I was a passenger in a car in Dallas Texas when a van came across the yellow line and hit us head on. My seatbelt broke and my head went through the windshield and when the ambulances arrived, I wasn't breathing. The really funny thing is that I had amnesia when I came to in the hospital and didn't know who I was and it took a couple of weeks before my memory came back to me. The last thing I remember is that it was about two weeks before the car accident and I was in a drugstore conducting market research for my summer college job with my friend. My memory of the Near Death Experience came a couple of months later as my memory of the accident never came back completely. I remember the morning of the accident and I remember the Near Death Experience but to this day twenty-five years later, I cannot remember the actual accident. I feel this is a gift.
I had broken my neck in the top two vertebr' and the doctor said it was a miracle that I was alive and that I could still walk. He said one tiny millimeter in either direction of the break I would not be here today. Anyway, months later my memory spontaneously returned right up to before the accident and then right after the accident when I realized I was floating above a car wreck. I had an altered type of vision because even though I was above the car I could 'see' inside the car with a sort of 'super vision'. I saw my body and I saw the body of my friend at the wheel. I had no real emotion to what I was witnessing. There was a calm sense of detachment and I remember looking at my body as if it were a sweater or a suit I had worn and now had cast off. I remember thinking, 'That was cool being Thomas,' like it was some fun excursion, this human life. Then I remember being transported up quickly and with light and swiftness that defied all things and I could no longer see the car accident. I couldn't see anything but it did not matter. Sight suddenly seemed like some primitive tool as I felt enveloped in some kind of 'knowing' that surpassed the human senses.
I was aware of a presence that was at once familiar and loving and kind and all-powerful and so very immense that there will never be any words appropriate to describe this thing. My first thought was, 'It knows my name!' I was in awe that this amazing force knew me! It was exciting and exhilarating that something so immense and important took the effort to know little me. I felt like a little baby nuzzled in the warm embrace of my mother. I felt really tiny and helpless but completely relaxed and trusting. I knew that this presence was all-powerful and knew everything and that everything would always be alright no matter what happened ever. I became aware that the presence was prompting me into a dialogue. I remember bits and pieces of a 'conversation' without words. I remember asking questions and receiving answers. The first question I asked was very impertinent. 'Why is there so much pain down there?' (Meaning on earth). The answer was laughter. So much joyful laughter like a mother laughing at the amazing questions only a small child can ask. The laughter was followed with something like, 'Don't you know I have the power to take away all the pain? I can rewind the universe and start all over again with one simple wish. The pain is left behind on earth. It does not travel with us but the lessons we learn from it are eternal.' I immediately accepted this without a doubt. I remember there was so much more. It was like an eternal moment, which seemed to last one second as well as an eternity. I was shown many things, many realms, and many, many spirits of people and other beings. It was magic. This is the hardest part to communicate, as this part of the experience was wordless but filled with imagery that cannot be communicated. I honestly feel such things are not for this world and can never properly be explained or explored in this world. Like a child hoping for the perfect Christmas present, has many images in his head but until Christmas morning, he can never be quite sure what it will be. Until it is our time, I feel that the answers we seek will never be entirely revealed, which forces us to have faith, which forces us to change.
Suddenly I was given a choice. I could go back to earth and back to the human body that I was living in or I could stay in these realms. I wanted to stay forever and stated just that. I was shown once more the scene of the accident. I saw my friend with blood pouring out of her nose and she was struggling to breathe and the blood was making bubbles out of her nose as the air was forcing its way through. For the very first time of this event, I experienced anxiety. I felt as if I had to help her. I was concerned about what was going to happen to her. I turned to the Presence and said that I wanted to return and the Presence said I could return but I had to do something. I had to promise before it would let me return. I promised and swore on my heart with all my might I promised and promised. The next thing I knew I was back in my body and my body was uncontrollably saying, 'Oh God. Oh God. Oh God!' That was the last thing I remember before coming to in the hospital. To this day, I cannot remember what I promised to do. I believe I was not meant to remember cognitively the promise that instead it is somewhere written on my heart or encoded in my DNA like a program that I agreed to have downloaded in myself. I believe that whatever it was a very good thing. My friend suffered intensive nerve damage and for three years, we took care of each other often joking that between the two damaged selves we made up one whole person that could do anything. Against all the doctor's advice and parental concern we both returned to college in the Fall. We helped each other through some very difficult times.
