During major emergency surgery for perforated diverticulitis that destroyed much of my large and small colon, I rose above the operating table. I saw everyone frantically working to save me. I thought, 'What are they doing?' Then I recognized my face and knew I had died. I was confused for a moment. I was pulled through the ceiling of the room and roof of the hospital and could see I was swiftly ascending. Then I was in the midst of a bright cloudy light with silhouettes waiting to greet me. Soon I saw my dear departed twin sister, grandmother, grandfather, and rows of departed uncles, aunts, etc.
As I approached them, amidst this incredible light of love, a voice came from the direction of the light and said, 'Tim, it's not your time, you must go back, it's not your time to be here.'
I paused then argued for what seemed like forever. No way was I returning, I loved it here and was thrilled to be with my departed loved ones again.
Each time I had a 'good' reason why it indeed WAS my time to be there, I was told the same thing, 'But Tim, it's just not your time to be here, you must go back.' The voice was extremely kind and powerful, male, and coming from the left side of the light I saw.
Finally, I realized 'who is going to win this argument?' so I thought I'd have to think of reasons to return. I couldn't think of any. Then I imagined my husband of twenty years waiting for me in the hospital waiting room. I thought that at least this time I'd speak the language, unlike the first time I showed up on that rock.
As soon as I thought, 'okay,' zoom, I'm back, awake to a horrible, noisy, too-energy filled place, buzzing with life that seemed too intense and difficult. I had a feeling of déjà vu, like the first time I was born from a warm cozy place to this hard cold noisy rock.
I no longer fear death, but I fear the process might not be so easy and painless next time, since I now have advanced cancer.
Date NDE Occurred: 1993
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Other: Surgery
During emergency surgery for perforated diverticulitis.
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 Upon arrival at the destination.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Upon arrival at the destination.
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 seemed I was finally home, then I heard the horrifying news that I must go back.
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 the entire past and future and present at one 'time'.
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 I was drawn inexorably higher away from Earth at impossible speed.
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 all of my pre-deceased ancestors, and heard a voice that was pure love, compassion, all-knowing, and total kind authority that spoke to me using my name.
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 light was at once brilliant, kind, loving, all-penetrating, and in no way harsh.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was standing before a light and voice that was an etherial place of final majesty and kindness
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Profound safety and love.
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 Somehow every past event happened instantly at the same time without judgment, I recognized my past life.
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I've eliminated the middle-men (usually men) between me and the light.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I've eliminated the middle-men (usually men) between me and the light.
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 When I was told I must return because it was 'not my time' I learned that when it is my time, I won't be having to do a round-trip. It was the worst news I ever heard when I was told I must return where I came from.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I've stopped wasting time on people, places and things here that are not fulfilling.
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 Because I no longer fear death, having been there and loved it, I have a sense of what life on Earth is really about, and people tell me I have a light or sense of serenity that's rare.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The vastness of the kindness in the voice that gave me the bad news that I'd have to return to my earthly life.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I didn't share this for about ten years until I had a spiritual reawakening due to a twelve-step recovery program in 2000.
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 was more real than Earthly reality.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As the seventeen years have passed, the next realm seems more real every day.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No