me that I could.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I can at times know the thoughts of others. For example, my sister will think the thought of where she wants to go eat and I will be able to say to her before she even opens her mouth, Oh, Betty, you want to go eat at ‘Taco Bell.’ This would surprise her as well as me, when she would say Sylvia, ‘How did you know that?’ I would just reply ‘I just did.’
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It took 25 years before I felt able to share my experience with anyone. It was extremely Holy and I did not want to discuss it immediately.
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 had to be truly real as I had seen and spoken to people I knew who had passed away before this happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I feel like God wanted me not to fear ‘death’ as mortals know it. He wanted me to experience his great love for me and to understand how special and unique I was to him. He also wanted me to realize that each of us has a specific mission to fulfil in our earthly lives. We do not die until we achieve what we were instructed to do before we were born.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I heard two women singing on the TV one night who were performing with Yanni and, for the briefest of moments, it sounded like the Angels in heaven singing. This was when their voices hit the highest notes only.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I am happy that research is taking place to study this type of experience. The experience has left me feeling more aware of the world and events going on in it today.