I believe I came back different. I believe the person I was before the Near Death Experience no longer exists and that a new me had returned in his place - a better me. A kinder me. This June will be twenty-five years since the car accident and lately I feel a deep sense of importance and urgency and recently began looking up Near Death Experiences on the internet. I also believe I came back with some paranormal abilities that I did not have before, or perhaps were dormant. Lately I have been having dreams that I can heal people with my hands and lately I have been dreaming of the Near Death Experience and the realms I visited. Sometimes I feel that perhaps I am approaching that realm again and that maybe I don't have that much time left here on earth, but I'll tell you, it certainly doesn't matter anymore whether I live two more days or two more decades or two hundred years! I also know that whether or not the experience was 'real' is completely irrelevant. It changed me and altered my entire life for the better. I am so glad I found this website, as I truly feel compelled to share this story. I have shared it with close friends and sometimes I meet people and I know I am supposed to tell them what happened to me. I think that's it to the best of my recollection. It's just that lately it is coming back to me in so many ways and I feel that something important is happening right now that is connected to the Near Death Experience. Maybe the time is coming that I am supposed to do what I promised. I just pray that I am ready, willing, and able to do whatever this Sublime and lovely Presence wishes for me to do for I know that no matter what, this Presence knows all of us here on earth by our first names and knows everything about us and loves us unconditionally one and all. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story. Peace and Light and Laughter!!
Date NDE Occurred: 6/6/1984
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Direct head injury Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I believe that it was at the very beginning when I was looking down at my body that I was the most conscious and alert and again at the end when the experience was coming to a close. It is the middle that seems the most dreamlike and vague.
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
I will always think of it as the 'eternal moment'. It felt as if I were gone for thousands of years but those thousands of years occurred within a fleeting second of earth time.
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. I could 'see' through the roof of the car with just willing it. Little details seemed super clear like a microscopic vision, again at will. If I looked at something it seemed to magnify.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I can't remember anything in particular about my hearing except when I was up and away from the accident thoughts were flowing without sound.
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? Uncertain I was 'rushed' up and away from the scene of the accident. It could be described as tunnel like but it wasn't a tunnel in the sense that we understand a tunnel to be.
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 We communicated and they certainly knew me. This was the most vague and least clear part of the experience but I felt I was surrounded by friends whom I have known forever.
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? Uncertain It was less that I saw a light than I felt a light all around me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was like a monastery on a mountain on top of the clouds with wise and caring healers and teachers all gathered around to visit with the human boy who had come to visit for a brief moment. It was not particularly visual in essence but that was the feel of it. Very lovely and I never wanted to leave.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? At first I felt no emotions. Then when I was transported up and away and to the Presence I felt joy and peace and calm and serenity and a sense of everything being alright all the time no matter how I perceive things.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I saw my life in a way I never thought of before. I saw myself as this self-seeking, self-protective, self-obsessed, person who was headed down the wrong path in life. I believe this experience gave me a new realization of how amazing and fortunate it is for anyone to be alive and how fragile this mortal coil truly is and can be broken at any time by almost anything. I feel that being alive is a miracle where before the experience I felt it was a chore.
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? Moderate
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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
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 came to know that everything that is happening has to happen for a reason far too complex for us to understand but that no matter how awful things can be and how horrible the world can seem, that everything in the end is going to be alright always and forever.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I certainly came back grateful to be alive and grateful for the people in my life. Before I was an impertinent twenty-one year old who only thought of himself.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I know things before they happen. I have a connection to people that seems much like mental telepathy. I can hear people's thoughts or know exactly what they are thinking. I have been dreaming lately that I can heal with my hands but there is no evidence that I can, but still feel compelled to touch people especially when they are hurting - just in case!
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was especially meaningful to me that there was an Omnipotent Presence that knew my name. Until that moment I never believed I was anybody special and after that moment I know that everyone is truly special and meant to be here.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was probably five years before I shared the experience. It has always been well received and many people have told me that they believe I daily do the thing I promised to do when I wanted to return to earth and people have told me they sense a strong spiritual feeling around me.
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 all came back sporadically with my memory so for a long time I had little glimpses of the experience which I thought must have been dreams and I rationalized that I was on so much morphine in the hospital that it was probably something created by the drugs.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real What I cannot emphasize enough is that it was real to me and changed me forever. So if it can never be proven, and it truly cannot be, it doesn't matter. What matters is that it will always be very real to me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Meditation. Once when I was meditating I felt as if I had returned to the monastery on the mountain on top of the clouds and I saw an older woman who was my guide who helped me with some clarity about why I am here and what I am doing here. She brought me a book and the book was why I was here and she opened the book to a page and it read, 'Peace,' and there was another book telling me how I was to achieve this goal and she opened it and it said, 'Just Breathe.' It was so reminiscent of the realms of my Near Death Experience.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I feel truly blessed that it happened. It was the beginning of real faith for me.