My two older brothers (six and ten years older than I) had persuaded me to allow them to roll me up in a feather filled quilt. They rolled me up tightly so that I could not move my arms that were at my sides. They then both lay across my body. I tried to breath, but couldn't because of their weight on my chest, and because what air I did manage to pull in sucked the outer cloth from the quilt into my mouth and nostrils. I couldn't pull my arms up to push the material away from my nose and mouth. I couldn't move.
Then I saw from above the bed my two brothers lying across the quilt with me in it. My sister brought my mother into the room (I saw them enter). I don't recall hearing her voice, but I saw my mother's face and she pointed at where I was, telling my brothers to get off me - my sister was standing to her left. She pointed with her right arm/hand - and my sister looked first at my brothers then at my mother. My brothers were lying parallel across my body with their feet toward my mother and their arms extended beyond my body. They turned their head and looked back at my mother and sister, my oldest brother looking back over his left shoulder and my second oldest brother looking back over his right shoulder.
The next thing I knew my brothers were gone, my mother was standing at the foot of the bed watching, my sister was sitting on the edge of the bed next to me and I was shaking violently. My legs were bouncing literally up and down off the floor.
Our family never again spoke of that event. My second oldest brother committed suicide in 1967 so I can't ask him about his recollections - and I recently spoke to my oldest brother about the event, which he claims to not remember. I guess that I'm responding to this because this was always something I thought about - but knew it was taboo to talk about. It was quite a revelation when I realized that I must have had a near-death experience and that there was an explanation for my being able to see what I knew that I could not have seen.
Incidentally, following that experience with near suffocation I would often wake up having squirmed my way down to the bottom of my bed, trapping myself in my sleep in a position where it was difficult to breath. I would wake up terrified to find myself in a situation where I felt like I was suffocating again. Fear of suffocation has remained one of my greatest fears.
Date NDE Occurred: around 1949
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Might consider this a criminal attack. I was suffocated by my brothers. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
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 I can't explain it. It was brighter, as if in the bright light of day (and it was day, but not in a bright part of our house). Everything - every movement and expression was clear. I saw my mother's expression, my sister's expression, and my brothers' responses. It was clear, very clear! Maybe focused, rather than clear.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The two clearest parts of my memories (incidentally I am shaking as I write this) were the moments when I was struggling to try to draw in air. Then the visual picture of my mother and sister entering the room, my mother's reaction and then how my sister looked, and my brothers' reactions - that was all very, very clear and bright. The reason that I always puzzled over the experience is that although I knew that I could not have seen from inside that blanket what I had seen - and especially not from above the bed (near the ceiling) which is the angle from which I viewed it all - the memory was always so clear that I knew I had seen it all.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I think that it is that I was very focused on what was happening.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I recall that I knew what my mother said. I don't recall hearing her voice, but I saw her mouth and I know what she said. She may have yelled (something she didn't do) but I only know the words, don't recall any specific sound and saw her mouth the words.
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? No
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Terror before I was above my body - then I don't recall feeling any emotion while I was watching. Afterwards I felt terror again - and that came back often.
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
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
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 raised in an agnostic/atheist home
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I think that it makes sense that I am now religious (the only person in my family who is) because, possibly, either that event did predispose me to be more open to spiritual things or, if the event caused me to be more sensitive to some things, that led me to be somewhat receptive to spiritual things that have led to me to religion. But it is also possible that I was always a bit different from the rest of my family.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I think that it makes sense that I am now religious (the only person in my family who is) because, possibly, either that event did predispose me to be more open to spiritual things or, if the event caused me to be more sensitive to some things, that led me to be somewhat receptive to spiritual things that have led to me to religion. But it is also possible that I was always a bit different from the rest of my family.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I was too young to even guess at a before and after in my relationships.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain I never talked about it much until I was older. I puzzled privately - all my life - that I could have seen things happen, when I was wrapped in a quilt. I never could come up with an explanation until three or four years ago when I was relating the event to one of my children. Suddenly I realized that I was describing what I'd read others describe - as being above the situation, observing people interacting and circumstances that I could not have seen if I was not out of my body.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I've had many unusual experiences.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I always wondered how I could have seen what I saw, not ever whether or not I had seen it. I knew that I had seen it - because it was so very vivid and I guess also because it was consistent with the fact that I was released and that when I was conscious my mother and sister were there.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not talk about it until after I was married (after I was twenty-four). I told my husband and then later my children. It was when I was telling my son about it - only a few years ago that I first - and quite suddenly - realized that I was describing an out-of-body experience - and thus, possibly a near death experience. It was an amazing realization to finally have an explanation for that memory.
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. It just always was real. Never any question in my mind that it was real. It puzzled me. I just had no explanation for it, until recently.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It happened. I'm glad that I can now stop wondering about how it happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I won't describe anything more right now. I do seem to have dreams and dΘjα vu experiences. Sometimes I have intuitions about things. I sometimes know things intuitively about people that I can't explain. Sometimes I know about things that are happening somewhere else. This is usually associated with something that is terrifying that I can't do anything about. I don't see much purpose in what I experience. These things just happen occasionally.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No. But I appreciate what you are doing because it is nice to be able to speak of this.