I was at my local swimming pool, with friends, we were in the water, splashing around, when I got into difficulty, and found myself under the water, swallowing water fast. I grabbed a girl next to me by her bikini bottom, she kicked me away to the bottom of the pool.
All of a sudden, my life flashed before my eyes: happy times mainly; Christmas time; birthdays and such. Then I found myself in what appeared to be a tunnel, with a small, white, bright light at the other end. I knew with a certainty I had never known before that I was dead, and I couldn't understand how I could still be thinking. I thought there must have been some kind of mistake. Only my thoughts remained. I had no sense of a physical body any more. I was moving fairly fast towards the light. A feeling of peace and what felt like ‘unconditional love’ enveloped me. It felt incredible.
As I was moving forward, I sensed the presence of two people. These people knew me, but I did not know them - I had never met them before. They were communicating with me through just our thoughts, them to me, me to them. They were telling me that it was ‘not my time’ and that I ‘had to go back’. They conveyed other things to me that I can't remember, though I don't think I'm supposed to remember those yet.
Then just as quickly as I'd arrived, I was heading back down the tunnel and was back into my physical body, coughing and spluttering water, as the lifeguard was giving me the kiss of life. I was only conscious for seconds. Then, I lost consciousness and didn't wake up fully again until three weeks later, after spending those three weeks in an oxygen tent at hospital.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1974 or 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Near Drowning, had to get the kiss of life to bring me back.I had drowned and lay at the bottom of the swimming pool. Luckily, I was seen and rescued.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes It seemed as if my consciousness was all that remained, my thoughts were all I had.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Very alert. I was incredulous during the whole experience.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning I had no sense of time, really. Things seemed to happen instantaneously or quickly, like time speeded up.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Passed into a tunnel, very large and dark.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes See narrative.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. It was small, white, bright and far away. I was moving towards this light quite quickly and it was getting bigger as I approached.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Probably several emotions: fear, wonder, joy, peace, love, and compassion.
The experience included: Special Knowledge
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control The life flashing before my eyes happened very quickly, but then I was still a child, so there were not many events to look at. I seemed to view these events as if I was there and could feel them. Unsure if I learned anything from these events unless they were comforting to me as they were mainly happy times that I viewed.
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:
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Before the NDE, since I had been abused since such a young age, I did not believe in God, even though I attended a Catholic school. But afterwards, since the depth of feeling, and there being no other reasonable explanation, I started to believe in God. I do not practice any faith, and do not attend church, believing it to be between God and me - he knows what I do.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is hard to communicate the incredible feeling of peace and love that seemed to envelop me, making me feel worthwhile and loved.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I am uncertain if I have any special gifts, but I do have an empathy with people who can open up to me and be their true selves in my presence, where they find it difficult to open up to others. I cannot wear a watch as it does not keep proper time - I do not know why (but I have heard some other NDE and OBE survivors can't wear watches either). I have a sense of knowing things for certain, even though they have not been confirmed.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best part of my experience has definitely got to be the incredible feeling I encountered there. It cannot be described using mere words. It was like peace or unconditional love in a feeling that could surround your consciousness and give you some comfort. The worst part was at the beginning when I was a little scared, knowing I was dead and worrying about how I was still thinking. Also the return journey was a little scary, as I didn't know what was happening at first.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I used to keep silent about my NDE experience, much the same way I kept silent about the abuse. But when I was an adult, I felt more at ease and willing to share the incredible experience with friends and family. Most people's reactions are positive, though there are some skeptics too. Mainly the people I tell walk away feeling better about the dying experience, a topic that they do have thoughts on, from time to time.
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? I’d just like to add that this experience helped me to come to terms with who I am what had happened to me and to let some ‘correction’ take place – by enabling me to confront my abusers and stop them from abusing me further. I had never known things for certain until then – I was always unsure and thinking constantly. My life had been about survival and trying to come to terms with the abuse. The NDE helped me make some sense of things that had concerned me in my childhood.